How to File a Loss of Use Claim

January 27, 2012

Loss of use is a type of auto insurance coverage that makes payments towards car rental bills when your vehicle has been in an accident and has to be sent for repairs. It can be quite inconveniencing to have your vehicle stuck at a repair shop for a few weeks. Moreover if the damaged car was your sole mode of transportation, you have to book a rental car to meet your travel needs until your vehicle is fixed. It’s thus advisable to select loss of use coverage when customizing your auto insurance policy. You need to remember that loss of use isn’t automatically added to your liability insurance policy. You have to ask an auto insurance agent to incorporate it into your current policy. To file a loss of use claim, you need to also follow the tips mentioned below.

Tips:

  • To start off, you have to contact your auto insurance company as soon as the accident occurs. Tell them that you would like to file for a loss of use claim.
  • Make sure you refer to your auto insurance documents to find out how much money you’re allowed to claim per day, towards loss of use. This amount can vary from $25 to $50.
  • You must also find out if you’re allowed to rent a vehicle that belongs to the same class as the vehicle you own, or if you have to rent one that’s in a lower category. You must pre-determine all these facts so that the auto insurance company won’t reject your claim.
  • Take pictures of the damaged vehicle and obtain quotes from the auto repair facility. Find out how long your vehicle will have to be kept at the shop. If you weren’t declared at fault in the accident, the other driver’s auto insurance company will have to make payments towards your car rental claim.
  • If you’re car needs to be in the auto repair shop for more than 30 days, provide proof of damage to the auto insurance company in terms of pictures and repair shop estimates, so that your claim is approved.
  • It’s very important to put all your details and proof in writing and send it to the auto insurance company so that your claim is processed quickly. If you want to claim loss of business income because your vehicle was damaged and couldn’t be used for business purposes, you will have to provide several documents to back up your claim.
  • To file a loss of use claim for business purposes you might have to provide proof of your income tax returns, annual income statements, payroll reports of the drivers employed in your organization and other billing reports.
  • Auto insurance companies often ask for additional documents, particularly if you’re filing for a loss of use claim, for loss of business income. This is because they want to deny the claim on some pretext or the other or make small payouts towards the claim.

Since every auto insurance company adopts different claims filing procedures, it’s important to contact the insurance company soon after the incident occurs and gather all your documents as quickly as possible, to take advantage of your entitlements.