If you have an auto insurance policy in the United States it is possible that you will have a contractual clause that entitles you or a 3rd party to reimbursement for the hire of a rental car for a period during which your car or their car is undergoing repairs as a result of an accident.
Rental car reimbursement is an important safety net to ensure that you can continue to conduct your daily business without being affected by unforeseen rental costs in the event of an accident which requires your car to undergo lengthy repairs.
What does rental car reimbursement cover exactly?
In general terms if you have a rental car reimbursement condition attached to your policy then you will be covered for the costs of renting a car for a period in order to cover the loss of your own for a temporary period while it is undergoing repairs. You won’t be covered for other expenses though – for example you’ll have to pay your own fuel costs.
How long can I claim rental car reimbursement for?
Most insurance policies which offer rental car reimbursement will set strict limits on how much money you can spend on rental cars in the event of any individual claim and across the lifetime of the policy itself.
This is not normally defined by a number of days but rather as a cash value, so if your policy offers you $500 of per claim coverage and you rent a car that cost $25 a day then you’d be able to rent it for a maximum of 20 days, if you rented a car that cost $100 a day you’d be covered for 5 days.
Can I use any provider for a rental car for my rental car reimbursement?
Many insurance providers have a deal with a single preferred supplier who will offer a discounted rate in return for their business and they may require you to utilize this provider for your rental car reimbursement if it is reasonably practical. (e.g. they have a branch that is relatively local to you) and will allow you to use other providers only when this is not the case. Other insurance companies may have more flexible arrangements, if you want to know how your insurance company manages this aspect of your policy – check your insurance contract.