Due to supply chain issues and labor shortages, many car repair shops are experiencing longer than normal wait times. If you get into an accident and your car is damaged, you may need to rent a car while your car is being repaired. Not all policies are the same and coverage can vary greatly. It’s important to know what is covered and what your options are to minimize your out-of-pocket costs.
Review your policy
Start by reviewing your policy to see if it pays for you to rent a car while your car is being repaired. Policies may pay for:
- A rental car for a period of time and specific dollar amount (like up to $30 a day, a max of 30 days, $900 total).
- Alternate transportation like taxis, public transit, or rideshares if rental cars aren’t available.
Regardless of whether you or your insurer pays for the rental car, you also need to know what coverage you have if you are driving a rental car and are involved in an accident.
Talk to your insurance company or agent
Your insurance agent or insurance company is the best resource about what your policy covers. Call or email them. They can help you figure out what type of coverage you’ll have on your rental car, and any other transportation options you may have. Make sure you ask:
- Will you pay for me to rent a car if I get into an accident? If so, what are the daily maximum dollar amount and the maximum number of days?
- Do you offer reimbursement for other transportation options, like rideshare credits, compensation for public transportation, taxis, etc.?
- What if my car takes longer to repair than the maximum number of days my policy will pay for the rental?
- If my repairs take a long time, will my rental car continue to be covered by my policy? Or is there a time after which it will no longer be covered?
- Do I need to buy insurance from the rental car company?
- While I’m driving the rental car, does it have the same coverage as my personal car?
*️⃣ Keep in mind: If your accident was caused by another driver, the other driver’s insurance company will likely pay for you to rent a car for a reasonable amount of time while your car is replaced or repaired. However, you still need to talk to your insurance company or agent to see what coverage you have while you’re driving the rental car.