Question: I was involved in a car accident. My car was damaged. What does the insurance company owe me for a rental car?
When you get in an accident, there will be a few days when your car is not driveable, either due to the damage or to repairs. Sometimes, it will even be longer. So what does the insurance company owe you?
You are entitled to a like, kind and quality rental. So, if you own an SUV, you get an SUV. If you own a compact car, you get a compact car. Of course, be careful. The rental agencies sometimes call subcompacts as compacts so make sure that the car is actually similar to what you drive. If your car is a 4 door Honda Civic, do not settle for a 2 door Toyota Tercel. (Does Toyota still make the Tercel?)
What do you do if the other person’s insurance company refuses to pay? (Of course, if it is your insurance company and you do not have rental coverage, they won’t pay anything.) First, you should ask to speak to a supervisor about it. If the rental car agency did not have your size car available, ask the rental car agency for a letter about why you ended up in a bigger car. Most of the time, they will write this letter for you without a problem. If they will not write a letter, a supervisor or manager will typically get involved. That should be resolved pretty easily.
Second, if the supervisor won’t resolve it, a letter to the person who hit you, with a copy of the invoice, will get their attention. This person does not want to be bothered and pay for it. So they will call their insurance
Finally, you may have to consider small claims court, but if you were injured, make sure you talk to an attorney before filing in small claims court. You may be able to recover for your rental in small claims court.
One final note: you do NOT need to rent a car. If you do not rent a car, you are still entitled to loss of use. This requires the other person’s insurance company to pay you what it would have cost to rent a car. If that would have been $25 per day, the insurance company owes you $25 per day for every day you do not rent a car.
If you have questions, of course, you need to talk to an attorney.