Most insurance companies will rent you car after an accident. All you have to do is go to the car rental counter with a claim number in hand, and it's generally taken care of. However, some smaller insurance companies who don't have relationships with the big car rental companies will tell you to rent your own car and they will "reimburse" you. This is not entirely true. They will reimburse you, but they don’t give you the "fine print." They will pay what THEY believe is reasonable.
If you rent a car for more than $25 a day or $30 a day, you may run into resistance when trying to get said reimbursement. The problem is that most rental car places won’t provide you with a comparable car for that daily rate. What the insurance company is willing to pay on a daily basis and what the real world charges are often two separate things. Therefore, if insurance company tells you they will "reimburse" you, DON'T believe them! You must find out how much they are willing to spend. Don’t go rent a car for $50 a day only to find out the insurance company is only willing to pay you $25 a day. They don’t tell you this information up front for reasons unknown to me. Once they tell you how much they are willing to pay per day, get it in writing or send them a confirmation yourself.
This is true if you rent a vehicle on your own policy as well. You may find you have a daily rate as well as a cap on the number of days you are allowed to rent a vehicle. In most cases, your own insurance company will pay about $25-$30 a day for up to 30 days. This is contractual between you and your insurance company.
With respect to another person’s insurance company, have the insurance company rent you a car directly whenever possible. Don't pay then have them "reimburse" you. In some cases, that may be your only option with some of the smaller players. Do not fall into the trap of renting a car on your own and then seeking reimbursement.
by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia,