Motorists often want to know who pays for rental car after an accident that damaged their own vehicle. It may be an accident they caused or had no fault. In any case, they lose the use of their automobile and have to rent another auto until own one is repaired. Various questions on the subject will be answered below.
The main question is do insurance companies pay for rental cars? Yes, there is coverage for rental car costs following insured damages to automobiles. However, individual circumstances like who was at fault in the accident and your coverage determines if you can claim for rental vehicle expenses or not.
Hopefully you ask this question before you have an accident. Then you can arrange Rental Reimbursement Cover with your full coverage auto insurance policy.
How to Get a Rental Car from Insurance Claim?
If your car is damaged and it is covered by insurance you may be able to get a rental car until it is repaired, you receive payment for replacement or up to certain number of days, depending on the circumstances and insurance coverage. If the accident was your fault you need to have full coverage that includes collision and comprehensive coverage to claim for the damages to your vehicle. Also, you need to have Rental Reimbursement Coverage to be able to claim for rental car costs.
Some insurers may provide rental reimbursement coverage automatically with a standard full coverage auto insurance policy while you may have to buy this cover as add on with other insurers. Many people are highly dependent on their vehicles to go to work, pick up children from school and carry out essential tasks. Particularly one-car families who live out of town may not be able to go about their lives easily when they lose the use of their vehicle. If this is the case, you need to make sure that you have rental car reimbursement coverage. Otherwise, you will need to pay the cost of renting another automobile out of pocket.
Usually rental vehicle coverage comes with daily limits. You can only rent an auto that is within this allocated daily limit. In other words, you cannot go and hire an expensive car and expect the insurer pay for it when you have a typical automobile.
How Long Will Insurance Pay for Rental Car?
Another question often asked is how long can I keep my rental car after the accident? Most policies stipulate a time limit and usually rental coverage is for 30 days. Your coverage ends if your vehicle is repaired or replacement cost paid for a totaled vehicle earlier. Some states may allow claims until the vehicle is repaired and returned to the owner or claim is fully settled for a totaled auto, as long as the delay isn’t caused by the claimant.
However, you may claim for a longer period if the accident wasn’t your fault and you are claiming on a third party insurer. You can probably claim until your vehicle is repaired or your claim is settled. It is not your fault if they take their time to pay for the repairs or open market value in case the vehicle is totaled.
Not at Fault Accident Rental Car Payments
You can still claim rental car reimbursement when not at fault for the accident. If someone else was at fault for the accident you can claim your losses from third party insurers. Hopefully, at fault third party insurer will accept liability quickly and deal with your claim. But this may take some time, especially when at fault driver is unresponsive.
Then, you may be forced to consider other options. One of them is to claim on your own insurance if you have coverage. Your insurer would pay for your losses including rental vehicle costs but it would initially go down as a claim on your policy that can result in car insurance premium increase. The status of the claim may be changed to no fault and deductible you paid returned if your insurer successfully subrogates the money they paid to you from third party insurers.
Sometimes, third party insurers can be difficult to deal with. They can delay accepting responsibility or deny a claim. If your own policy doesn’t provide coverage you may have to front the rental costs if you desperately need a vehicle to get on with your life. At fault party’s insurer will have to reimburse you once they accept the responsibility or they are made to accept it.
Usually, there is no deductible for rental car payments because you pay collision or comprehensive deductible for the repairs when you claim from your own insurer. You don’t pay deductible in case of claims on third party car insurance companies.
In addition, you should keep in mind that your existing coverage may cover the rental car while your own auto’s accident damage is repaired. Rental companies would try to sell you insurance but you should check with your insurer first and see if they cover this rental car too.
In conclusion, you can get a rental car after an accident and have the insurance pay for it if you have coverage or the accident wasn’t your fault. Actually, you can include rental car in a claim for repairs or total loss. The damages don’t have to be due to a collision. It could be due to any perils your policy covers like fire, storm, water or civil disturbance. If an insurer is paying for the repairs they usually pay for rental too as long as you have coverage for it.