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It’s a scenario you never want to find yourself in, but unfortunately, it can happen – you’ve been given a loaner car, and you crash it. You know the drill; the car is usually a courtesy from the dealership you bought the car from, or from the mechanics who are fixing your car. But what happens if you crash a loaner car?
Check Your Insurance Policy
The first thing you should do when you crash a loaner car is to check your insurance policy. Many people assume that the loaner car is already covered under their insurance, but this isn’t usually the case. If you do have coverage for loaner cars, then your insurance company will pay for the damages, minus your deductible. If you don’t have coverage, then you’ll need to pay for the damages out of pocket.
Check the Loaner Agreement
Next, you’ll want to check the loaner agreement. This is the contract you signed when you were given the loaner car. It outlines the responsibilities of both you and the lender, and will usually include some details about what happens if you crash the loaner car. Make sure to read the agreement carefully, as it should specify who is responsible for any damages.
Contact the Lender
Once you’ve checked your insurance policy and the loaner agreement, it’s time to contact the lender. Let them know what happened and provide them with details of the accident. They may require you to provide them with a full report of the accident, including photos and a statement from any witnesses. They may also require you to pay for the damages, depending on what the loaner agreement says.
Pay for Repairs
If the loaner agreement specifies that you’re responsible for the damages, then you’ll need to pay for the repairs. This can be an expensive process, so it’s important to shop around to find the best deal. You can also look into getting a loan or using a credit card to cover the cost of repairs. Once the repairs are complete, you can return the loaner car to the lender.
File a Claim with Your Insurance Company
If you do have insurance coverage for loaner cars, then you’ll need to file a claim with your insurance company. They’ll likely require you to provide them with the details of the accident, including photos and a statement from any witnesses. Depending on the severity of the accident and the amount of coverage you have, your insurance company may cover all or part of the repair costs.
Negotiate with the Lender
If the loaner agreement states that the lender is responsible for the damages, then you may be able to negotiate a deal with them. Ask them if they can reduce the repair costs or waive them altogether. If they’re not willing to do this, then you may be able to negotiate a payment plan with them.
Consider Your Options
If you can’t negotiate a deal with the lender and you don’t have insurance coverage for loaner cars, then you may need to pay for the damages out of pocket. This can be a difficult situation, so it’s important to consider all of your options. You may need to take out a loan or use a credit card to cover the cost of repairs.
The Bottom Line
Crashing a loaner car is never a pleasant experience, but it’s important to know what happens if you crash a loaner car. Check your insurance policy and the loaner agreement to see who is responsible for the damages, and then contact the lender to discuss the situation. You may be able to negotiate a deal or you may need to pay for the repairs yourself. Whatever you decide, make sure to consider all of your options.