Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Dec 4, 2010

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Insurance Question from Los Angeles, CA

Asked on 12/04/2010

Rental Car Reimbursement The other party hit my car and accepted full liability. I claimed the other party's insurance, Infinity, went to Infinity's body shop for an estimate, and went to my dealership's referral shop for actual repair. I was notified later the repair cost exceeds Infinity policy's limit. Infinity advised me to claim my own insurance and pay my deductible. Since I don't have rental car coverage, I claimed Infinity for the rental cost. Yet, Inifinty told me I may not be fully reimbursed because I have to share the limit with my insurance. I may only be reimbursed on pro-rate basis. What can I do?

Answer given on December 09, 2010

It seems that the costs to repair your car are exceeding the policy limits for the other driver.  While you got the estimate from the approved shop, by going to the dealer you could have caused the repair costs to exceed the policy limit.  While you have the right to choose your repair shop, it sometimes works against you when you go to a dealer, since their labor costs are often higher than other repair facilities.

By going to your insurance company for payment it does leave you without coverage for the rental car, since you don’t have that coverage on your policy.  Once everything is settled, your insurance company will subrogate against Infinity to get reimbursement for their costs.  If they are successful in getting reimbursed, then you will get the prorata portion of your deductible refunded.  However, again the limits for the other driver may not be sufficient for you and your insurance company to be fully reimbursed, so the pro-rate reimbursement would apply.


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