So you get in an accident and your car is a total loss, now what?
First, you want the car taken out of the body shop. The body shop will charge storage, and if the other insurance company is going to pay you for your car, you do not want the car accruing storage charges. No one will pay these – except you. Let the insurance company move your car to a junk yard.
Second, figure out what the car is worth. I have said this before, and I will say it again. Go to Cars.com and do the math yourself. Find similar cars for sale and get the average. This is not an exact way to determine your car’s value, but it is close enough. If there are cars for sale at a dealership, go to the dealership and see what they sell for there. Once you have an idea of what your car is worth, add in sales tax and unused registration. If the insurance company is within 10%, you are doing well.
Third, you are entitled to a rental car. How long? That is a good question. The insurance company will tell you that you are entitled to a rental car until they make an offer. You probably have a week after they make you a REASONABLE offer. Reasonable means something close to the value of your car. If they offer you $10,000 for a $30,000 car, then that is not reasonable. I would tell you that you are still entitled to a rental car until they get reasonable. However, I am not aware of any cases on point. (Note that if you do not rent a car, you are still entitled to loss of use.)
Finally, whatever you do, you do not want to keep the car. I cannot count the number of times a client has insisted on keeping the totalled car, and then come complaining about the vehicle later. It is a total loss for a reason. Let it go.
When your car is a total loss, you can do some work to make sure you get what you are entitled to. A little time now will avoid hassles down the road.