What kind of rental car should you get after an accident?

Did your last rental car look like this?

Did your last rental car look like this?

I have had many conversations with my clients who have have called to tell me about the rental vehicle they received while their car was in the repair shop. Sometimes they didn’t have use of the rental car for a sufficient amount or time or the car they did receive was not to their liking.  We’re not talking about getting a car whose color they disliked, we’re talking about one significantly different from the car they regularly drove.  

If you file a claim under your insurance policy, then you are most likely limited to the rental provisions of that policy.  

However, what if the accident was not your fault?  Then there is no insurance policy for guidance.  

Recently, I had a gentleman call me whose Porsche was hit while it was parked.  Obviously, the damage was not his fault.  He contacted the insurance carrier for the driver who his is car  to make a claim and they accepted liability.  This was a good start.  

But, the insurance company then said that they would provide an allowance of 30 dollars a day to rent a car.  As you can imagine, you cannot rent a Porsche for $30 a day in Connecticut.  Though it would be nice if you could, I imagine that would be a bad business model for the rental companies.  

The legal concept behind reimbursement for the rental value of your car for the days you didn’t have access to it (e.g. when it is being repaired from an accident) is called loss of use.  

So, what should you do it you are in an accident that was not your fault and need a rental vehicle?  You should file a claim and request the same make and model car that you are not able to drive due to the damage.  

If you do not need a rental, you should claim the actual retail rental value of the car you were driving.

Specifically, if you have a Ford Focus, strongly request a Ford Focus.  If you have a 3 series BMW, ask for a 3 series BMW, and so on.  The same is true for loss of use claims.

What should you do in the state of Connecticut if you are given a rental vehicle that is not similar to the one you were driving before the damage occurred?  Contact the offices of Forrest Law and talk about your specific situation.