Am I entitled to a rental after a car accident?

If your vehicle was damaged in an auto accident, you may find yourself scrambling for temporary transportation. You may consider renting a car while yours gets repaired, and you’ll likely wonder if you have entitlement to one as part of your accident settlement. Many drivers do, but it’s important to understand how the process works.

Who was at fault?

In an auto accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance will process your car rental claim. If you need a rental vehicle immediately, you can have your expenses reimbursed by the at-fault driver’s insurance. Both cases, though, require that you select a reasonable rental similar in size and features to your own vehicle. If you caused the collision, your rental costs will only be compensated if you opted in on your policy’s rental reimbursement coverage. If you lack this protection, you will likely have to pay for rental expenses out of pocket.

You are entitled to a rental during the reasonable time required to have your car repaired. If your car was totaled, the insurance company will not wait long after they write you a check to turn off rental coverage.

Is the other motorist insured?

If an uninsured driver collided with you, you may worry that you will have to cover the costs of a rental. In this case, you still have two options for making a claim. You can use your rental reimbursement coverage if you have it. Or, you can file through your insurance plan’s uninsured motorist coverage. This coverage protects you from paying for damages caused by a driver who lacks insurance or has insufficient coverage.

Having reliable transportation after your accident will give you peace of mind. The key to achieving it is understanding how you can file a claim that covers car rental expenses.

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