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How Do I Get a Rental Car After an Accident?

If your car gets damaged in an accident and needs repairs, it might take a few weeks. Getting a rental car during this time can be tricky, but if you have rental reimbursement coverage, you might be in luck.

If the accident wasn’t your fault, you can check with the other driver’s insurance to see if they’ll cover the cost of a rental car for you. Conversely, if the accident was your fault, your own car insurance company can help, but only if you have rental reimbursement coverage in your policy.

Next, you’ll need to choose a rental car company and bring them with essential documents such as a valid driver’s license, proof of insurance, and a credit card for security. Furthermore, you might also need to provide an accident report or a repair estimate.

Pay close attention to the terms and conditions of your rental car agreement and understand any fees, fuel policies, mileage limits, and available insurance options. Moreover, maintain records of all receipts for the rental car, such as fuel purchases and repair costs.

If you need assistance getting a rental car after an accident, contact Uptown Injury Law, PLLC, New York car accident attorneys for a complimentary case evaluation. Our team will thoroughly examine your incident and guide you in obtaining your rental car and seeking compensation for any additional damages. Call us at 917-540-8728.

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A Basic Way to Get a Rental Car After an Accident

If you’re in a car accident in New York and it’s not your fault, getting a rental car is crucial. In such a case, your first priority is to get a police or accident report, usually provided by the local sheriff in your area.

This report is key evidence that highlights details about the other driver’s responsibility. Having the police report not only strengthens your case for maximum compensation but also helps you claim the costs of renting a car after the accident.

Therefore, here are a few steps you can take to secure your rental vehicle:

  • Ensure you get all the necessary information from the at-fault driver, such as their full name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, and insurance coverage details.
  • Collect contact details and statements from any witnesses at the accident scene to strengthen your case.
  • Take photos of everything at the accident spot, including damage to your car, any injuries, and the adverse weather and road conditions that might have caused the accident.
  • File the accident report. In New York, you have a deadline of 10 days to report your accident to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You can find the form (MV-104) online or at your local police office. Missing this deadline could lead to your driver’s license suspension.
  • Talk to an experienced car accident lawyer. Insurance companies might try to shortchange you, reject your claim, and offer inadequate compensation for rental car costs. But, a lawyer can help you deal with the tactics of insurance companies and ensure you are treated fairly.

How to Make the Rental Car Process Easy After an Accident?

To ensure a hassle-free rental car process after a collision, report the accident to the police and your insurance company ASAP. In NYC, remember to notify the police or DMV within 10 days of the incident. You also have 30 days to file a written notice of claim with your insurance and up to 3 years to file a lawsuit against the responsible party. 

Meeting these deadlines speeds up the rental car process. Reach out to a Uptown Injury New York car accident lawyer to discuss and take the best action for your case.

Moreover, check your insurance policy to understand your rental car reimbursement coverage. If you have it, this coverage can help pay for car repairs and rental costs. Without it, you’ll need to cover these expenses upfront.

Coverage Limits in Rental Car Reimbursement Coverage

Understand your coverage limits, both daily and per claim, to avoid surprises later on. For example, if your coverage allows $35 per day with an $800 limit. In this case, your insurance company will pay up to $35 per day for rental expenses but not more than $800 for the entire accident claim.

You can rent a car from any provider and location, but initially, you’ll have to pay the expenses yourself. Your insurance will later reimburse those costs within the limits of your coverage. In such cases, be prepared to provide a credit card for the rental car company’s security deposit. Also, be aware of the rental car’s fuel and mileage policies, as certain costs, such as gas, are not always covered.

In case of a covered claim, keep all rental car documents like the agreement, inspection reports, and receipts. Submit these receipts and reports to your insurance company for reimbursement. This will smooth the process and allow you to maintain your routine even if your primary vehicle is temporarily unavailable.

How Does the Rental Car Reimbursement Coverage Work?

Rental car reimbursement coverage is a helpful addition to your auto insurance. It covers your rental car expenses when your main vehicle is getting repaired due to an accident. This coverage ensures you’re not stranded without a ride during the repair period and reimburses you for renting a substitute vehicle.

Remember, this coverage is optional and comes with an extra premium. To activate it, you need to have comprehensive collision coverage already on your policy, as these coverages protect your vehicle from various damages.

Unlike comprehensive and collision coverage, rental car reimbursement coverage usually has no deductible. However, remember that your comprehensive and collision coverage might still have a deductible ranging from $250, $500, $1,000, and higher. And you’ll have to pay this deductible for your vehicle’s repairs.

