This is why it’s important to report your car rental accident to the police

Ulkar Zeynalli says she didn’t report her car rental accident because a mysterious person called her home and warned her not to say a word.

She was frightened by the call, but since she’d purchased car rental insurance, she assumed it would cover the damage whether she reported the accident or not. No big deal.

But it was a big deal.

That’s because, after getting into a fender-bender with the rental car from Sicily by Car and not reporting the accident she found herself on the hook for the damage. And that’s when she called our advocacy team.

Zeynalli’s story serves as an important reminder to know what you’re buying when you take out insurance on a car rental, or for any other travel expense. It’s also a warning to travelers to cover yourself after a car rental accident by following the proper protocol. Unfortunately, Zeynalli did not follow proper protocol, and the result was a nightmare.

First, a few details about the car accident. The Azerbaijani student was driving in Italy when she said the vehicle slid into a grass median and the airbags deployed. She immediately called the rental company.

Two hours later, the car was towed, and she paid 1,200 euros (about $1,400). She thought this fee was a co-pay for the insurance plan she had purchased. Zeynalli thought the case was closed. But was it?

An anonymous caller with a strange request: Don’t report your car rental accident to the police

Later on the day of the accident, Zeynalli says she received a phone call from someone who said they were a representative of Sicily By Car. This person did not identify himself and was calling from a personal phone.

“He told me not to contact the police or file a report and to keep ‘as quiet as possible,'” Zeynalli said.

A phone call like that would have made a seasoned traveler take notice. For Zeynalli, it did not have that effect. For some reason, she said she thought she could relax and forget about her predicament.

Surprise! Here’s your damage bill

Four months later, Zeynalli’s mother received a registered letter addressed to her daughter. A collections agency employed by Sicily By Car demanded 7,723 euros (about $9,000) in damages caused by “malice (willful misconduct).”

Zeynalli quickly fired off an email to representatives at Auto Europa, the parent company of Sicily by Car. She stated that she thought she had settled everything with Sicily by Car and had paid all the necessary fees. She cited that she had paid for insurance and had not filed any medical claims and thought this was a misunderstanding between the rental company and the collections agency.

A Sicily by Car representative confirmed the accident, adding:

Please be informed that, as per our General Rental Conditions, it is expressly agreed that the “Car Protection Plus”, “Pai Plus” and “Super Gold Protection” clauses are effective only provided that the damages occurred are not due to malice (willful misconduct) or gross negligence of the Renter. It is expressly agreed, therefore, the right of the Lessor to full compensation, if the damage is due to malice (willful misconduct) or gross negligence of the Renter.

The company asserted that because of the seriousness of the damage to the vehicle, Zeynalli had shown “willful misconduct” that violated the terms of her insurance. She was liable for all the damages to the rental. She explained to the company’s representative that she’s a student and doesn’t have the money, but the agent held firm.

Why you should report your car rental accident to the police

Frustrated with the company’s response, Zeynalli contacted our advocacy team and asked us to help persuade Sicily by Car and its agents to drop the extra charges. Our advocate Dwayne Coward asked Zeynalli to forward her paper trail.

Zeynalli provided scans of all the documents she received. But, she explained that someone hacked her iCloud account, so she had no records of any of the mysterious call.

After reviewing the minimal paper trail, Dwayne determined that it would not be a case that the advocacy team could mediate. The reasons? The company claimed negligence on her part and the insurance policy doesn’t cover negligence. Without any supporting documentation, most especially a police report, Zeynalli’s case stalled.

Dwayne recommended that Zeynalli contact an attorney who can help her evaluate her options. He also suggested that she attempt to contact executives at Auto Europa. Their contact information is on our website.

Lastly, Dwayne directed Zeynalli to our help forums, which are read by industry executives. It’s possible that one of them might read about her case and drop the charges as a goodwill gesture.

Hopefully, after reading about Zeynalli’s car rental fiasco, you’ll always remember to report your car rental accident to the police. For Zeynalli, unfortunately, there was nothing we could do to help.

Share this story
Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Facebook

Underwritten by

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Cavalry Travel Insurance

Cavalry takes the worry of out travel by providing 24/7 access to medical and security professionals combined with the best medical evacuation and security extraction services. Cavalry gets you home safely when you need it most. Learn more at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Seven Corners

Seven Corners has helped customers all over the world with travel difficulties, big and small. As one of the few remaining privately owned travel insurance companies, Seven Corners provides insurance plans and 24/7 travel assistance services to more than a million people each year. Because we’re privately held, we can focus on the customer without the constraints that larger companies have. Visit Seven Corners to learn more.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Sodexo North America

Sodexo North America Sodexo North America is part of a global, Fortune 500 company with a presence in 80 countries. Sodexo is a leading provider of integrated food, facilities management and other services that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life for millions of customers in corporate, education, healthcare, senior living, sports and leisure, government and other environments daily. Learn more at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travelex Insurance Services

Travelex Insurance Services is a leading travel insurance provider in the United States with over 55 years combined industry expertise of helping people dream, explore and travel with confidence. We offer comprehensive travel insurance plans with optional upgrades allowing travelers to customize the plans to fit their needs. Compare plans, get a quote and buy online at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by AirHelp

