Am I Guaranteed A Rental Car Under My Policy When My Car Is Being Repaired?

Nobody gets in the car in the morning, knowing it’s only a matter of time before you get in a car accident. That’s why, when it happens, it is easily one of the most stressful experiences a person can ever go through. To think that your insurance company might not cover you for a rental while your car is in the shop is a guaranteed way to make things worse that what they already are. 

Am I covered?

Not a day goes by where a customer doesn’t come into our shop, wondering if they will be covered for a rental car while getting their car repaired. The fastest way to do this is to call your insurance company directly. Having rental car coverage is not a requirement, but we definitely recommend it because you never know when you’ll be without your car. It might not even be because of an accident, but other reasons where you need a rental car. Not to mention, it’s a very reasonable rate that is very affordable for most drivers.

It’s important to know that 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 time period for the length of the rental, based on two different things: how long the repair takes or when the coverage limit reaches its limit. 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 from the factory, then you’ll most likely run out of rental time covered by your insurance. This typically happens when your car is totaled (aka deemed a “total loss”), and you’re now looking 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, there are a couple of scenarios where you’ll need to seek reimbursement for your rental retroactively. One scenario would be if the other insurance company is slow to accept responsibility. This does happen often, especially when there’s a lot of back-and-forth going on between who did what, etc. The other would be if you need a rental car right away but you don’t have any other methods of transportation. If this happens, check with your insurance policy to see if you have rental reimbursement.

What if I don’t have insurance?

In all states, it’s illegal to be driving without insurance. There are serious consequences for this, which can include losing your license and possibly jail time. Never take the risk of driving without insurance. 

If someone else caused the accident, every state has its own expense limit on what you can recover when you don’t have insurance. However, if you caused a car accident and you don’t have insurance, then you need to be ready for the other drivers to sue you.

This process is different if you’re in one of the 12 “no-fault” insurance states. Anytown is one of them. Because Anytown is known as a “no-fault” state, that also means it is one of the 12 states that require a specific policy known as, “Personal Injury Protection,” aka “PIP.” Personal Injury Protection pays for any injuries caused by a car accident, no matter who is at fault. 

PIP also pays for medical bills, funeral costs, services you’re unable to perform such as child care and housework, and much more. All New Jersey (and the other no-fault states) drivers are required to carry a PIP policy. Since New Jersey is one of the no-fault states, it’s a requirement to have PIP. 

To learn more about PIP, ask your insurance provider or click here

What body shop can I trust?

Whether you just got your car repaired, are searching for an auto body shop, or simply want to have the knowledge, we at Acme Auto Body are here to help. We know how confusing the whole process can be, especially if you’re unsure if you will be covered for a rental car under your policy. We are determined to work with you throughout the entire process, including working with your insurance company. That’s why we promise to get you back to your normal life, quickly and safely. 

We look forward to hearing from you and helping you with your auto repair needs!

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