I was rear-ended last week and my car is not drivable. It was towed to the dealer where it now sits. I have no transportation – is the insurance company going to pay for a rental car?
The answer to this question is “it depends.”
Your Insurance Company
Your first call should be to your own insurance agent or company. Ask if you have rental coverage that applies if you have an accident in which your car is not drivable. If so, this will be your fastest route to getting a rental car.
Most policies contain a limit on either the total cost of rental coverage and the total number of days for which they will pay. Make sure that you understand the limits of your coverage
The Other Driver’s Insurance Company
If you do not have rental coverage through your own insurance, you may be able to get a rental vehicle through the other driver’s insurance company. This only happens if the other driver’s carrier accepts liability for the accident quickly.
Here, too, the at fault driver’s insurance company will usually only agree to a set number of days of coverage and/or a specific daily rate (i.e. $20 per day for rental coverage). This means that if you want to rent an SUV, you may have to pick up some of the cost.
Generally the at fault driver’s insurance will only pay for rental car coverage if your vehicle is repairable. Once it is declared a total loss, they will not pay for a rental. There is an unusual law in Georgia called the “horse & buggy rule” which only obligates the at fault driver’s insurance carrier to pay for your rental vehicle while your vehicle is being fixed.