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Date Modified: June 9, 2023
Are you upset the insurance company refused to provide coverage for a rental vehicle on your behalf?
Do Car Insurance Companies Pay for Rental Cars?
The answer lies in what coverage the insured has purchased. Let’s begin. Maybe you have the coverage but are stuck using public transportation because you want the at-fault driver to pay for your rental vehicle? For example, maybe the adjuster defending the other driver’s policy is disputing liability, even though the witnesses, evidence, and investigation prove your case. If you signed a bunch of waivers and rely on direct billing to handle your insurance, you came to the right place for answers.
Tip: If you were in an actual rental car accident, go here. If you or other passengers are trying to get money to pay for a rental car, keep on reading about recovering compensation for injuries and a potential replacement vehicle.
What If I Don’t Want to Go Through My Insurance for Rental Reimbursement Coverage?
We know that many plaintiffs don’t want to use their own insurance company for assistance because they don’t want to pay their insurance deductible. Or maybe they don’t have a new vehicle, so they only have minimum personal injury protection.
What if it’s a total loss? How do these less insured victims get around? Who pays what? Who assists in California in answering these questions? Guess what? You can schedule a free consultation with our automobile accident experts 24/7.
Introduction and Legal Expertise on Obtaining a Rental Car
I am Los Angeles car accident attorney Michael Ehline. I am a highly rated, world-class personal injury attorney. Below my legal team and I are going to share with you the “rent a car” process and some ideas to make sure renting a car will be covered, or at least affordable. We will explain how to rent a car using insurance in certain circumstances, mainly after colliding in a bad wreck. Let’s go!
Understanding the Car Accident Investigation Process
Anyone that has fallen victim to the unfortunate circumstances of a car wreck should know all about the compensation they can obtain from their adjuster for a rental vehicle. Part of the insurance claims process involves checking to see if the accident victims qualify for a rental car while body shops and adjusters go through the repair estimates, work authorization process, etc.
This is why the legal professionals at Ehline Law have provided the following tips to ensure their potential clients are purchasing the right coverage and using insurance companies to their advantage.
What Is a Rental Car?
Generally, after a car accident has occurred, a rental car will act as a replacement vehicle for when a person’s own vehicle is unavailable. Insurance companies will usually pay rental costs when a victim’s car is being repaired. The liability coverage is the responsibility of the at-fault driver’s insurance company; however, the victim will still need to secure a rental car with their own insurance company.
This agreement can be found in a victim’s insurance policy with their insurance company. If a car accident is covered, victims may also find that their insurance company can help pay for their medical expenses only if they have personal injury protection and medical payment coverage.
Will an Insurance Company Pay for My Rental Car After an Accident?
The answer as to whether or not insurance companies will pay for a victim’s rental car after an auto accident depends on the circumstances of the victim’s insurance policy.
Coverage for rental car reimbursement or rental car insurance is either offered by a victim’s insurance company or the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Most car accident victims should have insurance coverage available for the daily use of a vehicle if their car happens to be in for repairs after a car accident.
Under a person’s current insurance policy, a car rental company will most likely provide them with a rental car if they have either rental coverage or rental reimbursement coverage.
Therefore, depending on who’s insurer is paying. What their insurance policy says about rental car reimbursement coverages if a victim’s car has been damaged in a car accident due to the negligence of another driver, then the other driver’s insurance company may have to cover a victim’s rental car costs while their car is at the repair shop.
What’s the Catch with Insurance Companies Regarding a Rental Car Company?
However, the problem is that not all insurance policies provide car accident victims with rental car coverage. While a majority of insurance companies have links to a rental car company that will provide it with rental car services, those who are filing a claim with their own insurance company will only have the costs of a rental car paid for by their insurance company if a premium was paid to have rental reimbursement coverage included into their insurance policy.
When a person has rental reimbursement coverage, most insurance policies will also have a dollar limit for rental car payments, so a person must check their own policy for these limitations.
The Different Types of Rental Car Insurance Options Offered by Insurance Providers
Within a victim’s personal car insurance company, rental coverage usually categorizes car insurance offerings into four different sections:
#1 Liability Coverage
Liability coverage protects those who have been in a car accident and have injured the other driver or damaged their property while driving. Those who have collision and comprehensive coverage with their car insurance companies may not need to purchase extra rental car liability insurance coverage.
If this is the case, all they need to do is make a claim. Their insurance agent will then help them review their coverage so that they can set a liability limit that is right for them in the event of a car accident.
