Clients often come to our office because they are upset the insurance company for the at-fault driver will not rent a car for them after their car is damaged in an accident. They oftentimes ask if the insurance company is required to provide them with a rental car. They are often surprised at my response.
My clients are often surprised to find out the insurance company does not have a legal obligation to do anything for the accident victim. Their obligation is to the person they insure, not to the injured party. However, since the accident victim has a right to pursue a claim against the at-fault driver for the loss of use of their vehicle, the insurance carrier can usually be convinced to provide a rental car once they have completed their investigation. The adjuster handling the claim will have instructions to complete a list of tasks comprising their investigation of the claim regardless of how clear cut fault seems to be. We can assist the adjuster in completing this investigation in an effort to speed things along.
In addition, our client has the option of renting a car on their own. Oftentimes the insurance adjuster will agree to "take over" the rental once they have completed their investigation and our client will not be charged for the rental car at all. However, sometimes the insurance carrier will refuse to do anything more than reimburse the claimant for a rental car if they rent on their own. Unfortunately, insurance carriers have every right to take this position.