Do Insurance Companies Provide Rental Cars Until Repairs Are Made?

insurance company rental carIf you have been involved in an accident, then it is likely that your vehicle will require some repairs or even full replacement of the vehicle. One of the most common questions that I’m asked in terms of vehicle repairs is this: “Do insurance companies provide rental cars?”  To answer this question briefly, yes, insurance companies must cover the cost of a rental car until you are put back into the position you were in before the accident.  But it isn’t quite that simple, so lets go through process.

Liability must be determined before rental car coverage is granted by the insurance company

First thing that an insurance company will need to do is determine liability.  Insurance companies are only required to cover damages for which their driver is responsible for.  So, if the accident was not the fault of their driver, then they have no obligation to pay out any damages or repairs, including a rental car.  Insurance companies do, however, have an obligation to quickly investigate any coverage or liability.  NRS 686A.310(1) requires that insurance companies promptly investigate and process claims arising under insurance policies.

Typical hurdles in determining liability

Despite this law being in place, it is not uncommon for insurance companies to take weeks to arrive at a liability decision.  This is why a prudent personal injury attorney’s office will follow up daily until the liability determination is made.  Insurance companies will typically require that they possess a recorded statement from their insured and/or police report (if available) before they will make that determination.  In Nevada, it typically takes 10 days for a police report to be generated, sometimes longer if the accident resulted in death, serious injuries, or a crime, such as driving under the influence.  Once the Insurance company has these two items, they really don’t have much of an excuse for not making an immediate decision on liability.

You should be provided with a rental car once liability has been accepted by the insurance company

Once liability is accepted for a car accident, the insurance company must provide you you with a rental car as soon as your car is in the shop.  This is part of your damages, as it compensates you for your time without the vehicle.  Many people cannot wait that long before they get a rental, so you always have the option of getting the rental on your own and seeking reimbursement at once liability is accepted.  This is also why having a rental policy through your own insurance is a good idea.  A rental policy will guarantee that you will not be without a car, regardless of liability, in exchange for your deductible, which will be refunded once a favorable liability determination is made by the other driver’s insurance company.

Conclusion

You are entitled to all of your damages, if you need a rental car for a month, while your car is being fixed, then the other party’s insurance company should pay for it.  If your car is determined to be a total loss, then the insurance company should provide a rental until they give you or your lien holder a check for the market value of your vehicle.

What do you do if the insurance company is not working with you.  If the insurance companies are not acting in accordance with Nevada Law, then you should report them to the Nevada Division of Insurance.  The Nevada Division of Insurance has a useful website that you can use to look up whether an insurance company has an active license.

If you have been involved in a car accident and are having issues dealing with the insurance company, give lawyer Brian Boyer a call to discuss your case at no cost or obligation.

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