Will car insurance pay for extra expenses?

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Dear Driving for Dollars,
My parked car was hit by a drunken driver and deemed a total loss. The guy had car insurance and it took the adjuster 15 days to assess the damages. I missed work several days and my brother drove me to work the rest of the time.

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I lost money not working and my brother had to pay extra for gas. Can I get them to reimburse me what they would have paid for a rental car? Also, my car had brand new tires, brakes and a battery. Can I recover those costs, too?
— Chris

Dear Chris,
It sounds like you have already heard from the other party’s car insurance and agreed to whatever payout was offered you, which did not factor in the items that you mentioned in your question here. If that’s the case, then you have probably lost your opportunity to get reimbursed for these things unless you sue the driver directly.

If you haven’t agreed to an insurance payout yet, then you can go back to the company and ask for reimbursement for the loss of use of your car for those 15 days, and you can negotiate a higher value on the car itself by furnishing a receipt showing how recently those items were installed and their cost.

You were probably eager to get a check so you could buy a new car and get back on the road as quickly as possible, but it’s really best in these situations to take your time and negotiate to make sure you get fully reimbursed for an unfortunate situation.

For more tips read: Totaled car? Bag a car insurance payout

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If you have a car question, email it to us at Driving for Dollars. Read more Driving for Dollars columns and Bankrate auto stories. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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