Does my insurance cover rental cars?

Are you wondering, "does my insurance cover rental cars?" You definitely need to find out whether your auto insurance covers rental cars and under what circumstances before you end up needing one, just in case. In most cases, you need to at least have collision car insurance coverage for your auto insurance company to include rental reimbursement in your policy. Many auto insurance companies will reimburse you rental car costs after a covered accident but cap their coverage at around $30 per day. Also consider other options you have if you need to use a rental car for any reason.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: May 9, 2022

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What You Should Know

  • If your auto insurance company offers rental reimbursement coverage, it is only available if you have comprehensive and/or collision insurance coverage
  • Rental reimbursement coverage is often limited to a specific number of days and dollar amounts
  • You may need to find other means for auto insurance coverage if you need rental car insurance long-term or for leisure

If you have ever wondered, “Does my insurance cover rental cars?” the short answer is no. However, your auto insurance company might give you some relief in specific cases.

Some of the best auto insurance companies will offer car rental reimbursement insurance. However, you may only include it if you already have the right coverages as part of your policy. Which coverages are those, and are there any limitations to rental reimbursement coverage?

Read on to know when your auto insurance covers rental cars and what you can do to reduce costs when you need to rent a car. But if you need to see rates from a few of the top auto insurance companies in your area, enter your ZIP code into our free quote tool above.

Does my auto insurance cover rental cars when my car is in the shop?

In some cases, yes. You need to have collision or comprehensive auto insurance to add rental reimbursement coverage to your policy. And if that is the case, you can only receive reimbursement if your car takes on damage during a covered event.

Specifically, collision auto insurance coverage covers damage to your car after these events:

  • An accident involving another car. It does not matter who is at fault
  • Hitting a stationary object, like a tree
  • Running over a pothole

Comprehensive auto insurance covers the following events:

  • An animal running into your car
  • A falling object hitting your car
  • Natural disasters, including fires and floods
  • Theft
  • Civil disorder, including riots and vandalism

Insurance Information Institute notes that if your car got hit by an asteroid, that may also count as a covered event.

That said, even when your auto insurance company covers your rental car usage, the company will place limits on how much it reimburses you.

  • Most companies have a per-day limit, usually around $30-$40
  • The period for the rental may only last 30 days
  • Some companies may partner with rental car companies who directly bill your auto insurance company to reduce or eliminate your out-of-pocket costs. However, going out of network means that you are responsible for all rental car costs

Also, your auto insurance will most likely not cover a rental car if your car is in the shop for regular maintenance or repairs due to a mechanical breakdown.

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Does my auto insurance cover rental cars when I am on vacation?

Specifically, does your auto insurance cover your rental costs when you are out of state? Also, will your insurance cover your rental car costs if you are traveling to a foreign country?

Generally, auto insurance follows you out of state only if you use a vehicle named in your policy. Some companies may allow for out-of-state rentals, but they only reimburse you after the fact. And to get reimbursement, you’ll have to show your insurance company receipts.

Your car insurance will often follow you if you are driving your own car to Canada. However, you will need extra insurance if you are traveling to Mexico or renting a car anywhere outside the United States.

In many cases, your auto insurance company will not offer foreign country rental coverage, but some companies act as brokers with other companies. Review your auto insurance company to see if that is the case.

Which auto insurance companies cover rental cars?

Here is a list of companies that offer rental reimbursement coverage:

Auto Insurance Companies With Rental Reimbursement Coverage

CompanyDaily Cost Covered (Maximum)What's Covered
21st Century$25-$90 ($750-$1500)Temporary rental for covered auto accidents
AAA$25-$50Temporary rental (breakdowns, repair, or serving) or short-term leisure use rental
AllstateUp to $30Temporary rental or other transportation during repair (collision or other insured loss)
American FamilyDirect billing with Enterprise Rent-A-CarRental car costs, ride share services, taxis, city busses, light rail, commuter trains
Amica Mutual$20 ($600)Rental car costs, ride share services, taxis, city busses, light rail, commuter trains
Auto-Owners InsuranceDirect billingTemporary rental after a covered accident
EsuranceUp to 45 days or $3,000Temporary rental after a covered accident of car theft (CarMatch)
FarmersAllows direct billing for up to 30 daysTemporary rental after a covered accident
GEICOSet your limit or use direct billing with Enterprise Rent-A-CarTemporary rental after a covered accident
Liberty MutualOffers discounts with Enterprise Rent-A-Car, will pay all costs if you used an approved auto repair shopTemporary rental after a covered accident
Mercury Insurance$30-$100Temporary rental after a covered accident
Nationwide$30-$75 ($900-$2,250)Rental car or alternative transportation after a covered accident
Progressive$40-$60Temporary rental after a covered accident
Shelter InsuranceNot specifiedTemporary rental after a covered accident or theft
State Farm$25-$50 ($600-$1,200)Temporary rental and limited travel expenses after a covered event
TravelersUp to $100 ($2,200)Temporary rental and limited travel expenses after a covered event
USAADirect billing with Enterprise Rent-A-CarTemporary rental and limited travel expenses after covered accident
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From this list, Amica Mutual may be the most generous with its coverage. Policyholders may seemingly seek reimbursement after using rental cars during their vacations in other states.

What can I do when my auto insurance company does not cover rental cars?

If your auto insurance company does not cover rental cars in any or all circumstances, you have a few options to reduce your out-of-pocket costs and ensure that you have coverage while driving a rental car. The Insurance Information Institute listed some options:

  • See if your homeowners or renters insurance covers property theft from any car you drive
  • Inquire about the level of auto insurance coverage your credit card company will provide during your travels. Higher levels of credit cards will cover more
  • Purchase auto insurance through a rental car company, namely a brick-and-mortal company near an airport or train station. Those companies tend to offer coverage like loss damage waivers, personal accident insurance, and personal effects coverage
  • Use a car sharing program like ZipCar, which include insurance costs in their fees
  • Use a peer-to-per rental service like Turo

Additionally, you may purchase rental auto insurance through a travel company. Alternatively, you can purchase non-owner auto insurance if you do not own a car and will borrow/rent cars regularly.

Non-owner insurance follows the driver and not the car, so you will not have comprehensive or collision coverage. However, the policy may include medical payments and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

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The Final Word on Rental Car Coverage

As you can see, the various options you have for covering a car rental each have their limitations. Still, if you understand what your auto insurance company covers, you can assess the level of coverage you need for any situation.

We hope this information has helped you determine whether your auto insurance covers rental cars or assisted you in your search for an auto insurance company that does. Now, if you need to see rates from a top auto insurance company in your area, enter your ZIP code into our free quote tool below.

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