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Renting a Car in Tampa After an Accident
Renting a Car in Tampa After an Accident

Renting a Car in Tampa After an Accident

You’ve just gotten into an accident, now what? Your car is damaged and you need to take your kids to school, get to work, and run errands. It’s quite likely you’re wondering if you can get a rental car and who will pay for it after a Tampa car accident.

Unfortunately, many car accident victims find themselves at odds with insurance companies while trying to get a rental car after a car accident. Ideally, insurance would cover most or all damages in a car accident. But in Florida, it’s not that simple. There are plenty of uninsured drivers and insurance companies who intentionally use unfair tactics to minimize payout and maximize their profits.

In this article, we’ll explain exactly how to go about getting a rental car after a Tampa car accident. We’ll also discuss insurance issues such as which company is responsible for paying and how long you may be entitled to get coverage for a rental.

The bottom line is that if you sustained property damage in a car accident that was someone else’s fault, you have a legal right to rental car coverage. The at fault insurance company has a legal obligation to pay for your rental car, as long as you were not at fault.

The Florida Department of Insurance rules and regulations give broad protections to car accident victims with replacement vehicles that are similar in size and class to their damaged vehicle. So for instance, if you drove an SUV that another negligent driver crashed into, the insurance company is responsible for providing you with a similar car.

How Do I Get a Rental Car After a Tampa Car Accident?

After a car accident, you may have an urgent need for a replacement vehicle pending on your life circumstances. If so, you may have rental coverage on your insurance policy. You may have to use your own rental coverage initially and then later seek reimbursement for rental costs. The insurance adjuster assigned to your claim will be able to give you moving information about the specific details of your policy.

In the case that you don’t have rental coverage on your own policy, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will be responsible for paying for your rental or other temporary mode of transportation.

Bear in mind that if you decide to use the insurance of the at fault driver, you’ll need to wait for their insurance company to complete an investigation to determine and accept liability. Only then will they afford the rental coverage to you. As such, it may be more efficient to use your own rental coverage if applicable. Then, you won’t have to stress about waiting for the at fault party’s insurance to finish their investigation before you can get a rental car.

Who Pays for My Rental Car After a Tampa Car Accident?

If you use your personal auto insurance to cover the initial costs of your rental vehicle, your insurance company will seek reimbursement through the at fault party’s insurance company. This is a matter of resolution between the insurance companies that you won’t need to be involved with.

However, if your insurance policy doesn’t include rental car coverage and the at-fault driver’s insurance refuses to cover the costs, you have to pay for the expenses out of pocket. Be sure to keep a record of all expenses and document any other costs associated with your temporary transportation after the accident. You will need this as evidence later for your claim if you want to seek full compensation for all the costs you incurred.

If you can afford to wait for the at fault party to investigate and approve coverage, assuming they have liability coverage, then you can wait for them to pay for your rental costs.

How Long Will My Rental Car Be Covered by Insurance?

The length of time you can keep your rental depends on how long it takes for your car to get repaired. So, as long as your car damage is getting repaired, your rental costs should be covered during that period. If your vehicle is deemed a total loss, you might accept a settlement offer which will give you a smaller window to keep the rental. That period can range anywhere from from 3 to 5 days after you accept the settlement but be more or less depending on the stipulations of your settlement agreement.

Do Not Make the Mistake of Upgrading Your Rental Car

If your insurance policy includes rental car coverage, you will only get compensation for the dost of a vehicle that is similar to yours or a “comparable vehicle.” If your vehicle was an economical sedan, you’ll need to get a rental car in the same class and type. If you chose to upgrade your rental car to something in a higher price bracket, you may be stuck covering the additional costs later.

Don’t Delay Returning Your Rental Car After a Tampa Car Accident

It’s best to return your rental car as soon as your vehicle is repaired. If you keep the rental car for any additional days, you may responsbielf or paying for those days. The documentation from the auto body repair shop will reflect specific dates, days and times for when the repair was completed, and insurance won’t cover any additional days.

Is It Necessary to Purchase Rental Car Insurance While I Have a Temporary Rental After a Tampa Car Accident?

It’s totally up to you to opt for rental car insurance or not. If you get into another accident while driving a rental car, you’ll be stuck with yet another claims process to deal with. While it may feel like a double whammy to lose your car and then have to purchase additional insurance for a rental car, it can be a safe option to protect yourself from further expenses down the line.

Your insurance company will not give extra coverage for a rental car, so if you get into an accident and didn’t purchase rental insurance, you’ll be on the hook for covering those damage costs out of pocket. It might be a wise decision to pay a little extra now to cover your vases and protect yourself from unforeseen events.

Rental car companies in Tampa offer four types of coverage:

What Is Loss of Use Compensation?

Let’s say the at-fault insurance company is dragging out the investigation on your claim or delaying an answer to whether or not they will provide rental coverage. In that case, you may be entitled to a “loss of use” compensation. This is a type of reimbursement that is calculated using a per diem formula; meaning, you can claim a certain amount per day that you go without a rental car. Speak with a knowledgeable Tampa car accident attorney to get accurate information that pertains to your case regarding your retinal reimbursement qualification. Reimbursement amounts generally vary based on how much property damage coverage is available and what type of car was damaged in the accident.

Seek Legal Counsel From Experienced Tampa Car Accident Attorneys

Getting a rental car can feel like a nuisance after a car accident. You’re already dealing with the accident aftermath, and quite possibly injured and out of work. We understand how frustrating these times are and want to help lessen your load.

Rather than trying to guess your way through a complex car accident claim or handle it independently and risk making mistakes, seek skilled legal guidance you can trust to get you the help you need and deserve.

You may need to file a personal injury claim for your injuries and battle with insurance companies in addition to worrying about getting a rental car. The good news is that our legal team is passionate about helping car accident victims get through these difficult times. We;ll handle all of the legal casework and proceedings on your behalf so you can focus on healing and recovering from a traumatic car accident.

If you have any questions about your case and want to get solid legal advice from experienced Tampa car accident attorneys, call us today. You can schedule your free initial consultation online or call us at (813) 639-8111.

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