Being in a car accident is stressful enough, but having to wait nearly 11 days to get your vehicle back on the road just adds to the misery. According to Susanna Gotsch, senior director and industry analyst at CCC Intelligent Solutions, a provider of data and solutions to the automotive, collision repair, and insurance industries, that is the typical amount of time a car spends at a collision repair shop.
And don’t expect high-tech vehicles with connectivity and additional safety features to speed up the process. When compared to the same period last year, collision repair time increased by a half-day in the third quarter of 2021. Gotsch says that this is because vehicles are becoming more complicated and taking longer to fix.
If you can’t afford to be without your automobile for a lengthy amount of time, rental reimbursement insurance should be added to your auto insurance policy.
What Is Auto Insurance With Rental Reimbursement?
Rental reimbursement coverage will pay for transportation costs such as a rental car or public transportation if your automobile is being repaired for an accident insurance claim. Most of the time, you can only get this kind of coverage if you also have comprehensive and collision coverage.
Here are a few things to think about when it comes to rental reimbursement auto insurance:
Non-rental automobile transportation fees may be covered by some auto insurance policies. Some insurance may cover other modes of transportation if you don’t rent a car, such as Uber, city buses, light rail, and commuter train fares.
A deductible is normally not included in rental reimbursement insurance. That implies your claims check will not be reduced by the amount of your deductible. However, to get your automobile fixed, you’ll have to pay a deductible on your collision and comprehensive coverage.
Some insurance companies may have joint ventures with rental companies. This means that the rental company will bill your insurance company immediately. If you rent from a different provider, you may have to pay the charges upfront and then have your insurance reimburse you. If you choose Enterprise Rent-A-Car and have Geico rental reimbursement coverage, the company will credit Geico directly.
For antique and vintage car coverage, rental reimbursement may not be offered.
Rental reimbursement coverage is frequently subject to policy discounts. If you have a multi-car discount, for example, it may apply to rental reimbursement coverage.
Rental reimbursement coverage is not the same as rental car insurance, which you would purchase if you were renting a car for a vacation, for example. This coverage is meant to help you pay for a rental car while your car is being fixed because of an insurance claim.
Rental Reimbursement Insurance Rules and Limitations
When your car is being repaired after an accident that your insurance covers, rental reimbursement coverage usually only pays for a rental car or other transit expenditures. There are a few more general principles and constraints to keep in mind.
Limits apply to each claim on a daily and per-claim basis. Daily and per-claim limits apply to rental reimbursement coverage. For example, if your policy has a $30 per day and a $900 per accident limit, for example, your insurer will pay up to $30 per day in rental charges but no more than $900 per accident claim.
You can rent a car for more than the insurance limit, but if your daily rate or total limit exceeds your policy restrictions, you will be responsible for the difference.
There will be pre-set daily and maximum limit options for each insurer. For example, a AAA insurance policy we looked at had daily limits ranging from $35 to $75, with maximum limits ranging from $1,050 to $2,250.
Costs of gas, mileage, or other types of coverage. Some transportation costs are not usually reimbursed. You’ll still have to pay for gas, for example.
Your vehicle must be undergoing repairs as a result of an issue covered by your insurance policy. Routine maintenance or a holiday rental automobile are not covered by rental reimbursement coverage. It can only be used if you require a rental automobile while your car is being repaired as a result of an accident that your auto insurance policy covers.
Costs of Rental Reimbursement
For rental reimbursement coverage, each insurer will choose its rates, which will vary by state. The cheapest level of coverage is usually around $30 per year or less, which will provide you with a $30 per day rental refund. Here’s an illustration.
Is Rental Reimbursement Coverage Required?
The cost of renting a car for a few days or even weeks adds up quickly. If you don’t have enough money in your budget to cover this additional expense, consider adding rental reimbursement insurance to your car insurance policy. It’s especially useful if your car is going to be in the shop for an extended period, which you can’t predict when you buy or renew your policy.
“Adding additional coverage to a policy is typically inexpensive, and it may be a wise option for people who don’t want to be stuck paying for a rental on their own or who won’t be able to get around while their car is in the body shop,” says the author. says Ron Davis, a Progressive spokesperson.
Because one of the most important variables in deciding how much a rental car cost is its location, you’ll want to be sure the extra coverage is appropriate for your specific area. As an example, let’s suppose a $30 per day reimbursement limit costs $3 per month. If comparable cars in your city rent for $40 per day, you may need to increase the reimbursement coverage maximum or prepare to pay the difference.