When you’re involved in a car accident, it can be one of the most stressful times someone has to experience. You have to deal with your car repair, possible injuries, insurance, and more. The last thing that you’d ever think about dealing with is not being covered for a rental car while your car is in the shop. Unfortunately, this happens much too often, and car owners are faced with additional problems that they shouldn’t have to be worrying about in the first place.
Are you covered?
So, how do you know if you’re guaranteed a rental under your policy while your car is being repaired, here in Palmdale? Well, the simplest and easiest way is to check with your insurance company to see if you have rental coverage. It’s not required for you to have this coverage. However, it’s highly encouraged and can save you a lot of money if you’re ever without your car, regardless of being in an accident. Not to mention, it’s an extremely reasonable rate provided from just about every insurance company. Though certain policies only pay for a portion of the rental during the time your car is being repaired and you’ll have to pay for the difference.
What if the repair takes longer than I’m covered for?
Most policies have a limit on how long you can have the rental, either based on how long it the repair takes or when your coverage limit runs out. However, if the repair takes longer than the estimate because there’s a delay due to the insurance adjuster or the shop needs to order parts, then you’ll most likely run out of rental time covered by your insurance. This also happens when your car is totaled (aka “total loss”), and you now have to shop around for a replacement vehicle. When any of those scenarios happen, you’ll be required to pay out of pocket for the cost of the rental.
What if the other driver was at fault?
If you were not at fault in the accident, then you should have the other driver’s insurance company pay for your rental car directly. You can do this by filing a claim and presenting sufficient enough evidence (including a police report) to prove you are innocent. That said, you’ll need to seek reimbursement for your rental retroactively if one of two scenarios happen. The first would be if the other insurance company is slow to accept responsibility. The other reason will be if you need a rental car right away. If this happens, check with your policy to see if you have rental reimbursement.
What if I don’t have insurance?
It is against the law in most states to be driving without insurance. You can face serious consequences, regardless of whether or not you’re in an accident. This can include loss of license and even jail time.
If you caused a car accident and you don’t have insurance, then prepare for the victims to sue you. This process is different if you’re in one of the 12 “no-fault” insurance states. If someone else caused the accident, each state has its own expense limit on what you can recover when you don’t have insurance.
California is known as a “no pay, no play” state. What this means is you may be required to pay a large deductible towards repairs before you’re able to sue for the cost of property damage. Also, “…uninsured drivers are prevented from suing for damages that can’t be quantified with a dollar amount. These include physical pain, emotional distress, and mental suffering.” (nerdwallet.com)
Best advice? Never drive without having insurance.
What body shop in Palmdale can I trust?
Here at Telesis Collision Center, we are committed to helping you throughout the entire repair process. We know this is an extremely stressful time, and we want to help ease that stress. We’ll work with any insurance company. We even offer to tow to our location! Our repairs are done by our I-CAR Gold Class technicians, which is the highest and most current level of training an auto repair technician can receive.
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