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.
VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: Hello everybody, this is Robert Mansour, and I'm a lawyer in the Los Angeles area. One of my areas of practice is personal injury law. Now most of the time I help my clients with the injury portion of their case, but sometimes I help them with the property damage as well.
One of the issues that comes up relative to property damage is whether or not you should rent a car and how you should go about doing it. You have a few options. The first option that you can do is not rent a car at all. If you don't really need to rent a car and maybe you don't need to do that and what you can ask for is something called "loss of use" which means that you can ask the other party's insurance company for something called "loss of use" which means, let's say, you were out of a car for a week or two weeks because of the accident.
You can ask for roughly $20 or$25 a day for that rental even though you didn't really actually rent a car. They are compensating you for the loss of use of your vehicle. Now let's say you really do need to rent a car. The preferred method of it is to go through your own insurance company if you have rental insurance, and the reason for that is because they're your insurance company. They owe you a duty. You have a contract with them, and you go basically rent a car at a place, they pay for it, and you're done.
The other thing that you can do also, if you don't have rental car insurance and you really need to rent a car, you can go to the other party's insurance company and ask them to rent a car for you. But here's the trick. Sometimes they'll say, "Oh, you can go ahead and rent a car and we'll pay you back." And so you go rent a car thinking everything is fine and then you come and ask them to pay you, and they're like, "Oh, you rented a car for $30 a day. We only pay $20 a day." And then you find yourself in a deficit.
So make sure you find out how much they're going to pay for it before you even bother, but better yet find out if their insurance company has a relationship with a rental car company. For example, say, "Hey, listen, do you guys have a contract with Enterprise or Alamo or Hertz?" Because if they do it might be better for you to go there, present a claim number, and have them rent a car for you and then bill the other party's insurance company.
Then you're done because generally speaking they haven't negotiated a rate so don't get yourself in a financial hole that you can't get out of. If you want to talk about this or other issues related to personal injury cases, please feel free to contact my office at the phone number listed on the screen, or you can also visit www.valencialawyer.com which is my website.
Thank you very much for watching, and I hope you found this video to be helpful. If you need help with your Santa Clarita car accident case, give my office a call at (661) 414-7100.
by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia,