If you get into an accident, your car may be out of service for a few days, weeks or even longer while it’s being repaired – but you will still need to get to work, doctor’s appointments, school and other places in the meantime. If you choose to rent a car, find out if and when an insurance company will pay for the rental or reimburse you for this expense in Texas.
When Does Insurance Cover a Rental Car?
First, you will need to determine which insurance company you are using for financial benefits after an automobile accident. Texas uses a fault law
, meaning you will file a claim with the insurance company of the driver who caused the crash after an investigation determines fault. If you caused the crash, you will turn to your own policy for coverage. In Texas, if you only have the minimum required amounts of car insurance, it may not pay for your rental car. The required types of insurance in Texas only pay for the other driver’s expenses, not your own. Call your insurer to find out if you purchased rental car coverage.
If the other driver caused your crash, your rental car costs will most likely be covered. Rental car coverage is included in property damage liability insurance, as this pays for all of a victim’s expenses connected to an accident. The other driver’s liability coverage will pay for your travel costs and the price of renting a car while you wait for yours to get out of the shop. If the other driver is uninsured or underinsured
, however, you may have no choice but to use your own insurance or try to hold a third party responsible for your rental car costs.
How to Get Your Rental Car Costs Paid
If you get into a car accident, collect as much evidence as possible. Search for evidence to prove that the other driver is at fault and proof of your losses. Take photographs while you are still at the scene of the car accident. Write a detailed description of what happened, what direction you were traveling, how fast you were going, what the weather was like and any other pertinent details. Call the police to report the accident immediately and tell the officer your side of the story.
Further along in the recovery process, you will need to provide evidence documenting your losses to the insurance company that is receiving your claim. If you had to rent a car after your car accident and used your own money, submit the receipt for the rental car with your insurance claim. If the insurance company accepts the claim, it will reimburse you for the price of the rental. The car that you choose must be similar or equivalent to the car that was damaged, however; an insurance company will not pay for a sports car rental, for example, if the damaged car is an economy vehicle.
In other cases, the insurance company handling your claim will contact you and tell you to rent a car from a specific provider and pay for it ahead of time. Many car insurance companies partner with rental car companies for this purpose. In this scenario, the insurance company would arrange for you to pick up a rental car that it has already paid for. The insurer will work directly with the rental car company to pay for your rental rather than you paying upfront and getting reimbursed later.
Get Help From an Attorney
Getting all of your expenses paid after a car accident in Texas can be difficult as a crash victim. You may have to deal with bad-faith insurance tactics meant to take advantage of you. If you need assistance collecting financial compensation to pay for a rental car in Dallas, contact a car accident attorney
. A lawyer can take over negotiations with an insurance company for you in the pursuit of fair and full reimbursement.