One of the most frustrating parts of an accident is being without your car while its being repaired. Rental coverage can help you keep moving forward while you’re waiting to get your car back.
Rental reimbursement coverage helps with the cost of a rental vehicle while damage to your car from a covered loss is being repaired. A covered loss could be a collision with another car or damage from a tree falling on your vehicle. Depending on your insurance company, rental coverage is likely available only if you carry comprehensive and collision coverage on your vehicle. If you’re in an accident and the other driver is at fault, their insurance company would likely provide a replacement rental vehicle while your car is under repair.
Typically, you can use whichever rental company you prefer. However, most insurance carriers have contracts with specific rental companies. If you use a company other than the contracted rental company, you may be required to pay for your rental out of pocket then submit your receipt for reimbursement.
Your rental reimbursement coverage will typically have limits, or your insurance carrier will specify the size of the vehicle that you can rent. Your rental coverage may not provide the same size or type of vehicle as your car, if the cost of renting a similar vehicle exceeds the limit. For example, if you drive an SUV, your rental coverage may not cover the full cost of a rental SUV. Before renting, you should check your policy or ask your insurance agent to see what your limits are. That way, you will not incur out-of-pocket expenses that you were not expecting.
Here at Maryland Auto Insurance, Enterprise Rent-A-Car is our rental partner. However, policyholders or claimants can use another rental company if they choose to do so. When our policyholders or claimants opt to book their covered rental through Enterprise, we pay directly to the rental company, with no out-of-pocket costs for the renter, unless the cost of the rental exceeds our daily or total rental limits. For our rental coverage, we will pay (or reimburse) up to $25 a day up to a total of $750 and this coverage is only available while your car is under repair at the shop. Anything above those limits will likely result in out-of-pocket expenses.
There are a few ways you can minimize your need for a rental vehicle and help avoid going over your rental coverage limit. If your vehicle is still drivable, call ahead to the shop to make sure that they have all of the parts needed before you drop off your car for repairs. You can keep driving your vehicle until the shop is 100% ready to start the work, which helps to minimize the possibility of possessing a rental car beyond the maximum of your rental reimbursement coverage. It’s also a good idea to schedule your appointment to drop your vehicle off at the shop earlier in the week, rather than later. Shops may not complete work on the weekends, which will extend the timeframe your car is in the shop and the period of time you’ll need a rental vehicle.
When you use your rental reimbursement coverage, typically, only the rental and tax costs are covered. The rental company will likely offer add-ons. Check with your insurance company to see what’s covered before adding addition options in order to avoid any unexpected costs.
Items your rental coverage most likely will not cover:
- Additional Insurance
- GPS Navigation
- Satellite Radio
- Additional Drivers
- EZ Pass
- Any Extras or Add-On’s
When adding this coverage to your policy, or if you need to use this coverage, consult your insurance company or insurance agent before signing a rental contract. If you need to find an agent, click here.