Can I get reimbursed for a rental car?
You are entitled to reimbursement from the responsible party’s insurer for a reasonable period of time and a similar type of rental vehicle.
In other words, the party who caused the accident and who caused you to lose the ability to drive your own vehicle is legally responsible for
- providing a rental car during the period of time it takes to reasonably resolve the total loss of the vehicle or
- paying the reasonable rental value (known as “loss of use”) for each day that your car is not fixed, as long as that period of time is reasonable.
If you decide to drive another vehicle while your car is getting repaired, perhaps you own a second car or borrow from a friend, you are still entitled to reimbursement for the loss of use of your vehicle during that period of time. We have successfully gotten clients hundreds (and in some instances thousands) of extra dollars in situations where it takes an exorbitant amount of time to resolve the property damage claims involving a non-drivable vehicle.
There are a couple of pitfalls to renting a car, however. First, whenever possible, it is much better to use your own rental car coverage (if you have it) and have your own carrier set up a “direct billing” with the rental car company. This way, it is often not necessary to fork over any money at all.
We encourage our clients to rent a car through their own insurer, assuming coverage exists by way of direct billing to the rental car agency, or consider not renting a car altogether and claiming “loss of use.”