AirHelp is the world’s leading flight delays compensation company, helping passengers apply for compensation following a delayed or canceled flight or when boarding has been denied. It is AirHelp’s mission to fight for passenger rights by holding airlines accountable for flights disruptions that are out of passengers’ control. AirHelp has already helped 5 million people, taking the stress out of applying for compensation and making it as hassle-free as possible for travelers around the world.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Allianz Travel Insurance

The Allianz Travel Insurance company has built its reputation on partnering with agents all around the world to provide comprehensive travel insurance for their clients. Contact Allianz Travel Insurance for a comprehensive list of coverage.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Chubb

Chubb is the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company, and recognized as the premier provider of insurance for successful individuals and families in the U.S. and selected international markets, offering coverage for high-value automobile, homeowners, recreational marine/aviation, valuables and umbrella liability coverage. As an underwriting company, Chubb assesses, assumes and manages risk with insight and discipline, and combines the precision of craftsmanship with decades of experience to conceive, craft and deliver the best insurance coverage and services to individuals, families and business of all size.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Enterprise Holdings

A family-owned, world-class portfolio of brands. A global network that spans across more than 85 countries. Some 97,000 dedicated team members sharing common values. And more than 1.9 million vehicles taking our customers wherever they need to go.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Fareportal

Fareportal’s portfolio of brands, which include  CheapOair and  OneTravel, are dedicated to helping customers enjoy their trip. Whether you want to call, click, or use one of our travel apps, one thing is clear: We make it easy to take it easy.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by

An independent provider of low cost CDW/LDW insurance for use with rental cars. Up to $100,000 cover with no deductible. Policies available on a per day, per trip or per year basis. Also works with overseas rentals. Try  Insuremyrentalcar.comnow.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Mediacom Communications

The nation’s fifth-largest cable operator, serving the smaller cities and towns in the Midwest and Southern regions of the United States. We are a high-performance broadband, entertainment, and communications company that brings the power of modern technology and quality customer experience to life inside the connected home by combining ultra-fast gigabit speeds with personalized local and over-the-top entertainment choices that fit your lifestyle. Details at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Arch RoamRight

Arch RoamRight is one of the fastest growing, most-highly rated travel insurance companies in the United States. Travel advisors love working with us, and travelers feel protected with our trip cancellation and travel medical insurance coverage. We also make it easy to file a claim online with our fast, paperless claims website. Learn more about RoamRight travel insurance.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Virtuoso

The leading global network for luxury and experiential travel. This invitation-only organization comprises over 1,000 travel agency locations with 17,500 advisors in over 45 countries, and holds preferred relationships with 1,700 of the world’s finest travel companies. Virtuoso advisors collaborate with their clients to create personalized itineraries featuring exclusive perks, while also providing advice, access, advocacy, and accountability. For more information, visit

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by VisitorsCoverage

As a company that is constantly striving to simplify travel insurance, VisitorsCoverage, is on a mission to help travelers make the better decisions about purchasing travel insurance, quickly. VisitorsCoverage has helped millions of travelers globally to buy the suitable travel insurance and explore the world with confidence. Get insurance for your next trip at  VisitorsCoverage. Lowest Price Guaranteed.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by MedjetAssist

Medjet is the premier global air-medical transport, travel security and crisis response membership program for travelers. With a MedjetAssist membership, if you become hospitalized more than 150 miles from home, we will get you from that unfamiliar hospital all the way home to the hospital you trust. All you ever pay is your membership fee. MedjetHorizon members add 24/7 personal security and crisis response benefits. readers enjoy discounted rates. Travel safer with  MedjetAssist.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Southwest Airlines

The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by makes it fast and easy to compare and buy travel insurance online from top rated providers. Our unbiased comparison engine allows travelers to read reviews, compare pricing and benefits and buy the right policy with a price guarantee, every time. Compare and buy travel insurance now at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Squaremouth

Squaremouth helps travelers easily and instantly compare travel insurance policies from all major providers. Only companies that meet the strict requirements of Squaremouth’s Zero Complaint Guarantee are available on the website. Compare policies on to save over 70 percent on your next purchase.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travel Leaders Group

Travel Leaders Group is transforming travel through its progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. Travel Leaders Group assists millions of travelers through its leisure, business and network travel operations under a variety of diversified divisions and brands including All Aboard Travel, Andrew Harper Travel, Colletts Travel, Corporate Travel Services, CruCon Cruise Outlet, Cruise Specialists, Nexion, Protravel International,, Travel Leaders Corporate, Travel Leaders Network and Tzell Travel Group, and its merger with ALTOUR. With more than 7,000 agency locations and 52,000 travel advisors, Travel Leaders Group ranks as one of the industry’s largest retail travel agency companies.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travelers United

If you’ve been mistreated by the airlines, Travelers United is your voice in Washington. Join the #1 travel advocacy organization working with Congress to improve and protect travelers. Plus, get $400 of annual benefits you can use for travel for only $29/year. Add your voice to ours. Make travel better.  Join today.