When your car is stolen or gets damaged in an accident, the repair or recovery cost is only part of the story. Going without your car while it’s being repaired can be a significant hardship. Without another vehicle available, your only recourse might be to rent one. The good news is that you might be able to buy insurance that will pay some of the cost of a rental; in fact, your policy might already include it.
The standard Personal Auto Policy OFFERS a coverage called “Rental Car Benefit”. You must agree to and buy the coverage for it to benefit you when you need it.
In speaking to a group of local business people yesterday, we asked how many people in the room were dependent on their vehicle daily. EVERY PERSON raised their hand.
If you have purchased Collision coverage on your car and that car is damaged in a collision, the additional rental car coverage will pay for “temporary rental car expenses.” The same applies if you have purchased Comprehensive coverage along with rental car benefit. If the car is damaged by something other than a collision, the policy will cover these expenses. The policy pays up to the limit per day of rental car coverage you purchase, options typically include $30, $40, or $50 per day, up to a maximum of dollar amount, normally 30 days times your daily limit. This coverage may also apply to a vehicle to which you do not ordinarily have access, such as a friend’s car or a rented pickup truck.
Time limitations apply. If your owned or borrowed car is stolen, coverage begins a specified number of hours after the theft and ends when you are able to use the vehicle again or when the insurance company pays you for the loss. If the cause of loss is something other than theft, the insurance pays the expenses incurred more than 24 hours after you lose use of the vehicle. Finally, the insurance stops paying at the end of the period of time reasonably required to repair or replace the vehicle.