If you’ve been in a car accident, doesn’t the insurance company HAVE to give you a rental?
No, actually they don’t. Even many lawyers and adjusters don’t understand this.
If you caused the damage yourself, and if you have full coverage on your vehicle, you MAY have rental coverage (it’s not required by law, so it’s a good idea to see if it’s included in your policy. You can add it by calling your insurance company if you don’t have it.)
However, if someone else’s negligence causes the damage to your vehicle, you’re actually entitled to a type of compensation called “loss of use.”
That’s exactly what it sounds like: compensation for the loss of use of your vehicle.
Most insurance companies in a negligence claim will simply set you up with a rental vehicle rather than pay for loss of use.
Why do they do this? There are two main reasons:
- IT SAVES THE INSURANCE COMPANY MONEY: All the insurance companies have standing agreements for lower, preferred rates with the rental companies.
- IT MAKES THE INSURANCE COMPANY LOOK REASONABLE: They set up the rental to make you feel like you can trust them, and then they use that trust to minimize your claim.
There’s no question that sometimes letting them get you a rental saves you hassle, and the money they save on one claim isn’t a huge deal. But by doing the same thing thousands and thousands of times, the companies save themselves millions of dollars each year.
If you have a case with only property damage, you don’t want an attorney. It’s not likely the lawyer will get you much more out of the case, and it can actually slow things down, which is the opposite of a claim for personal injuries. If the insurance company refuses to pay you, especially if you were hit by a drunk driver, then you may need an attorney.
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