How long can I stay in my rental car?
I am frequently asked if I can do anything to extend the number of days the insurance company will pay for a rental car. The answer to usually not much.
This situation arises when a client’s vehicle is declared a total loss, is getting fixed, or is still being evaluated. Clients are often upset when they are unable to keep the rental car long enough to shop for a replacement vehicle. Afterall, how is someone supposed to search for a replacement car without transportation?
The insurance company must pay only for a certain number of days of a rental. The number of days that will be covered is based on what insurance policy you are making the claim under. In either event this is contractual. The number of days covered is based on the insurance company’s written contract with their insured.
Sometimes this means that the number of days the insurance company pays for will be based on your own insurance policy. For this reason, I suggest purchasing insurance that gives you the greatest amount of time. There are many options when buying insurance. If you buy cut rate insurance, you will likely get what you pay for.
Other times this means that the rental is based on the number of days that the person who hit them contracted with their insurance company to pay for. When this happens, as an indirect beneficiary of that contract between two private parties, there is not a lot that can be done to force the insurance company to pay for longer.
I have found that asking the insurance company to extend the rental through the weekend or for a day or two longer will sometimes work. Insurance adjusters are people too. Sometimes you will find compassionate adjusters that understand the logistical challenges faced by someone needing to get a replacement vehicle in a short amount of time.