Who Is Responsible for My Rental Car While My Vehicle Is Being Repaired?

February 21, 2020

Being without a working vehicle can be one of the hardest parts of recuperating from a car accident in Arizona. While mechanics fix your car, you still need to get to work and other regular activities. You could rent a car, but this will add to the mounting expenses you are already facing because of your car accident. Unless, that is, an insurance company covers the costs. Find out if and when insurance might pay for a rental after an auto accident in Arizona.

Will At-Fault Insurance Pay for My Rental Car?

Arizona is an at-fault insurance state, meaning the driver that caused your wreck will be financially accountable for your losses. You will file a third-party insurance claim with the at-fault party’s insurer to receive compensation for losses such as hospital bills and property repairs. The at-fault driver’s insurance company will also cover the costs of a rental vehicle while yours is in the shop. The at-fault driver’s auto insurer must lawfully pay for your rental vehicle if the crash damaged or totaled your car. It does not matter if the at-fault driver does not have rental car insurance. Since you did not cause the crash, you will not have to pay.

Do I Get a Rental Car After an Accident If It Was Not My Fault?

Yes, you get a rental car, all-expenses-paid, after a car accident if the crash was not your fault. You must include your need for a rental car in your insurance demand letter. When you file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer, state that you will need a rental car until you get your vehicle back or purchase a new one. The at-fault party’s insurance company must pay your rental car bill for as long as you reasonably need the vehicle. They must pay you for a rental car of the same caliber as the one you crashed. It cannot force you to drive a compact car, for example, if the at-fault party wrecked your SUV.

Can I Get Rental Reimbursement After an Accident?

If you already paid upfront to rent a car after an accident you did not cause, do not worry. You can list your rental expenses as part of your settlement demand to recover the costs of the rental later from the other driver’s insurer. If you caused the car accident, however, you may have to pay out of pocket for a rental car without reimbursement. The exception is if you have the right type of insurance. Rental car insurance is optional in Arizona, available for a nominal extra fee. If you purchased this type of insurance, your provider will cover your rental fees whether you caused the crash or not. If you do not have rental insurance, you may have no choice but to pay for the rental yourself.

How Do I Get a Rental Car After an Accident?

The insurance company paying for your rental vehicle should give you instructions on how to get the vehicle. Find out which rental car company your insurance company works with. Then, have a friend drive you or take a cab to the insurance company’s rental car partner. You can list these travel expenses as part of your insurance settlement demand. The insurance company will pay for a vehicle in the same class as yours. Do not expect the insurer to pay for a sports car, for example, if you crashed an economy car.

You will either pay for the rental up front and receive reimbursement from the insurance company later or the rental company will work directly with your insurer. In most cases, if you go to the rental company the insurer recommended, they will have a contract together and you will not need to pay for your rental upfront. Otherwise, you may have to pay to rent the car and list these expenses later. The insurance company can let you know what to expect from your specific process. If you have trouble acquiring rental vehicle reimbursement, contact an accident attorney for assistance.