One of the first things that usually come up after an auto accident is the question of a rental vehicle. Likely you are without a vehicle and it’s your only mode of transportation so you may have been asking for rides and stuck depending on others.
It is usually at this point that frustration starts to set in as putting your injury on top of not having a vehicle can be a very troubling time, especially if you don’t have rental coverage through your own insurance.
So how do you get a rental? Can you? What steps do you need to take? How long will it be? Well first things first, is to open the claim with the other party’s insurance and have them take a look at the vehicle and approve responsibility and repair or total loss. This in itself may take days and legally the insurance is not obligated to do anything in regards to a rental until that investigation is done.
Frustrated enough, well this is where things can get a little complicated. Once everything checks out on responsibility, not every insurance company is required to give a direct rental. What that means is many insurance companies will only provide rental reimbursement, therefore requiring you to pay out of pocket to secure a rental while being repaired or before a total loss check is cut. Often times depending on the number of days allotted or takes for the check to come in, this still may put you in a position of being back without transportation for a few days but by law, the insurance company only has that duty and no further.
Finally, sometimes certain factors can affect the ability to even get a rental or for the insurance to reimburse you for the amount of time you had a rental. Such as, if there are multiple vehicles in the accident with only so much money going around, etc. In cases such as those, you may end up at the mercy of an insurance and be out some money for that rental. However, hopefully, your vehicle gets full repaired of paid off.
So what first may seem like a straightforward item, you get into an accident and the other person’s insurance needs to give you a rental is not necessarily like that. There are a lot of factors that come into play so I always advise clients, depending on financial circumstances, is to get rental coverage on their own policy to avoid any issues.