Should the insurance cover my car payments in addition to a rental?

by Trevor
(San Francisco, CA)

I've been in crappy rental cars after my pride and joy brand new Jeep was hit by crates that toppled off a truck when the top of the truck hit the top of a bridge tress. The repairs have taken 4.5 months and counting.

I have had to pay for the rental car upfront (although they say the will pay me back to 30 days) meanwhile I've been paying an $800 dollar a month car note.

I don't think it's fair that I pay the note, and the rental up front to drive a crappy smoke smelling rental car that I would never put my infant daughter in. I've been told by many people that I can demand to get my car note payments reimbursed. Is this true? How do I go about this? Do I call or send a letter? Any tips you can give for this would be great.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Should the insurance cover my car payments in addition to a rental?":

Trevor (San Francisco, CA):

While it seems only fair the driver’s insurance company pay your monthly car note from the date of the accident through the time your car is finally repaired, unfortunately that’s not the way insurance companies work.

Moreover, you state the insurance company has agreed to reimburse you for the rental car. Because the company is providing a car for you to drive, albeit a "crappy" one, the point is you are driving a car. It’s just not the car you would like to be driving.

Presuming the driver was negligent, and you did not contribute to the accident, there should be no reason why the insurance company won’t pay for your rental car and full repairs to your jeep.

The question remains why it is taking almost 5 months to have your car repaired. If it were a Maserati, Ferrari, or other expensive exotic car, the repair time might be reasonable. But you are talking about an American Jeep manufactured by the Chrysler Corporation. The parts should be easy to secure.

From the facts you present, there isn't any reason why your car should not have been repaired within a month at the outset.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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