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Going after at-fault insurance for lease payments

by Raimund

Back in April of this year, my 6-month old Infinti M45 was hit. Fault was established to the other party and their insurance is picking up the tab.

The damage is about $30k, and the car's market value is about $45k. After two weeks of fighting, I could not get them to total this car so it is being repaired.

The repair shop has said, due to special order parts, it may not be until July when I get this car back.

With that said, I will have been without this car for 3 months, all the while making $700 lease payments.

I want to go after the insurance for these lease payments. My lease contract is for 36 months, and the accident caused by their party has caused me 3 months out of that. The accident has caused me $2100 in lease payments. The crappy rental they are providing is nowhere near the equivalent of the car I had.

How can I go about this getting reimbursed for lease payments on a car that is not usable due to other party?


Hello Raimund,

I am sorry for the delay.

You are entitled to the loss of use of the vehicle. Usually, insurance companies pay you for this by giving you a rental car. Some states require the insurance companies to give you a comparable vehicle, some allow the insurance company to give you "reasonable transportation" which in some cases a bus pass can achieve that.

I know this is highly unfair as you were put on this situation at no fault of your own, but this one of those areas where states differ greatly. The best thing for you to do is to call the department of insurance or the office of the insurance commissioner and ask how does your state handle the matter. If they have to give you a comparable vehicle, then they would owe you the difference between what you had and what they give you (the market value of the rental for a vehicle like yours v. the rental value of the vehicle that you have).

Recovering the lease payments is very difficult to do (if possible at all). The argument is that insurance is supposed to put you in the position you were prior the accident (not in a better position). Prior the accident you had a lease payment, so the insurance company will probably successfully argue that your lease payments are due to your financial obligation to a leasing company before the accident ever happened.

They will equate the car payment or lease payment as the same expenses for gas, wear and tear, insurance, and mileage. Most states will not allow you to have compensation for any of these in a rental car because if you had your own car, you would be paying for these anyway.

The best thing to do (other than presenting a lawsuit against the person that hit you) is to contact the department of insurance and determine if the insurance company is giving you the right amount of coverage for the rental car you have.

Check for more information on how to document damage claim to autos.

Good Luck,

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