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3rd Party Insurance Company Rental Car Coverage

by Anne

I got in a no fault accident when a taxi skid into my car, damaged my car's bumper and exhaust. I filed a police report, and submitted a loss report into the other car's insurance as what my insurance suggested. The other insurance agreed on paying the body shop to fix my car.

I rented a car while my car is getting fixed and the insurance do said they will cover the rental at a minimum. The rental company didn't have a compact car with the minimum rate available. They gave me a minivan the only cheapest one.

I didnt have a choice the rental car said they will bill the insurance directly, they say they will charge on whatever the insurance will cover. I returned the rental car after my car was finally fixed. After 13 days they charged my credit card with the full amount. I reported this to the 3rd party insurance and the adjuster said they would only pay for the minimum $25/day.

The bill was for 14 days and charged the rate of $45 per day! I don't think i should pay for the excess of the $20/day! My damaged car is a 2007 SUV. Can i claim for a rental coverage on a SUV rate as what the rental company indicated? What should i do now??


HI Anne,

I am sorry to hear about your dispute. The insurance company must put you back in the position you were before the accident (that is the sole reason why insurance exists). You had a vehicle and you were able to go to work and use your vehicle as you pleased. They owe you for the full amount of the rental if there is a reasonable explanation of why (there was no cheaper vehicle in the lot).

Some states have statutes that require you to use "basic" transportation. Some insurance companies will tell you that this is a bus pass. They are technically correct. It truly depends on your state statute.

Now, this does not mean that you should not argue this. The first step is to contact your credit card company and dispute the charge. Write them a letter and CC the insurance carrier, the rental company, and the person that hit you. You must argue that since you were in a 2007 SUV, your rental should be nothing less but that.

The next point of leverage is that you are going to suit the driver of the taxi if your bill is not pay in full. Small claims court is a good option. Most judges will understand this, and they will side with you.

This is perhaps somewhat more aggressive than you want this to be, but you have to defend yourself. You can probably successfully argue that is unfair for a vehicle to hit you and then leave you hanging for a rental car bill that you could not avoid.

Put things in writing, contact the office of the insurance commissioner (or dept of insurance, depending on your state), and pressure the insurance company to pay.

I hope this helps you some.

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