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Will I Have a Rental Car after an Accident?

Will I Have a Rental Car after an Accident?

While the most important concern after an accident is receiving medical care, another concern is often transportation. A traffic accident often leads to vehicles needing repair. Typically, vehicles may spend up to two weeks at the auto body shop getting repaired. In Florida, the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy will pay for the cost of a rental vehicle during the time that the damaged vehicle is fixed. This scenario happens once a claim is filed with the at-fault driver’s insurance policy.

However, in situations in which there are multiple vehicles involved, getting rental car coverage from the at-fault driver’s policy can be more complex as there may be more than one driver who is responsible for the accident. In this case, you may want to rent a vehicle and seek reimbursement at a later date if there are multiple vehicles involved and you are not considered at fault and liable for the accident.

If you have rental coverage in your auto insurance policy, your insurance company may be able to arrange and pay for a vehicle for you to drive while your vehicle is getting repaired. If you are unsure whether you are entitled to a rental vehicle after a car accident, contact an experienced attorney about your situation.

Will the at-fault driver’s auto insurance pay for my rental car after an accident?

The at-fault driver is liable for the accident and aftermath, including rental car coverage.

However, depending on the at-fault driver’s insurance policy, you will either have the insurance pay for the vehicle while you are renting it or later seek reimbursement from the at-fault driver’s insurance company once your claim is settled.

Can I add rental coverage to my auto insurance policy after an accident?

You cannot add the rental coverage after the accident. If you are unsure whether you have rental coverage in your policy, contact your insurance company or agent to find out.

Who should contact the rental car company after an accident?

The at-fault driver’s insurance company may contact a local rental car company for you but if you are not contacted within twenty-four hours of the accident about a rental car, you may also rent a vehicle and obtain reimbursement when your claim is settled. If you have rental car coverage in your policy, you can call your insurance company or agent and your insurance company can arrange your rental vehicle rental for you, even if you are not at-fault for the accident.

What kind of vehicle should I rent?

Your rental vehicle should be reasonably similar to the vehicle you drove. For example, if you drove a minivan and are in need of a mid-size vehicle then you should be reimbursed for the amount that a mid-sized vehicle costs over the rental period while your vehicle is being repaired. If you drove a car, such as a Toyota Camry, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will likely reimburse a vehicle that is of a similar class. If you rented a pickup truck after driving a smaller vehicle, the insurance company may not cover the entirety of the rental car costs. Sometimes, a rental car company will offer you the most economical choice based on their availability and this is also a good option. If you have any questions about what kind of rental car you should rent after an accident, contact an experienced attorney about your claim.

What if I do not want to rent a vehicle?

If you do not choose to rent a vehicle while your vehicle is getting repaired, you may still be entitled to compensation because you lost the ability to operate your vehicle as it was getting repaired. An experienced attorney can advise you about your claim to discuss your options.

How will I be reimbursed for a rental vehicle?

If you have rental reimbursement as part of your auto insurance policy, which is usually an additional $10 a month, you may have your rental vehicle arranged and paid for by the insurance company from the start of the rental period. If you do not have rental coverage on your policy and are not at-fault of the accident, you will pay for the rental vehicle out-of-pocket and seek reimbursement for the costs. The auto insurance company of the at-fault driver will provide compensation for the costs in the settlement offer. If you are unsure whether the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company will provide reimbursement for the rental vehicle–or possibly other expenses related to the accident–contact an experienced attorney about your claim.

What car insurance should I use for my rental vehicle?

Car rental companies often offer an insurance policy to drivers for a daily additional fee. The driver may opt to use this coverage, but the driver’s auto insurance company can also be used to cover the rental vehicle while it is in use. However, if the driver chooses to have their auto insurance cover the rental vehicle, it is important to ensure that there is comprehensive and collision coverage, otherwise known as full coverage, in the event that there is an accident with the rental car.

How long will I be able to rent a vehicle?

If you are getting your vehicle fixed, a rental vehicle will be covered as long as your vehicle is getting repaired and you are without the transportation you had prior to the accident. This length of time is usually up to two weeks. However, if you are renting a vehicle under your policy,  there is often a fixed amount of days that you can get rental coverage for per the auto insurance policy.

For vehicles that are declared a total loss, the rental car coverage is less clear-cut because the driver will need to find another vehicle. This process can be even more complex if there are medical problems caused by the accident that make it difficult for the injured driver to purchase another vehicle.

Will I have a rental vehicle covered while I am waiting for payment from the at-fault driver’s insurance company if my vehicle was totaled?

If your vehicle was declared a total loss and you are waiting for a check from the negligent driver’s insurance company, you are entitled to rent a vehicle during that time. The insurance company expects you to rent a vehicle for a “reasonable” amount of time, and will usually allow a rental car for up to five days after a settlement offer has been reached. However, the maximum amount of time will vary per the at-fault driver’s insurance policy, along with the details regarding the claim, such as whether the driver was injured and how that injury affected their ability to purchase another vehicle. An attorney can best advise you about what to expect when it comes to a specific amount of time that your rental car will be reimbursed for.