What to do if a rental car was provided for me until the at fault driver’s insurer abruptly stopped paying for it without any sort of notice to me?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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What to do if a rental car was provided for me until the at fault driver’s insurer abruptly stopped paying for it without any sort of notice to me?

I was involved in an auto crash which other side 100% liable. My vehicle is still in the repair shop, other insurance will not provide a rental for me because the auto body shop is taking too long to fix my vehicle? There insured was liable, so shouldn’t they provide me with a car?

Asked on November 12, 2015 under Accident Law, New Hampshire


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

There are two reasons why they can do this:
1) First, unless you actually sued, won, and received a court order or judgment requiring them to provide a rental car, it is voluntary on their part to provide you with a rental. They may have been doing it because they feel that if you sued, you'd probably have won, so it would make sense to pay you voluntarily without going through the cost of a lawsuit...but it's still voluntary. Being voluntary, they can choose to stop doing this.
2) If the repair shop is taking too long, then even if you had sued and won, you probably wouldn't get the extended rental. The liable party's obligation--and therefore, the obligation of their insurer--is to pay the *reasonable* cost of a car rental. But if the cost becomes unreasonable because a third party not under their control (the repair shop) is dragging its feet, they are not responsible or liable for that.
And note that while you say that the other side is 100% liable, again, unless a court has determined that, that's not the case--it may be likely or even very likely, but without a court determination, it's just an opinion, not a legal fact.

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