How to Fight an Insurance Company for Rental Car Reimbursement

You need transportation while your car is being repaired.

You need transportation while your car is being repaired.

Insurance companies generally provide reimbursements for a car rental if your car is damaged in an accident. That means you pay upfront for the rental while waiting for the repairs on your car. Ask your insurance company how they handle rental reimbursement; don’t count on the insurance company to inform you.

Get Information

Read your insurance policy carefully before renting a car. Make sure the policy includes allowances for a rental car. The policy might include a cap on how much you can spend on a rental or for how many days, or that you can get a car similar to the one being repaired. You need transportation to get to and from work, as well as to continue your normal activities while your car is in the shop. Talk to the insurance agent for clarification on coverage for rented vehicles when your car has been damaged. Use the information to spend your allowed amount and stay in touch with the agent.

Neglect or Delay

Keep copies of the rental contract and receipts for the time and date the car was rented. Contact the insurance company when you notice a delay in reimbursement. Insurance agents and adjusters are interested in keeping payments as low as possible. Be polite, but firm, about the company’s obligation.

Reasonable Time

The insurance company might claim you have a limited time for the rental car. If your car has been totaled, you usually have a right to rent a car until you receive a check to buy new transportation, but this depends on your policy and state laws. You also have a right to a rental car for a reasonable time while your car is repaired. Sometimes this can cause debate between you and the insurance company. Keep all receipts from the repair shop to show when the car arrived and when it was released from the shop.

Other Driver

When you are not at fault for an accident, the at-fault driver's insurance company usually handles rental car reimbursement. This could cause difficulties. You have to be certain the company will reimburse you for an adequate amount. Reimbursement might take longer than dealing with your own company, so call the company often if there is a delay in payment. Companies might balk at paying, claiming they aren’t sure if their insured motorist was at fault. Have copies of the accident report and point out details supporting your claim. As a last resort, contact a personal injury attorney if you believe the company is trying to deny reimbursement.


About the Author

Jerry Shaw writes for Spice Marketing and LinkBlaze Marketing. His articles have appeared in Gannett and American Media Inc. publications. He is the author of "The Complete Guide to Trust and Estate Management" from Atlantic Publishing.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images