It always happens when you least expect it: your car breaks down and needs to be repaired, but you’ve got places to be. Now you need a rental car, but you don’t know if your insurance covers your temporary ride. That’s when the questions begin.
Do I need rental car insurance?
First and foremost, it’s important to make sure the car you’re driving is covered by insurance. When you rent a car, rental companies give you the option to insure the vehicle. However, you may not need it if rental cars are already covered under your existing insurance policy.
If your policy includes collision and comprehensive coverage, it might cover rental cars, too. If you’re unsure whether your auto insurance includes coverage for rentals cars, contact your agent to learn about your policy details before you begin the rental process. This will help you avoid any confusion down the road.
Does my existing car insurance policy cover rental cars?
If your vehicle breaks down or is involved in an accident, the last thing you want to worry about is finding another car. Aside from collision and comprehensive coverage, there are auto insurance policy “riders” you can add to your insurance policy for minimal cost. Adding a rental car rider to your coverage might make sense depending on your unique situation, especially if your vehicle needs frequent repairs. If you add a rental reimbursement rider to your policy, your insurance company may secure a rental car as a service to you during your claims process.
Find additional options with rental reimbursement coverage. This coverage pays for your use of a rental vehicle. By also including a towing and labor rider to your plan, your car is towed to a service center at no additional cost.
Are other drivers covered by insurance when they use my rental vehicle?
If your primary vehicle typically has multiple drivers, or if you have other legal drivers in your household, it’s important to list each driver on your policy. However, most car insurance policies also allow permissive use of your vehicle, which covers legal drivers who’ve been given permission to use your car.
With rentals, this coverage may differ. For example, when you rent a car through a rental company and purchase their insurance, you might need to pay an additional driver fee per household member using the rental car. Likewise, rental companies’ insurance coverage might not extend to drivers who aren’t explicitly added to the rental insurance contract.
However, if you’ve added a rental car rider to your auto insurance plan, your rental car may be protected under your insurance policy—including permissive use. Therefore, any legal drivers using your vehicle with your consent can be covered by your insurance.
What if I need a long-term rental?
If you require a long-term car rental while you wait for repairs or shop for a new, primary vehicle, your auto insurance plan can help if you’ve got rental reimbursement coverage. If you anticipate that you’ll need a rental car for a longer period than your carrier allows, your claims specialist can help you find the best solution for your situation.
What if my insurance doesn’t currently cover rental cars?
If your current car insurance policy doesn’t include rental reimbursement or extended coverage, adding the coverage can help alleviate your concerns if your vehicle needs a repair that takes a few days to complete. If you’re unable to add rental protection to your insurance policy, you can contact your credit card provider to see if they provide rental insurance coverage as an option.
Be aware that credit card companies can have numerous restrictions and specific requirements for car rental insurance. For example, they may restrict your rental car to certain vehicle types or provide coverage for a duration of only 15 days.
Above all, be proactive and don’t wait until it’s too late to find out if your rental car is covered by insurance. It’s crucial you understand what’s covered in your policy so you don’t have to take action on the fly. If you know your car rental isn’t going to be covered, contact your local Dairyland agent to learn more about what your options are. We’re happy to help.