If you were in a car accident in Georgia, chances are your vehicle will need repair or even replacement. This can leave you wondering how to get around without your main mode of transportation. Thankfully, you can obtain a rental car while your own vehicle is being fixed (or while you’re negotiating a settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurance company). And if the accident was not your fault, you should not have to pay for the costs of your rental car.
Does the Insurance Company Pay for My Rental Car?
Most of the time, yes. At least, they should.
The person who caused your accident (usually another driver) is ultimately liable for all expenses from a crash in Georgia. That includes rental car fees as you wait to get your vehicle repaired. In most cases, that means you’ll need to file an insurance claim with the driver’s auto insurance company. If you have rental car costs while your car is in the repair shop, those costs can be included in your claim and as part of your settlement.
If the other driver is found at fault soon after your accident and their insurance company accepts your insurance claim, you can get paid for the rental car soon. Unfortunately, it’s not always this simple or straightforward.
Insurance companies are known for seeking out ways to pay less, deny a claim, or drag out the process hoping you’ll accept a lower amount or drop the claim altogether. That’s where an Atlanta car accident lawyer can help. An experienced lawyer will help you build a strong insurance claim and negotiate with the insurance company if they try to offer you much less than you deserve. They can also help speed up the process so you ideally get paid sooner.
Does My Own Car Insurance Ever Pay for a Rental Car?
If you purchased car rental insurance with your own insurance company, you can file a claim for your rental car costs. This is only possible if you carry car rental insurance, which is not required in Georgia.
Check your insurance policy to find out whether or not you purchased rental insurance. If you do carry it, filing a claim can help if you were in an uninsured motorist accident and the driver did not have insurance to pay your costs.
Keep in mind there’s usually a maximum coverage amount—per day and/or per accident—that your auto insurance will pay for your rental car. Depending on the details of your policy, the maximum may not cover the full cost of the car rental.
What Happens After My Claim for a Rental Car is Approved?
If you make a claim with the other driver’s insurance and they approve your claim, the insurer will likely work with a rental car company to get you a rental. Depending on the situation, the car will either be delivered to you or you’ll pick it up from the rental company.
Again, remember that insurance companies are “cheap.” They may try to offer you the smallest, cheapest vehicle the rental company has. But if you filed a claim, they should provide you with a car that is comparable to the vehicle you were driving before the accident. If this happens, call your car accident attorney. They may be able to tell you to get a rental that is closer to the quality of your own car.
If you are getting the rental car through your own rental insurance, your options may be more limited if your policy only covers a certain daily cost.
Will I Have to Pay Anything Before the Insurance Company Accepts My Claim?
The rental car company may ask you for a credit card to put on file before they’ll give you the rental. The company might also encourage you to buy insurance to cover the car while you’re driving it. This is usually unnecessary, especially if you already have collision insurance through your car insurance company.
In some cases, the other driver’s insurance company will drag out their decision or challenge who is actually at fault. This is difficult because you need something to drive now but don’t yet have an insurance offer. If you don’t have rental coverage through your own insurance, you might be left paying out-of-pocket until a settlement is made to reimburse your costs.
If you cannot afford to pay out of pocket for a rental car, a lawyer may be able to help you fight for a speedier settlement. Since working with most personal injury lawyers is no-risk (they don’t get paid unless they win you money), we recommend scheduling a free consultation with an attorney who can walk you through your options.
Need Help with Your Car Accident Claim in Georgia?
John Foy & Associates has been helping car accident victims get paid what they deserve for more than two decades. We know what it takes to win cases, and we work solely for accident victims. If you need help with getting a rental car—or any other aspects of your claim—after an accident, call us today for a FREE consultation to discuss the details. To get started, call 404-400-4000 or fill out the form on this page to get your free consultation.