CanI recover loss of use on my vehicle if it is damaged and the insurance company takes an unusually long time to settle the claim?

I depend on my vehicle to go to doctor appointments and grocery shopping etc. Since the time of loss I have had to depend on others to do these things for me. This car is a necessity to conduct the everyday business of life.

Asked on November 30, 2011 under Accident Law, Indiana

Answers:

L.P., Member, Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Thank you for submitting your question regarding your insurance company taking a long time to settle your car insurance claim.  First, many times the terms as what your insurance company can and cannot do when it comes to settling your insurance claims will be listed in your insurance policy.  While your insurance policy is likely long and tedious, usually somewhere in the fine print will discuss how your insurance company should be handling your claim. 

Also check to see if you have any rental coverage on your insurance policy.  When an insurance company is settling a claim and you have rental coverage, you are entitled to a rental vehicle for a reasonable time that it would take you to find another vehicle.  However, insurance companies are reluctant to give a rental car to people who do not have rental coverage on their policy, because they have not paid the premiums to insure themselves for this problem. 

If you are unsure as to whether or not you have rental coverage under your current insurance policy, you can contact your insurance agent to find out the details of your policy.  Additionally, if you talk with your insurance adjuster and discuss with them that you were under the understanding that you had rental coverage, they may likely to give you a rental vehicle for a brief period of time. 

If after you have checked your policy for the terms your insurance company should settle your claim, and your insurance company is not in compliance with those terms, you can contact your state’s insurance commissioner to file a complaint.

 


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