Insurance Companies and Rental Car Companies Partnerships

Many insurance companies have partnered with specific rental car companies, making the process smoother for you. In such cases, the rental car company directly bills your insurance provider. For instance, if you’re insured with Geico, their partnership with Enterprise Rent-A-Car means the rental costs will be billed directly to Geico. Similarly, Hertz (rental car company) partners with Allstate and State Farm insurance companies.

However, if you opt for a rental car company that isn’t affiliated with your insurance company. In that case, you’ll need to cover the expenses upfront and later seek reimbursement from your insurance provider.

It’s worth noting that rental car reimbursement coverage differs from rental car insurance. You can use rental car insurance to secure a vehicle for a vacation or other non-repair-related needs. However, rental car reimbursement coverage solely kicks in when your vehicle is undergoing repairs due to an insurance claim.

Filing a Claim to Get My Rental Car

When it comes to filing a claim to get your rental car, you have two options:

  • At-fault driver’s insurance company
  • Your own insurance company

1. At-Fault Driver Insurance Company

One option to get a rental car is to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company if you’re not at fault. This means the at-fault driver’s insurance will cover all your rental car costs and damages.

When getting a rental car through the at-fault driver’s insurance, be careful during the claims process. This is because the at-fault driver insurance company might ask to record your statements, claiming it’s necessary to cover your rental expenses and damages. However, this isn’t always true.

Be cautious during recorded statements, as the questions could be tricky and automatically harm your claim. The insurance company may use your answers to reject your claim or make it harder to get reimbursed for your rental car expenses.

Additionally, insurance companies prefer to speak directly with the driver at fault. If this occurs, the at-fault driver might deny causing the accident. Thus making it more challenging for you to process your claim.

2. Your Insurance Company

If the at-fault driver refuses to pay your rental car costs, you can turn to your own insurance. But here’s the catch – your insurance will only help if you have rental reimbursement coverage in your policy.

While some might think it’s an easy fix, it’s not always straightforward unless you’ve added rental car reimbursement coverage to your insurance. Surprisingly, many skip this coverage, thinking they won’t need it. But here’s the thing: nowadays, modern car insurance policies require you to have this coverage. The good news is, it’s not a big expense – usually just $1 to $2 extra per month. Investing in this can make things much smoother for you, ensuring you can get a rental car without a fuss when you need one.

Expected Duration to Get a Rental Car After a Collision

The expected duration of getting a rental car after a car crash depends on the at-fault driver owning up to their mistake and informing your insurance company right away. But things might take longer if your insurer isn’t sure who’s to blame or if the other driver doesn’t have rental coverage.

Sometimes, insurance companies delay covering your rental costs until they finish a detailed investigation. It’s important to know that they often wait until they’re clear on who’s responsible.

To make this process smoother, it’s a good idea to talk to a reliable car accident lawyer. They can help you understand what choices you have and make sure things get back on track after the accident.

Time Limits for Keeping a Rental Car After a Car Crash

You can keep the rental car until your own car is fixed or the at-fault driver’s insurance settles your claim. But, if your car is declared a total loss, there might be a limit on how long you can use the rental vehicle. To understand these details in your insurance policy, it’s wise to talk to a car accident lawyer.

Additionally, if the at-fault driver’s insurance has given you a settlement, they usually allow an extra 24-48 hours to return the rental car. Sometimes, you can keep a rental car for 5 days after receiving your settlement amount. 

For clear guidance on the specific timelines of your rental car, consult with Uptown Injury New York car accident attorney. They can assist you in dealing with your situation effectively.

Does Your Auto Insurance Extend to Rental Vehicles?

Yes, your existing primary car insurance may extend some coverage to your rental car, which typically includes:

Liability Coverage: This often extends to rental cars to recover damages or injuries you may cause to others while driving your rental car, typically up to $1 million.

Collision Coverage: If you have this coverage on your policy, it can apply to your rental car to cover damage to your rental vehicle in an accident.

Comprehensive Coverage: This is applicable to your rental car to cover non-accident-related damage like theft or vandalism.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP): These coverages can help you pay for your medical expenses resulting from an accident in the rental car.

However, the specific coverage and limits can vary depending on your insurance policy. Therefore, it’s crucial to contact your insurance provider and a car accident lawyer for details.

What Types of Rental Cars Are Typically Available?

When you find yourself in need of a rental car after an accident, you’ll likely have several options to choose from, but not limited to, such as:

Economy Cars: These are small, fuel-efficient cars that are great for your travel to work. These are also budget-friendly.

Compact Cars: Slightly larger than economy cars, compact cars offer more space for you and your family.

Full-Size Cars: If you need more space for your luggage, full-size cars provide comfortable seating and ample storage capacity.

