If your car breaks down and needs repairs, you may wonder if your insurance company will cover the cost of a rental car. Many insurance policies have rental car reimbursements for repairs resulting from a covered loss of use or damage to your vehicle. Some companies also offer rental coverage at an additional cost, so you can relax knowing that if your vehicle is in for repairs, you can get a rental car. Keep reading to learn more about how insurance companies can help you pay for a rental car while your vehicle is in the shop.
Does Car Insurance Cover Rental Cars for Repairs?
Insurance companies may cover the cost of a rental car if your vehicle is in the shop for a claim-related repair. Reviewing your insurance policy can help you better understand what events qualify for rental car reimbursement. Understanding this information before your vehicle needs repairs can help you save on rental car-related expenses.
When Does My Car Insurance Pay for a Rental Car?
In short, your car insurance will typically pay for a rental car for any repairs resulting from a covered event. It is important to understand that an insurance company will only cover rental car expenses if you have the right coverage in place beforehand. If you elect different coverage after a collision or event, the insurance company may not cover those expenses.
If you’re in an accident and it’s determined that the other party is at fault, then the other driver’s insurance policy will cover your rental car expenses. This is helpful if your vehicle’s policy does not cover rental cars.
How Do I Know If I Have Rental Car Coverage?
The first step to see if you already have rental car coverage is to review your policy details. This often outlines the coverage you have in case of different types of qualifying insurance events. Some policies also outline the specific vehicles you can rent if your car is in the shop for covered repairs. You can also contact your insurance company to help you better understand if you already have rental car coverage. Doing so will also allow you to discuss this coverage if it’s not already incorporated into your policy.
How Much Will My Insurance Pay for a Rental Car?
Your insurance policy will likely outline how much coverage they offer per day and the total coverage for a rental car. This can help you find vehicles that your insurance will cover in case your regular vehicle is in the shop for repairs. For example, if your policy states that it offers 40/1,000, then you can be reimbursed $40 per day for your vehicle up to $1,000. This rate is often similar in value to your normal vehicle.
How Soon Can I Use My Car Insurance to Pay for Rental Car?
Once you submit your insurance claim, and your insurance company covers the vehicle damage, you can use your policy to cover the expense of a rental car. Suppose you’re covered under the at-fault driver’s policy. In that case, you might consider using your insurance coverage first because it may take some time for the other driver’s insurance company to assess the damage to your vehicle and cover rental expenses. With rental reimbursement coverage, you can avoid this waiting period. Your insurance company will reclaim the expense once the at-fault driver’s insurance company finishes assessing the damage to your vehicle.
Will My Insurance Not Pay for a Rental Car?
Rental car coverage is often an add-on coverage option for many insurance policies. However, insurance companies may also not cover rental car expenses for general maintenance and repair or any damage occurring that doesn’t qualify under your insurance policy. This means if you take your vehicle in for routine maintenance and need to leave it for a day or two, insurance companies won’t cover rental car expenses for this period.
Additionally, this type of insurance doesn’t cover if you rent a vehicle for a vacation. You can often add insurance for a vacation rental car through a third-party rental car insurance company or add-on coverage to your normal car insurance policy. If you decide to opt out of this type of insurance plan, you will likely pay for your vacation or business rental car out of pocket.
Does My Car Insurance Policy Cover Repairs?
Depending on your insurance policy, your plan may cover a variety of accident and non-accident-related repairs. Here are some common repairs that your insurance policy may cover based on insurance type:
- Comprehensive insurance: This type of insurance can help pay for repairs that are unrelated to collisions with another motor vehicle. Comprehensive insurance will help pay for damage related to animals, falling objects, theft, vandalism, fire, hail, and natural disasters. Your windshield is also covered.
- Collision insurance: This type of insurance helps cover repairs caused by collisions with other motor vehicles or stationary objects, such as trees and telephone poles. Some policies even cover damage caused by potholes.
- Roadside assistance: If your vehicle brakes down on the road and needs a basic repair, roadside assistance can help you. This type of coverage can also help you pay for towing if your car needs to be taken in for more extensive maintenance.
- Mechanical breakdown insurance: This can help you pay for certain mechanical breakdowns that your vehicle’s warranty may not cover. If your vehicle is in the shop for a covered repair, you may qualify for rental reimbursement coverage.
Researching different insurance policies and what they cover can help you find a policy that helps cover rental vehicles during your car’s repair needs. Comparing rates between insurance companies can also help you find a policy that works for you and your budget.
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.