How to Get a Rental Car from an Insurance Claim
If your car becomes inoperable due to a covered loss and you need to rent a substitute vehicle, rental car insurance coverage helps pay the cost of the rental car up to the policy limit for this coverage. Rental car insurance coverage, also called transportation expense coverage, typically is available only if you carry both comprehensive and collision coverages.
Insurance coverage availability varies by state.
How Rental Car Insurance Coverage Works
If you opt for rental car insurance coverage with your auto insurance policy, the transportation expense coverage for the cost of the rental is typically subject to daily limits. You can choose your daily limit based on how much you think it will cost to rent a car in your area should your vehicle become temporarily inoperable after a covered loss.
Your transportation expense coverage may limit the types of vehicles you can rent before having to pay out of pocket. In other words, if you choose a lower dollar amount of coverage, and your daily rental vehicle cost exceeds your daily coverage limits, you would have to pay the difference out of your own pocket. Making changes and upgrading your auto coverage can help reduce potential out-of-pocket expenses.
Will Your Auto Insurance Cover a Vacation Rental Car?
When you need a rental car for vacation or other reason, there are five simple questions you can answer to help determine whether or not your rental car is covered by your car insurance policy:
- Will the car be rented in the U.S.?
- In what state is your policy issued?
- What type of vehicle is being rented?
- How will the rented vehicle be used?
- Does a vehicle on your policy have full coverage?
Answer the questions above using our rental car coverage calculator to find out if your rental is covered.
Rental Car Insurance Coverage vs. Insurance for a Rental Car
Understanding how your primary car insurance applies to different driving scenarios can help prepare you for unexpected situations and give you peace of mind. Whether you need to rent a vehicle after a car accident or for sightseeing while on vacation, it helps to know your auto insurance options.
You probably won’t want to put your life on hold after a car accident because you may still have responsibilities that require a car, like going to work. With a rental car, you can still get things done and continue on with your daily life while your car is out of commission and being repaired. That’s why it is so important to understand your auto policy’s Transportation Expense (or Rental Reimbursement) Coverage. It can help pay for the cost of a rental car while your vehicle is in the shop due to a covered loss.
On vacation, there are many moments you want to remember about your trip – renting a car is typically not one of them. When you’re at the counter of your car rental agency, rather than stressing over the typical questions you ask yourself like, “What does my auto insurance cover? Do I need the insurance offered by the rental car counter?” Wouldn’t it feel better to already know what you need or that you’re already covered?
In most cases, your comprehensive and collision insurance coverages extend to your rental vehicle subject to your deductible. The collision coverage is for accidents involving a collision with another object that causes damage to your rental vehicle. It’s important to note that generally, rental car coverage under your typical auto insurance policy issued in the United States helps cover you for driving your rental vehicle within the United States, its territories, Puerto Rico or Canada only.
Under these conditions and subject to your deductible, your comprehensive and collision insurance coverages likely extend to your rental vehicle. Learn more about the difference between rental car insurance and auto insurance for a rental car in our blog post: 6 Things You Need to Know about Rental Cars and Insurance.
What Happens When You Have a Rental Car Accident?
If you get into an accident with your rental car, the process you follow afterwards is similar to what you would do if you were driving your own car. Check to make sure everyone is OK and if another driver is involved, exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver.
Because you were driving a rental car, it’s a good idea to call the rental car company to inform them of the accident.
Who covers the damages to the rental car depends on a few different things.
If you purchased supplemental collision insurance through the rental car company, the damages from the accident may be covered by that policy. The rental insurance company will likely inform you of the steps to follow to file a claim.
If you didn’t take out the supplemental insurance because your rental is covered by your comprehensive and collision auto insurance policy, the costs of the damage to the rental car may be covered depending on the type of auto insurance policy you have. If you’re unsure about whether your current car insurance policy applies to a rental car, talk to The Hartford and we can help answer questions you may have.
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