Important facts described briefly below:
Unfortunately, extreme weather conditions can even occur during vacation or on business trips. Severe storms can cause various types of damage to your car. Read below everything you need to know about rental car storm damage and how you can best protect yourself against it. You can also find out which insurance will help you in the event of damage to a rental car.
How can you avoid storm damage to your rental car?
Your safety and that of others on the road have the highest priority in difficult weather situations. You should always drive slowly and carefully in severe storms. Drive slowly to help you react or brake in time, for example, if there are obstacles on the road that have fallen due to the storm. You should avoid passing other cars during storms. When entering and exiting the slipstream of other vehicles, you are much more susceptible to losing control. In the worst case, you will not only cause storm damage to the rental car, but also put yourself, passengers, and other road users in danger.
If the weather is so extreme that it is no longer possible to drive, park the vehicle in a place where it is protected. Always pay attention to severe weather warnings, and do not try to force yourself to continue your journey when you should stop. Once you have found a protected place for yourself and the car, you should remove luggage racks and any other loads from the roof. This action will limit the exposed surface area of the vehicle and help to minimize the risk of further storm damage to the rental.
Tip: Even if you have found a reasonably safe place to keep the rental car from being damaged by the storm, the risk is not yet over. Storm gusts can quickly rip open or slam shut the vehicle door. This action is not only dangerous for the following traffic, but it can also cause damage to people if, for example, a door pinches a body part. So be very careful when getting out of the car.
Who pays for storm damage to a rental car?
If your vehicle has suffered damage, first take photos of the affected areas, then notify your insurance company at the next opportunity.
Unfortunately, the standard motor vehicle liability insurance cannot help you in the case of minor storm damage (for example, damage caused by hail or snow). In this case, you will have to pay for the repair. You are better protected with partial coverage insurance, which covers storms with a wind force of eight. In the case of a fully comprehensive insurance with partial coverage, you only cede the deductible.
If the car is totaled as a result of the storm, the fully comprehensive insurance will take effect. However, even in this case, you have to expect that your insurance rate may increase the following year. Fully comprehensive insurance also covers damage caused by a wind force below eight.
Which insurance covers damage caused by flooding?
Many areas may be vulnerable to flooding. If you park your vehicle in a corresponding area and you do not bring it out of danger despite flood warnings, the damages are not covered, or only partially, by the fully comprehensive insurance. This mistake is, namely, gross negligence on your part. You will only receive compensation if you could not have averted the water damage.
Which insurance will protect you from storm damage to a rental car?
With fully comprehensive insurance, you are covered against both fully and partially comprehensive damage. Fully comprehensive insurance includes damage caused by obstacles - such as branches that have fallen or been broken off by the storm and damage caused by hail (which is included in partial coverage). Usually, you will have to waive your deductible for such damage. Only a few companies, such as Hertz, make an exception here. With additional insurance against storm damage, you can protect yourself against storm damage to your rental car. Make sure you read the terms and conditions of each rental car provider's insurance packages because these may vary.
Our tip: Make sure you have insurance cover against storm damage to your rental car.
Providing adequate insurance protection against storm damage to a rental car is often a little more complicated because not all insurance policies cover all damage. Therefore, always pay attention to the terms and conditions, even with fully comprehensive insurance. In case of doubt, it is also worthwhile to take out additional insurance against storm damage with the rental company to prevent all eventualities.