Loss of Use after a Collision

Posted Friday, February 04, 2011 by Ed Harper

A client recently asked me a question regarding loss of use of his vehicle. His vehicle was damaged in a collision and the other side delayed making an offer for the use of a rental car for approximately one week. The insurance company is now offering a reasonable value for his property damage.

It’s my understanding the loss of use claim does follow the at-fault driver after a property damage settlement. So, a claim for loss of use can be made after you resolve the reimbursement of the property damage for the reasonable value. Loss of use is a separate claim from property damage.

However, the loss of use claim (roughly estimated to be $25 per day) would be offset by the offer by the insurance company for use of a rental car. So, from the date of the offer of the rental car to the date they offer a reasonable amount for the property damage, they would claim offset.

If one is injured in a collision, being unable to drive does not have much bearing on the claimed offset for the loss of use claim. The fact an injured person is unable to take advantage of the rental car, even if it is due to injury and/or medication, would not matter in regards to the offset. The inability to drive would flow to the injury claim for loss of enjoyment of life, pain or suffering; something along those lines.

Ultimately, the loss of use and the property damage claims end within a reasonable time (roughly 24-48 hours) after an offer is made for the reasonable value of the vehicle.

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