Can an insurance company limit the time of a rental after an accident that was not the driver’s fault?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can an insurance company limit the time of a rental after an accident that was not the driver’s fault?

A person backed into my husband’s car causing enough damage that the doors had to be replaced. We took it to the repair shop the insurance company asked us to on the day they asked us to. The repair is not complete yet, but the insurance company is now telling us we have reached our limit on rental time. The insurance company has been in contact with the repair shop and is aware of the extra time needed to complete the repair. Is this legal, is there a law preventing this?

Asked on February 26, 2019 under Accident Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, they can do this. You are only entitled to as much rental coverage as your insurance policy gives you: the policy is a contract, and like any other contract, only gives you what it says it does. While the insurer could voluntarily choose to extend the benefits (i.e. the rental coverage) if it wanted to, it does not have to: it only has to provide what the policy states it does. Once the coverage limit has been reached, you have no more right to rental coverage, even if neither the accident nor the repair delays were your fault: again, since insurance policies are contracts, all you are entitled to is the the amount of coverage in the policy for which you are paying.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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