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Who Pays For Car Rental After An Accident?

Getting a rental car from the insurance company can be a challenge for a car accident victim. Waiting for repairs or a settlement check for your totaled car often takes too long. Given your car has been damaged, you need another car to continue with your daily routines of getting to work, picking up your children from school, grocery shopping, after school activities, etc.

The are many possible scenarios but we we address three of the most common categories that accident victims find themselves - presuming that the other driver caused the accident.

Scenario 1 - Insurance Accepts Fault & Your Car can be Repaired.

This is the best case scenario where that other driver's insurance accepts liability for their insured's actions in causing the accident. They may send out an adjuster to examine your vehicle and make arrangements to deliver your car to a body repair shop or if the car is drivable, they may request you to drive the car to the body shop for repairs. In this situation, the insurance carrier will make arrangements for a rental car for you (eg at Enterprise or any reputable rental car company) and they will cover the cost of the rental car expense until your vehicle is completely repaired.

Scenario 2 - Insurance Accepts Fault but Your Car declared a Total Loss.

This is similar to scenario 1 except for the fact that inn this situation, rental coverage payment is shorted to end shortly after the other driver's insurance has extended a reasonable property damage settlement offer. As you can imagine, it is not really the best or most fair position to be in given that generally, the victim may not have enough funds to replace their vehicle after receiving the settlement funds.

Scenario 3 - Insurance has Not Accepted Fault; Your Car Can be Repaired & You Have Rental Insurance.

Sometimes, the other driver's insurance has not been able to get a hold of their insured to enable them to reasonably conclude on the issue of fault. In the meantime, the victim needs a car to continue with their daily life routine. If the victim has rental coverage in their policy, they can use that coverage to pay for car rental until such time when the other party's insurance has accepted liability. Normally, rental coverage benefit lasts for around 30 days which is enough time for the other party's insurance to conclude their investigation. Your insurance will contact the other insurance for reimbursement once the other insurance accepts liability.

Keep in mind that laws are different in each state and different insurance companies have different laws and policies. Clear communication and documentation with the insurance company make a big difference. For additional information, feel free to contact us.


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