Getting involved in a car accident is one of the most stressful times a person can experience. That’s right: stressful. You’re not only having to search for the best body shop for your car to be repaired, but you might even be dealing with injuries, insurance, and more. The last thing that you’d ever think about dealing with is not being covered for a rental car while your car is in the shop. Unfortunately, this happens much too often, which is why we at Autotech Collision Service are here to help.
Are you covered?
So, how do you know if you’re guaranteed a rental under your policy while your car is being repaired, here in New Jersey? Well, the first thing you can do is check with your insurance policy. Even if you aren’t looking for car repair and you’re reading this to gain knowledge, it’s highly encouraged and can save you tons of money should you ever be without your car. However, there are certain policies only pay for part of the rental during the repair process and you’ll have to pay for the difference.
What if the repair takes longer than I’m covered for?
Most policies have a limit on how long you can have the rental, either based on how long it the repair takes or when your coverage limit runs out. However, there may be a delay in the repair process due to the insurance adjuster or the shop needing to order parts. If this happens, then you’ll most likely run out of rental time covered by your insurance. This also happens when your car is totaled (aka “total loss”), and you now have to shop around for a replacement vehicle. When any of those scenarios happen, you’ll be required to pay out of pocket for the cost of the rental.
What if the other driver was at fault?
If the other driver was at fault, then you should have the other driver’s insurance company pay for your rental car directly. You can do this by filing a claim and presenting sufficient enough evidence (including a police report) to prove you are innocent in the accident. It’s better to do this sooner than later because the more time that goes by, it can cause the other driver to turn the blame on you. That said, you’ll need to seek reimbursement for your rental retroactively if one of two scenarios happen. These are:
- The other insurance company is slow to accept responsibility. Or…
- You need a rental car right away. If this happens, check with your policy to see if you have rental reimbursement.
What if I don’t have insurance?
It is against the law in most states to be driving without insurance. You can face serious consequences, regardless of whether or not you’re in an accident. This can include loss of license and even jail time.
If you caused a car accident and you don’t have insurance, then prepare for the victims to sue you. This process is different if you’re in one of the 12 “no-fault” insurance states. If someone else caused the accident, each state has its own expense limit on what you can recover when you don’t have insurance. New Jersey is a no-fault state, which means your insurance company “…is responsible for paying certain damages from the accident, regardless of fault” (201Injury)
Best advice? Never drive without having insurance.
What body shop in New Jersey can I trust?
We at Autotech Collision Service know how frustrating it is for you to be without your car and in a rental car. You go into the body shop thinking it only be a few days and before you know it, it can be over a week. That’s why we want to take the stress away from you. We will work with your insurance company to ensure you not only get the high-quality repair that you deserve but so you can get your car back as soon as possible.
Here at Autotech Collision Center, we’ve been serving Southern New Jersey for nearly 30 years. All of our technicians have received extensive training and are up-to-date on the latest OEM Repair procedures. We will work with you and your insurance company to ensure a stress-free repair.