If you have car rental insurance on your own auto policy, use it. It will save you a lot of hassle because your insurance company has a duty to treat you fairly. The insurance adjuster for the person who caused the wreck isn’t required to treat you fairly, and your convenience comes in a distant second to saving the insurance company as much money as the adjuster can.
If you don’t have car rental insurance, you’ll have to deal with the insurance company of the driver who harmed your vehicle. All vehicles on the road in North Carolina, except some government vehicles are required to have insurance. Unfortunately, the at-fault driver’s insurance company doesn’t have the duty to treat you fairly.
Call the careless driver’s insurance company, and ask for a rental car immediately. The wreck was not your fault. Don’t be shy about asking for your rights.
Get a copy of the crash report from the investigating officer and email it to the adjuster. If you have pictures that clearly show whose fault it was, email them to the adjuster. If you can’t work things out with the adjuster, your only other option is to rent a car yourself, and file a lawsuit to recover your expenses. So, do your best to work with the adjuster on the rental car even if the adjuster is a jerk.
If the insurance adjuster is being unfair, you should report it to the North Carolina Insurance Commissioner. Do an internet search for NC Insurance commissioner consumer complaint for more information on how to file the complaint.
Once you get the rental car, the insurance company is going to want you to turn it back in as soon as possible. If your car is repairable, stay on top of the repair process. If your car was totaled, start shopping for a replacement right away.
One dirty trick that some adjusters use is making a ridiculously low offer to replace a vehicle, and then pulling the rental car. If you need a car to get to work to pay the rent and buy groceries for your family, and the insurance adjuster takes the rental car back, you may be forced to take less than your car was worth because you have to get a car right away or lose your job. Start looking for a replacement vehicle and financing right away so that you don’t get caught in this trap.
To summarize, if you have rental insurance on your auto policy, use it. If not, do your best to get your car repaired or replaced as quickly as you can. And if the insurance adjuster is being a jerk, call the North Carolina Insurance Commissioner.