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Loss of use claim being denied after total loss

by Glenn
(Fayetteville, Nc)

My vehicle was totaled in an accident February in which my son was driving. He was not at fault. It took approximately 2 to 3 week to get a rental car.

During the settlement phase I asked the person handling the claim about compensation for loss of use of my vehicle and she acted as if she'd never heard of it. She said the only way I would be compensated is if I paid for a rental vehicle out of my pocket.

I explained to her that because of her client I had to walk for 2 to 3 week before getting a rental vehicle. She still denied that loss of use was a normal part to this settlement. Can you help? What should I do?


Hello Glenn,

Nope. You are entitled to reasonable loss of use. If the vehicle was not driveable (it was a total loss) and you can show loss. The problem with loss of use is that you must show your need. For example, if you have a second vehicle that you can drive, you might not need the rental. If you however can show no other reasonable means of transportation (walking is not one), then they owe for this. If you rent the vehicle, they will have to either reimburse you or pay the rental company directly.

Please see:

The second issue will have to do with the fact that the car is a total loss. Depending on your state, they might only have to pay for a rental car for only three days after they decided the total loss. This means that the day they call you and tell you the car is totaled, then you have three days to find another vehicle (never mind getting a settlement or beginning negotiations). Check with the department of insurance of your state what regulations apply to you in this case, they might be able to help you.

See this link (table at the bottom of the page) for a link to the department of insurance of YOUR state.

I hope this helps,

Good Luck,

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