SUVs: Sport utility vehicles (SUVs) are ideal for your off-road adventures or transporting a larger group.Luxury Cars: If you want to travel with style in a luxury car, some rental agencies offer such options, providing you with the utmost comfort and sophistication.

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Why You Need a Rental Car After an Accident?

After an auto accident, the need for a rental car can arise for different reasons. Therefore, here are some common scenarios where getting a rental car becomes crucial:

  1. If your car sustains damage in the accident, it is unsafe to drive. In such cases, you’ll need a rental car to ensure your safety and continued mobility.
  2. Even if your car is repairable, it might take days or weeks in the repair shop. During this time, a rental car can bridge the gap, allowing you to continue your daily activities.
  3. In cases where you have a totaled car, which means your car is declared a total loss in your accident. In such cases, a rental car is necessary if you need a replacement vehicle. Some car rental insurance companies have rental coverage options, it’s wise to take advantage of them to minimize your out-of-pocket expenses.
  4. Insurance companies need time to assess the damage and liability after your car accident. While this process continues, a rental car ensures you’re not alone.
  5. If your accident results in injuries or legal proceedings, you may need transportation for medical appointments or court appearances. A rental car provides the necessary mobility.
  6. If you don’t have access to alternative transportation like public transit, carpooling, or rideshare services, a rental car becomes your solution.

Contact Uptown Injury New York Car Accident Lawyers Today

At Uptown Injury Law, PLLC, we understand the stress and inconvenience car accidents can bring, and we’re here to help you through every step of the process. Our experienced New York car accident attorneys are here to support you in your time of need. We ensure you have full support in recovering your damages while you focus on your well-being.

With over 15 years of experience, we showcase a solid history of securing settlements and verdicts totaling $100 million for individuals like yourself who have faced challenging cases. Our clients consistently award us 5-star ratings. This is a testament to our commitment, compassion, and expertise in managing your case.

Operating on a contingency fee basis, we stand by the principle that you only pay us if we win your case. This means you have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain in safeguarding your rights. Contact us or call us at 917-540-8728 for an OBLIGATION-FREE consultation today.

FAQs

Can I Get a Rental Car After an Accident if the Accident Wasn’t My Fault?

Yes, in such cases, your insurance company or the at-fault driver’s insurance company covers your rental car expenses until your vehicle is repaired or you receive a fair settlement. Get in touch with Uptown Injury Law, PLLC, lawyer to figure out the best choice for your situation.

How Do I Arrange a Rental Car After an Accident?

Contact your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident. They will guide you through the process and provide you with the contact information of reliable rental car providers or companies. Insurance companies often have preferred rental car partners. You can opt for the rental car company associated with your insurance company. And you can choose a different one that is not affiliated with your insurance company. Contact your car accident lawyer to choose a suitable option for you.

Will My Insurance Cover the Total Cost of the Rental Car?

It depends on your insurance policy. Most insurance policies include coverage for a rental car, but there may be limits on the daily rate or the total amount covered. Check with your insurer and a skilled car accident lawyer for specifics of your case.

Do I Have to Pay a Deductible for the Rental Car?

No, deductibles apply to repair your own vehicle, not to the rental car. However, you have to pay a small deposit that will be refunded when you return the rental car in good condition.

How Long Can I Keep the Rental Car After the Accident?

You can keep a rental car for five days after receiving your settlement or if your car goes into a total loss (totaled). Additionally, you can keep your rental car until your vehicle’s repair. Be sure to communicate with your insurer and car accident attorney for a clear timeframe.

Can I Choose Any Rental Car I Want, or Am I Limited to Specific Types?

The type of rental car you can get depends on your insurance policy’s terms and the availability of vehicles from the rental car company. Usually, you’ll get a similar-sized rental car to your own vehicle.

What to Do if the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Denies Rental Car Coverage?

If the at-fault driver’s insurance refuses the coverage for your rental car. In that case, you must use your rental reimbursement coverage. And file a claim with your own insurance company to recover your rental car expenses. Hence, make sure to consult a car accident lawyer or your insurance provider for guidance.

What if I Exceed the Rental Car Coverage Limit in My Insurance?

If you surpass the coverage limit, you will be responsible for paying the additional rental car costs. You should clarify these limits with your insurance company before renting the car to avoid unexpected expenses.

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Kyle Newman Founder and Senior Trial Lawyer at Uptown Injury Law New York's Best Personal Injury Medical Malpractice and Accident Law firm New York's Top Trial Lawyers
WRITTEN AND REVIEWED BY
Kyle Newman Founder and Senior Trial Lawyer at Uptown Injury Law New York's Best Personal Injury Medical Malpractice and Accident Law firm New York's Top Trial Lawyers

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