Many folks find themselves in a bit of a bind after a car accident. And not just because of any stress and/or injuries.
If your car got wrecked pretty good in the crash, you might have to be without it for a while. Which means you’re going to have to find alternate transportation to go to/from work, shuttle the kids around and/or run errands.
You might be able to get by for a while by relying on services like Uber/Lyft, but that can be quite inconvenient. Better to have a car you can rely on and be able to drive yourself where you want to go. And then means getting a rental car.
But who pays for that after a wreck? Are you going to be on the hook for the cost of the rental for the days/weeks/months it takes for your car to get repaired. In this article, we’ll take a look at different accident situations and who will pay for a rental in each.
So, who pays for the rental car?
Who was at fault matters A LOT in an accident. It affects a lot of things including who pays for the rental car. Typically, whoever was at fault for the wreck will be the one on the hook for the rental car expenses. Or, more accurately, their insurance company will pay for it (assuming they have insurance).
Another important thing to keep in mind is that they will have to pay for a car that’s similar to the one that was wrecked. So if you’re driving a big SUV, they can’t get away with giving you a little bitty compact car for your rental.
That’s the good news. The not-so-good news is that things don’t aren’t always smooth sailing in situations like these. The other driver’s insurance company may dispute the details of the accident and, while you may think the other driver was at fault, their insurance company may try to prove otherwise.
And while the insurance company adjusters duke it out (figuratively, we hope), the other driver’s company will not pay for your rental.
What can you do in a situation like this? You have a few options.
First, if your auto insurance policy includes rental coverage, then you’re golden. Your insurance company will take care of the car rental costs for you. Though you may have daily limits and/or a cap on how much they’ll pay for a rental.
If you don’t have rental coverage, then you may have to pay out of pocket. If you have the money or can put the charges on a credit card, then you can get into a rental right away. And then hope to get reimbursed by the other driver’s insurance company down the road.
This option is not without some risk though. If it’s ultimately determined that the other driver was not at fault, their insurance company won’t pay for your rental and you won’t get that money back.
There is one other option here. And that is hiring a car accident attorney. An experienced car accident attorney can be your advocate and go to bat for you with the insurance company to try to speed things up. Among other things, this can include getting your car rental paid for without you having to wage the battle yourself.
To wrap things up here, the big takeaway is that in most cases, an insurance company will end up covering the costs of a car rental after an accident. Though there are situations where you may have to be prepared to cover that cost yourself.