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Who Pays for a Rental Car After an Accident?

You may find yourself in need of a rental car if an auto accident totals your vehicle or puts it out of commission during repairs. Whether you caused the crash or it was due to another’s negligence, you could qualify for an expenses-paid rental car through an auto insurance policy. It’s up to you to be proactive about reserving a rental car – including checking to see if an insurance plan will pay the costs of the rental. If you don’t qualify for complete reimbursement, there may be other ways to get a good deal on a rental car. Explore rental coverage after an accident, starting here, and if you have additional questions, speak with a Layton car accident lawyer.

Your Auto Insurance Company

Your auto insurance company in Utah will pay for your rental car after an accident if you have the correct type of coverage. Rental car reimbursement insurance is an optional plan addition you must specifically sign up for when purchasing your policy. It is not a required type of coverage in Utah, nor a type of coverage an insurance company will automatically offer or provide. If you don’t remember signing up or paying for rental reimbursement, call your insurance company and ask the agent if you’re covered.

Rental car reimbursement will pay for most or all the costs of your rental car depending on your policy. If you don’t have a second vehicle to use while your wrecked car is in the shop, it’s a good idea to invest in this type of optional insurance. In general, it is an inexpensive addition that could save you big if you need a rental after a wreck. If you do have this coverage, rental reimbursement will only cover rental costs in certain situations, usually according to your other coverage.

Your insurance company may pay for a rental after a car accident if you have standard collision coverage. If you have comprehensive insurance coverage with reimbursement coverage, your company might pay for your rental after weather-related damage, theft, vandalism, etc. Review your policy to understand the coverage types and amounts you’re paying for, as well as if you have rental reimbursement available. Then, file your claim to request payment for a rental car after an accident.

How to Recover the Costs of a Rental

In general, you can request rental car reimbursement in two different ways. First, you can go through a rental car company the insurer has partnered with for just such purpose. Your insurance agent may tell you over the phone that this is an option and help you find a provider near you. In these cases, you can choose your rental car and the company will bill the insurance company directly. Make sure you choose a rental option your insurer will completely cover. Usually, you must select a vehicle that is structurally similar to yours.

You may also be able to choose your own rental car provider, pay for the costs up front (out of pocket), and then submit your receipts with your insurance claim for reimbursement. Ask about any per-day and per-accident limits on your coverage you should know about before renting. Don’t assume your insurance company will cover the costs, only to discover later that you don’t have adequate coverage. Note that rental reimbursement insurance only covers a rental while your vehicle is under repair after some type of damage. It will not reimburse you if you’re renting a car for a vacation or recreational purposes.

Other Rental Reimbursement Options

You may still recover the costs of a rental car if you don’t have rental reimbursement insurance in some cases. If someone else crashed into and damaged your vehicle, that party’s insurance company might reimburse you for a rental. Utah, however, is a no-fault car insurance state. That means you will only have the opportunity to hold the other driver’s insurer responsible for damages (via a personal injury claim) if they exceed $3,000. Discuss your accident with a Layton personal injury attorney to find out if someone else’s insurance might cover your rental vehicle.

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