#2 Loss or Collision Damage Waiver
Collision/loss damage coverage isn’t technically “insurance.” This is coverage that may help cover the repair cost if you damage the rental car you borrowed. So it’s important not to sign a waiver, (also known as an LDW or CDW) including a rental car collision damage waiver, unless you speak to a lawyer or other expert. This is money that can help cover the cost of a totaled vehicle, rental car repair or even if a theft happened.
Caveat: Collision or loss coverage will not cover damage for driving on unpaved roads or speeding.
Could Be Duplicate Coverage?
If a victim has collision and comprehensive coverage on their own car, a loss damage waiver may be ok to sign, as it could duplicate this potentially essential coverage. Suppose a victim has dropped comprehensive and collision coverage from their policy or signed a waiver for their car rental collision coverage. In that case, they would most likely have to pay out of their pocket for damage caused to their rental car. But it gets worse, as you can be on the hook for the rental car company’s loss of use, which could be thousands of dollars!
Read The Small Print
The rental car company can also charge a rental car accident victim for a loss of use if you signed the waiver (scroll down) – lost vehicle rental income – while the rental car is getting repaired. This is why it is so important to read a car rental contract very carefully so that a driver can understand what kind of charges they can incur if they were to damage a car rental company’s vehicle in certain rental car accidents.
Waiting for a free case review after a crash is too late. When discussing rental reimbursement coverage, these potential injury victims should always ask about the loss of use and NEVER waive it when renting a car from Hertz, Avis, or another shuttle company without this knowledge.
YOU MAY BE COVERED IF YOU NEVER SIGNED A WAIVER?
Yes. That’s true. It’s called a “waiver” for a reason. You pay less for insurance when you waive certain coverages. Because of this, California State requires you to knowingly and intelligently waive this coverage in writing. Under the California reasonable consumer expectations test, the insurer will be forced to cover you as if you had this coverage if you did not legally waive this protection.
#3 Personal Effects Coverage
Personal effects coverage can help a person cover their personal belongings if they have been stolen from their rental car. Homeowners or renters’ insurance may have personal property coverage on that policy, which also helps cover personal items through off-premises coverage.
However, off-premises items will usually only be covered up to a certain percentage of a person’s personal property coverage.
#4 Personal Accident Insurance
Personal accident insurance helps to cover a driver and their passengers’ medical billing if they have been injured in a rental car accident. Suppose a person already has health insurance, personal injury protection, or medical payments coverage in their car insurance policy. In that case, they may already have the same coverage that car rental companies offer.
Does My Personal Auto Insurance Company Offer Rental Coverage?
Car insurance includes a car rental policy in addition to other insurance. The listed coverage makes it the insurer’s responsibility to provide rental cars to the victim party of the insurance claim, depending on the situation and what the investigation reveals about the accident scene.
The at-fault driver’s insurance provider will most likely be responsible for the extra insurance cost, based on the auto policy the at-fault party has with them. However, if they fail to accept responsibility immediately, you will be left to pay your deductible or find another way to get around town, like an Uber or Lyft.
How Do I Get a Rental Car After an Accident in Los Angeles, California?
If a person’s need for a rental car is urgent, their insurer may take up their claim. However, during an auto policy investigation, determining which party is truly at fault is a slow process.
A person’s auto policy terms will generally require evidence in the form of a police report or statement from the other driver before an insurer will pay for a rental car from a rental company, even after a minor collision.
Overall, a car accident attorney will advise that drivers have all their personal and business vehicles insured.
Who Can Help Advocating My Matter?
Car accidents and car accidents where cars and rental cars are damaged happen all too often. Insurance companies or rental car companies will come after the at-fault driver to recover the costs for their damaged vehicle even as you are waiting to get your car repaired from the last crash. Luckily, the professional team at Ehline Law can help anyone who has found themselves in this situation with unresolved questions.
How Can I Get in Contact with Ehline Law?
These Los Angeles personal injury attorneys can be contacted today at (213) 596-9642 for a free consultation. Se Habla Español.
Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world-famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of U.S. history’s largest motorcycle accident settlements. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients.
We pride ourselves on being available to answer your most pressing and difficult questions 24/7. We are proud sponsors of the Paul Ehline Memorial Motorcycle Ride and a Service Disabled Veteran Operated Business. (SDVOB.) We are ready to fight.