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Total Loss, Unreasonable time to evaluate & fix car, car rental

by Lisa

I was rear ended while stopped at a red light. The driver behind me hit me going approximately 45mph and he was found at fault, but not cited. The accident happened on 2/17, my insurance company did not send out an adjuster until 2/23 to look at my car and tow it to an authorized Allstate repair center.

As of yesterday, Friday 3/5 they still have not decided if it is a total loss. They told me that they are approximately $1,000 away from it being totaled and are waiting to talk to the total loss adjuster on Monday, 3/8. The body shop which is now serving as the adjuster for Allstate said that even if they decide to fix the car and order the parts on Monday 3/8 I will not get the car back, at the earliest April 15, the latest May 1st!

That is almost 2 months from now and I have been without my car since 2/17 and in a rental car since 2/18. They are telling me my policy only allows for me to have a rental for 30 days and after that it's up to me to get my own rental.

I loved my car very much and did not want it totaled. But if a car requires so much repair that it will take almost two months to repair how safe and trouble free will it be when I receive it back? And to my question on the rental car if their authorized service shop is going to take so long to repair it shouldn't my insurance be liable to provide me with a rental until the car is repaired? If so, shouldn't this additional cost be calculated into the repair cost?

They are the ones who want it repaired not me, I'm ready to walk away from it as quickly as possible at this point. Also is there a reasonable amount of time required for them to evaluate and make the necessary repairs?

Do they have the right to leave me without a car for almost two months and expect me to pick up the additional month of car rental? Can I request they send it to another authorized repair shop to make the repairs in a more timely manner?

When I decided to go through my own insurance and let the recoup the damages from the party that hit me and found at fault I thought they would work with me. But as I am seeing they are treating me as if I created this problem and are very unaccommodating. I have never been in an accident and have a spotless driving record for the last 31 years!

I would appreciate any insight you might be able to provide me and well as very grateful! Thanks.....


Hello Lisa,

Well, your insurance company is bound to you only to the extend that the policy requires. If your policy states that they only pay 30 days of rental, then you will have to pay for any excess on the rental. It's all covered (and excluded) in your auto policy.

Most states allow insurance company to have 30 days to do a reasonable investigation, but they can explain to you why they need more time. Insurance companies can justify that a 45 to 60 delay is reasonable depending on the circumstances.

What can you do?

Your only recourse is against the insurance company of the person that hit you. They owe you for the entire amount of a rental. Contact them and tell them what is going on. They are more likely to either make sure the car gets fixed quickly OR it's totaled. They know that each day is going to cost them more money with no limit (no 30 day limit there as there is no policy between you and them).

Consider getting this eBook on total loss. See:

Good Luck,
Auto Insurance Claim Advice
Spokane Washington

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