Do Insurance Companies Pay for Rental Cars After an Accident?

If you’ve been injured in a Los Angeles car accident, you probably have a laundry list of items that you need to tackle. From seeking medical treatment and gathering evidence to filing a claim with the insurance company and retaining a personal injury attorney, the whole process can feel exhausting and overwhelming. Securing a rental car is probably the last thing on your mind in the hours after an accident, but it’s nevertheless an important step.

For many of us, a car is a lifeline. It’s how we get our essentials, drive to and from work, and transport our children to and from school. In many cases, losing a car is more than just an inconvenience—it can make our daily tasks exceedingly difficult. What recourse do you have when property damage causes you to lose your car following a car accident? And, perhaps most importantly, who pays for it?

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Will Your Insurance Company Pay for Your Rental Car After an Accident?

In California, you can opt for rental car reimbursement insurance with your policy plan. This option pays for a rental car in the event of an accident. However, not all car insurance plans automatically include rental reimbursement coverage. After your accident, make sure to call your auto insurance provider to check if you have this coverage.

If you do have this coverage included with your insurance plan, take a minute to confirm the daily rental price limits. You’ll be required to pay the difference out of pocket if you choose a more expensive rental.

In general, two methods exist by which a person may receive rental reimbursement from an insurance company. Most likely, you’ll get a rental car from an approved provider who will bill your insurance company directly. Otherwise, you can plan to choose your own rental car and submit a receipt for reimbursement.

How to Obtain a Rental Car Though the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance

If you don’t have rental reimbursement coverage on your own policy, you’ll need to open a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance. An adjuster will work with you to arrange the coverage for a rental car, but this process may take several days.

If this is the case, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will likely do whatever they can to pay out as little as possible. For example, if your car was a total loss, you may find that the insurance company will make you an offer on the fair market value of your car after just a few days in the rental car.

Once you do get ahold of a rental vehicle, keep in mind that you’ll have to choose a vehicle in line with your insurance company’s policy. You can’t, for example, rent a Porsche and reasonably expect reimbursement from an insurance company.

Pitfalls to Avoid After Getting a Rental Car in Los Angeles

Once you have your new rental car, it’s important to be aware of the common traps that often plague drivers in this situation. They include:

  • Not getting a comparable vehicle
  • Paying for a vehicle that’s above your daily rate
  • Continuing to pay for your rental car after your car is fixed
  • Continuing to pay for your rental car after you receive an insurance check

An expert Los Angeles car accident attorney will best be able to help you understand the law, sidestep some of these common mistakes, and pursue a case for recovery.

Do You Ever Need to Pay Out-of-Pocket for a Rental Car?

It’s not uncommon, unfortunately, for some insurance companies to avoid paying for your rental vehicle until the court determines who’s at fault. In this case, you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket until the case settles. This could take time. Insurance companies often delay payouts for as long as possible before reimbursing you.

It’s important, when this is the case, to document all of your rental costs. An attorney will use these records to help reimburse you as soon as possible.

person showing an empty wallet
person showing an empty wallet

Do You Ever Need to Pay Out-of-Pocket for a Rental Car?

It’s not uncommon, unfortunately, for some insurance companies to avoid paying for your rental vehicle until the court determines who’s at fault. In this case, you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket until the case settles. This could take time. Insurance companies often delay payouts for as long as possible before reimbursing you.

It’s important, when this is the case, to document all of your rental costs. An attorney will use these records to help reimburse you as soon as possible.

Contact a Trusted Car Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles

If you’re struggling to obtain a rental car following an accident or you need help filing a claim for compensation with the negligent driver’s insurance company, consider reaching out to the expert Los Angeles car accident lawyers at The Barnes Firm. Our experienced attorneys are here to explain your legal options, negotiate your settlement with the insurance company, and obtain the compensation you deserve from the at-fault party. Our lawyers have a proven track record of success and have helped clients recover millions of dollars in compensation from settlements and verdicts.

With over 100 years of combined legal experience, our team of knowledgeable lawyers can handle your case and are available 24/7 to review your accident and answer your questions. We’ll work tirelessly to get you the maximum compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation with our knowledgeable auto accident attorneys, call The Barnes Firm or fill out our online contact form today.

The Barnes Firm (800) 800-0000