Florida car accidents can leave you and your passengers with serious, even life-threatening injuries. But even if your fender-bender results only in damage to your vehicle, you may find yourself without a car for weeks as your vehicle is repaired. This can be more than a minor inconvenience. Without a second car available for use, it can be difficult to return to work, run errands, get your children to school on time, or complete other tasks. You may find it necessary to rent a car from a car rental company until your vehicle is repaired. Will your car insurance company (or the other driver’s insurance company) pay for the car rental costs? The answer may depend on who is at fault for causing the crash.
Regardless of whether your insurance company pays for you to have a rental car or another driver’s insurance company does, the company paying for the rental car will only do so for a “reasonable time,” until your car is repaired, according to DMV.org. Each company will decide what constitutes a “reasonable time” for your situation after considering the extent of damage to your vehicle, the type of repairs that are necessary to your car, and the amount of time the company believes is necessary to complete the repairs.
Depending on your policy, you may be able to seek payment upfront for your car rental by having your insurance company make appropriate arrangements, or you may pay the expense out of pocket and submit it to your insurance company later for reimbursement. It is always a good idea to check your coverage to determine whether car rental costs are covered by your policy (see below). The Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking offers other tips for motorists regarding car rental costs and their insurance coverage.
(No insurance company will pay for a car rental while your vehicle is in the shop for routine repairs or maintenance that is not connected with a car crash.
If you are at fault for causing a car accident, or if your crash is caused by an uninsured motorist, your own car insurance company may pay for the cost of a car rental if it is necessary – but only if your policy provides such coverage. Some insurance policies do not automatically include coverage for car rental costs except as an additional premium. You should familiarize yourself with the coverage you have under your policy and ask your insurance agent about additional coverage you might need.
If another driver is at fault, his or her insurance company may be required to pay your rental car fees.
If your car is declared a total loss, your insurance company will likely give you a check for the value of the car, according to the terms of the policy. If there is any delay between the date of the accident and the time you receive your check from the insurance company, your insurance company may (but not necessarily must) pay the cost of the car rental.
The Tampa car accident law firm of Disparti Law Group, P.A. helps injured Florida motorists recover benefits and compensation following a Florida car crash. Our experienced attorneys can assist you in filing a claim with your insurance company, managing the claims process, and/or filing a car accident lawsuit against any at-fault driver responsible for your injuries. Call our office or contact us through our website to learn how we can assist you after a car crash.