Massachusetts Personal Injury Law Firm
111 Beach St., Ste. 1
Boston, MA 02111
Rental Vehicle Coverage Mistakes:
Does your insurance cover a rental car?
Who is going to pay for my rental car while my car is in the shop?
For many people, their car is essential to their daily life. How do you get to work? To the store? To the doctor? Losing your car (even temporarily) after a car accident can leave you stranded. Making sure your insurance covers a rental car is crucial to ensuring you are able to continue driving after your car is damaged or totaled in an accident. Substitute Transportation coverage pays for your replacement vehicle while your car is being repaired or while you are shopping for a new car after an accident. This is part two of our five part series on the mistakes we have seen people make with their car insurance.
This is what we’ve seen in our more than a decade in practice representing people who have been in car accidents.
Someone hits your car. You call us and we get your file setup. Then you ask us who will pay for your rental car while your car is being repaired or replaced. We ask if you have what is called Substitute Transportation coverage on your car insurance policy. If you do not, the question then is whether the other driver will admit fault. This other driver can give any excuse they want for why they were not at fault. Their insurance company can then use that excuse as a justification to not pay for your rental vehicle. This other driver's insurance doesn't have you as a customer. They don't care whether you can get to work or not.
What are your options? You will have to go through a lengthy process to try to prove the accident was not your fault. In the meantime, you either have to pay for your own rental vehicle out of pocket or try to get by without a car. If you pay for your own rental out of pocket, there is no guarantee the other insurance will ever admit responsibility and reimburse you. Even worse, what if the other driver has no insurance?
New Hampshire, our neighbor to the north, does not require car insurance on their vehicles. Even if you’re not at fault, if you don’t have Substitute Transportation coverage you can be forced to pay for your own rental or live without a car if the driver that hits you has no insurance to pay for your damages.
Can you get to work without a car?
Can you get to a doctor to get treatment for your injuries?
Can you afford to pay for a rental vehicle out of your own pocket?
If you have Substitute Transportation coverage on your vehicle, the process can be so much easier for you. Your car insurance arranges to pay for your rental vehicle. They then go after the other insurance to get reimbursed. In the meantime, you are back on the road.
Not having Substitute Transportation coverage can take away your car in a moment through no fault of your own. Make sure you understand what it means if you choose not to purchase Substitute Transportation coverage for your vehicle.
An Example of Collision Coverage on a Coverage Selection Sheet
The image below is a copy of one of atty. Segal's old car insurance coverage selection sheets. These show the different types of coverage on his auto policy. For purposes of this demonstration, the Substitute Transportation coverage provision is circled.
Part 10 is the Substitute Transportation coverage. This sheet shows that there is "30/900" coverage under this policy. This means that his rental vehicle would be covered up to $30 per day and $900 total. Any charges past this amount would no longer be covered.
Note that, if your vehicle is totaled, your insurance company may give you a limited time to replace your vehicle before they stop paying for your rental car.
What can you do to make sure you have the rental vehicle coverage you want?
You can request a copy of your Coverage Selection Sheet from your car insurance company at any time. If you have an account online, you can likely download a copy straight from your insurance company's website.
If you want to change any of the terms of your auto policy, such as adding Substitute Transportation coverage or changing the amount covered, call your insurance company to get pricing options and/or shop around with other insurance companies as soon as possible. The auto policy that applies to your accident will be whatever policy was active at the time of the collision, so make sure you are protected before getting into an accident.
What should you do if you have been involved in a car accident?
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle collision, the best thing you can do is speak with a legal expert as soon as possible to make sure you are taking the right steps towards making a full physical and economic recovery.
We have been working for more than a decade to make sure people injured in car accidents get the best recovery possible.
The time to file your claim is limited, so reach out to us today for your Free Consultation.
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