- What is Rental Car Reimbursement Coverage?
- When Rental Reimbursement Coverage Kicks In
- If My Car Breaks Down, Will Insurance Cover a Rental if It's Not Related to a Claim?
- When You May Not Need Rental Reimbursement Coverage
- Rental Car Insurance vs. Rental Reimbursement Coverage
If your car breaks down, your car insurance rental reimbursement coverage will only cover the cost of a rental car if the issue was related to a claim you made on your collision or comprehensive coverage.
If your car breaks down due to regular mechanical issues unrelated to a claim, your insurance will not cover a rental car.
What is Rental Car Reimbursement Coverage?
Rental car reimbursement coverage is an optional add-on to your car insurance. It helps pay for a rental car while your car is in a repair shop due to a covered claim. You'll generally be able to add it if you have either comprehensive or collision coverage.
For example, if you have collision and rental car coverage as part of your car insurance and you're involved in an accident, you can file a claim. If approved, you can also file for reimbursement for the cost of the rental car you need while your vehicle is being repaired.
If you have comprehensive coverage, your rental car reimbursement coverage will also kick in if your car is being repaired for damage caused by things other than a collision, such as hail damage or vandalism.
Rental Car Coverage Limits
Rental car reimbursement coverage usually has limits, so you can't just pick the most expensive rental car and expect your insurance company to cover it all. Your limits will depend on your car insurance company, but you'll typically have daily limits that will be reimbursed for your rental car.
For example, your auto insurance company may have a limit of $30 a day for 30 days, so you'll want to choose your rental car appropriately.
Cost of Rental Reimbursement Coverage
Adding rental reimbursement to your car insurance will typically cost anywhere from $2-$15, depending on things like your auto insurance policy and the state that you live in.
When Rental Reimbursement Coverage Kicks In
Your car insurance policy will only cover a rental car if:
- You have retail reimbursement coverage included
- You have a covered claim
- If you need a rental car while your car is being repaired
You'll only be reimbursed up to your car rental limits determined by your auto insurance company.
Rental reimbursement coverage usually doesn't have a deductible. You'll only need to pay out of pocket for your rental cars if the cost exceeds your rental limits. You will usually have a deductible for your related claim—comprehensive and collision coverage requires you to pay a deductible before your car insurance covers the cost.
If My Car Breaks Down, Will Insurance Cover a Rental if It's Not Related to a Claim?
No. If your car breaks down for a reason unrelated to a covered claim, your rental reimbursement coverage will not kick in. Examples of when your insurance won't cover the cost of a rental include:
- Your car breaks down due to mechanical issues not related to an accident.
- Your vehicle is being repaired for damage that wasn't covered by your insurance (e.g., you're getting hail damage repaired but don't have comprehensive coverage).
- Your car is being repaired after a covered collision, but you don't have the rental car reimbursement add-on.
- Your car is being repaired after an accident, but you don't have collision coverage, so your car insurance company did not cover it.
- Your car is getting routine maintenance.
- You need new tires due to wear and tear.
When You May Not Need Rental Reimbursement Coverage
If you're involved in an accident that is the other driver's fault, their auto insurance company may reimburse you for damage to your vehicle and the cost of a rental car while yours is at the repair shop.
However, there are some cases where the other party is underinsured or doesn't have an auto insurance policy at all, which means their insurance won't cover all of the costs involved in the accident (especially if several cars were damaged and/or multiple people were injured).
Since you never know what type of insurance at-fault drivers have, having your own coverage for collisions and rental cars can be helpful.
Rental Car Insurance vs. Rental Reimbursement Coverage
Rental car insurance is different from rental car reimbursement coverage. Rental car insurance covers you if the rental car you're driving is damaged, similar to how your policy covers your own vehicle.
When you rent a vehicle, the rental company may offer insurance coverage for you to add on. In some cases, your auto insurance policy may also cover rental cars, so you don't need to pay extra for rental coverage.