If your family has only one car and you get into an automobile accident, you undoubtedly now find yourself in a very inconvenient situation.
The solution is obvious: get a rental car while yours is being repaired, but this might not always be so simple. Even though the insurance company should take care of the details for you, this may not happen, and you will have to figure it out for yourself.
There are several different scenarios regarding who will pay for your rental:
The At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company
If the accident wasn’t your fault, the at-fault driver’s insurance company should technically accept liability and pay for your rental vehicle for as long as it takes to either repair your car or obtain a new one, if your car was totaled in the accident. However, if the at-fault driver’s insurance company won’t accept responsibility and instead fights the claim, your best option may be to turn to your own insurance company.
Your Insurance Company
Your next logical step will be to check with your own insurance company to see if you have rental reimbursement coverage. This is not an admission of liability, and your company will contact the at-fault driver’s insurance company to recoup payment for your rental once liability has been established.
Your Own Pocket
Worst-case scenario: if an uninsured driver hit you, the at-fault driver’s insurance company refuses to accept liability, or you don’t have rental coverage on your own policy, you will have to pay for your rental car out of your own pocket. Once liability is established, you will be entitled to recover the money you spend on the rental, but in the meantime, you’ll likely be expected to foot the bill yourself.