Who pays for the rental car while your car is in the repair shop largely depends on who was responsible for the crash, as well as the type of insurance coverage you have. In many cases, the driver that caused the accident and their insurance company could be on the hook for your repair shop bills. This could include the cost of renting a vehicle after an accident.
For most people, the cost of renting a car is no small matter. Renting a car varies on the type of vehicle, location, duration, and your driving history. In some cases, a rental bill could be hundreds of dollars by the time repairs are complete. Last-minute rentals—like those that occur after an accident—may cost more.
The good news is that you could be entitled to compensation for the cost of your vehicle rental. The party responsible for these expenses will vary depending on your insurance coverage and the coverage of the other driver. The Georgia Department of Administrative Services (DOAS) offers a cost comparison tool on its website.
The Other Driver’s Insurance
The cost of a vehicle rental is a standard part of vehicle liability insurance. This type of insurance provides a driver with protection from claims for compensation from other parties. Essentially, liability insurance shields a driver from their own negligence.
If your vehicle requires repair after a crash with another motorist, their liability insurance could be responsible for paying your bill. That does not mean the insurance company will always make it easy, however. They could drag their feet or even dispute that you are entitled to benefits at all. In some cases, the insurance company will only pay if you succeed in litigation.
In the end, the liability insurance policy of the other driver remains your best option for seeking compensation for your vehicle rental expenses. An attorney could assist you with holding them accountable for the entirety of your injury claim.
For a free legal consultation, call (404) 888-8888
Coverage Through Your Own Policy
The liability coverage of the other driver will only be helpful to you if you can establish that they negligently caused the accident. In collisions where you were at fault, you will not be able to pursue a claim on a liability policy.
Depending on the type of coverage you have purchased, your own insurance company could still provide you with a rental car. However, you must have some level of coverage above and beyond a basic liability policy in order to receive these benefits. This could include comprehensive insurance coverage.
The good news is that your insurance company will typically act faster than the other driver’s liability carrier. In fact, they could simply arrange for the new car directly as opposed to providing you with funds to obtain a rental.
That does not mean your insurance company will always act in your best interest. Your insurer could push back on the amount of time you need a vehicle. They could also provide you with a rental that is far below the size or quality of the vehicle involved in your crash.
The Need for Reimbursement
In theory, the proceeds of an insurance claim should cover your vehicle rental expenses in many cases. The unfortunate reality is that there are often delays in the claims process. If the other driver’s insurance company disputes liability, it could take months or even years before your claim is ultimately resolved. If you are like most people, you do not have the option of waiting that long.
When insurance coverage is disputed or delayed, you may have no other option but to pay out of pocket and seek reimbursement later. Unfortunately, this can complicate matters if you are dealing with your own insurance company. Your policy might not allow rental reimbursement unless you opted into rental reimbursement coverage. Many policies will not reimburse you for the cost of a rental if you failed to opt in to this additional coverage.
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Consider Working with an Attorney When Addressing Your Rental Expenses
A personal injury attorney can advise you on who pays for your rental car while your car is in the repair shop. With their help, you could pursue an insurance claim or injury lawsuit against the responsible party.
You do not have to face the hassle of obtaining car rental coverage on your own. Following an accident, let the team at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers assist you with your claim. To get started, call (404) 888-8888 for your free consultation as soon as possible.