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Who Pays for the Costs of Renting a Vehicle After an Accident?

Posted on behalf of Anderson Cummings on Sep 23, 2021 in Auto Accidents

Car rental If your vehicle was seriously damaged or declared a total loss after an accident, you may be wondering whether you can file a claim to help cover the costs of renting a vehicle.

Our car crash attorneys in Fort Worth are prepared to help you file a claim not only to recover compensation for the costs of renting a vehicle but also to pursue compensation for property damage and any injuries you may have suffered.

We offer a free consultation and charge you nothing up front, so there is no risk to you.

Steps to Take After the Accident

Financial responsibility for the rental fees depends on who is found at fault for the accident. However, regardless of who is assigned fault, it is important that you follow these steps to help you through the process of recovering the costs of renting a vehicle:

  • Call the police
  • Get the other driver’s insurance and contact information
  • Take photos of the scene and damage to your vehicle

When the Liable Insurance Company Pays

Generally, the cost of renting a vehicle is covered by the insurance company representing the driver who caused the crash. However, these costs are only covered by the liable insurance company after you have filed a claim for compensation and the insurance company has accepted liability.

What if Fault is Contested?

Unfortunately, insurance companies often contest liability. If this happens, or the other driver denies fault for the accident, you may need to pay for the rental costs out of pocket until your claim is resolved.

Fortunately, our attorneys are prepared to help you recover the out-of-pocket costs of renting a vehicle if the insurance company is refusing to pay up front.  

Will My Insurance Cover the Cost?

One way to avoid paying for a rental car out of pocket is to buy rental car reimbursement coverage with your insurance policy. This way, your rental costs will be covered by your own insurance, and you do not have to pay for it up front. Your insurer would then recover the money it paid for the rental car from the settlement your lawyer obtains from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

It is important to note that this type of insurance coverage is an optional add-on that may also be beneficial for single-vehicle accidents, hit-and-run crashes or other incidents when there is not another insurance company to file a third-party claim.

Tips to Help Reduce Unnecessary Fees When Renting

There are certain rules both you and the insurance company need to adhere to when it comes to renting a vehicle after an accident.

First, the type of vehicle is very important. If the vehicle that suffered the damages in the accident was an SUV, the insurance company may not offer you a compact vehicle. Instead, they must agree to cover the costs of a vehicle that is like what you already drive. The same applies in reverse, however. You cannot rent an SUV if you drive a sedan. It is important that you avoid choosing a vehicle that is not like yours to avoid paying an unnecessary upgrade fee.

There is generally a time limit for how long you may have the rented vehicle depending on the type of damage your vehicle suffered in the accident. To avoid any late fees, it would be best to return the vehicle at the end of the allotted rental period. For claims involving vehicles declared a total loss, the rental may only be paid for up to two weeks in some cases.

Lastly, be sure to keep any information from the rental car company such as receipts and other important paperwork to watch for additional fees the insurance company may later refuse to cover.

Need Help? Call Us Today

If you need a rental vehicle while you await repairs or replacement of your personal vehicle after an accident, the liable insurance company should be responsible for covering these costs once you file a claim.

If the insurance company tries to deny compensation, our attorneys are prepared to help. Our attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience helping motor vehicle accident victims maximize their compensation and are prepared to help you do the same.

Call us today for a free consultation: (877) 920-9009