When it comes to auto policies, rental coverage is a small, often overlooked item usually costing less than $75 a year. You can be the best driver and still get in an accident that isn’t your fault, or even be hit in a parking lot when you aren’t even driving at all. In both of those situations you may find yourself with a car in the shop and no way to get to work or school. This little coverage has suddenly become a BIG problem.
It wasn’t until I started working in insurance, and more specifically covering claims that I realized how big of problem not having rental coverage can be. Below are some things you should know about rental coverage, why you may want to include it on your policy, and how much coverage you need.
-If you are in an accident and do not have rental coverage on your policy but the other drive is at fault, you may be able to get rental through their insurance. However, coverage will only be extended once the other insurance company finds the fault with their insured, which could take longer than you want to wait. At the same time, if the at fault driver has minimum coverage on their policy and causes more damage than their policy covers, the other company will deny the rental regardless of who is at fault.
-Rental coverage can only be used if you are unable to use your vehicle due to an accident. It cannot be used if your vehicle is not usable due to general wear and tear or maintenance issues.
-There are different levels of coverage from $15/a day all the way up to $100/a day. Your customer service rep can help you determine if you need full rental coverage or if some coverage would be enough. Most rental car company rates start at $40 a day, although some chains like Enterprise and Hertz have lower negotiated rates when working with the insurance companies.
Would it be a big problem for you if you suddenly couldn’t drive your vehicle for a few days? If so, you may want to get a quote for adding rental to your policy.