After you’ve been in an accident, getting a rental car can certainly make a complicated time less difficult for you and your family. While you wait for your car to be repaired, you shouldn’t have to worry about getting to doctors’ appointments, physical therapy, work, or taking the kids to school; a rental car will make your daily life easier.
But, how and when you can get a rental car depends on your current auto insurance policy. At Alexander Body & Fender, we have individuals who deal with these situations all the time. That’s why we wanted to offer you some knowledge on attaining the rental car you need in the event of an accident in your primary vehicle.
What is Rental Reimbursement Coverage?
“Rental car reimbursement insurance provides you with a rental car in the event your car needs repairs for a claim covered by your insurance policy,” according to WalletHub. This type of coverage is only used when your insurer is the one paying for the repairs, and they won’t pay for the rental indefinitely. Most policies have a limit on how much they will pay per day and how much they will pay per total claim.
Do You Have Rental Reimbursement Under Your Current Policy?
Full auto coverage does not mean that you have rental reimbursement coverage. If you need your vehicle for daily life, then you also need rental coverage. If you are not sure whether you have rental reimbursement, call your insurance agent today. The cost of adding this to your policy is “usually less than $75 a year, and the average rental is around $35 per day,” says Jon Roach of Alexander Body & Fender.
If You Don’t Have Rental Reimbursement on Your Policy
This is so important, so we’re going to repeat it. If you are not sure if you have rental reimbursement coverage, call your insurance agent today and add it before an accident occurs! Typically, it is not an option to add this immediately after you’ve been in a wreck in an attempt to cover your recent accident.
While Alexander Body & Fender does have a fleet of vehicles that we offer as rentals while we repair your vehicle, there are a few important things to note about our program.
- The number of rental vehicles we have are limited,
- This is only available for customers who do not have rental reimbursement on their policy AND do not have another method of transportation,
- We do not intend to compete with or replace rental reimbursement coverage .
If you are the claimant, then the party at fault owes you a rental, so the rental coverage on your own policy is not at use in this case. However, it may take several days for the other party’s insurance company to process the claim. So, you may need to pay out of pocket during this time and get reimbursed later. It’s also worth noting that you are entitled to a rental car that is equivalent to the vehicle you were driving; if you were driving a four-door sedan, you should get a four-door sedan; if you were driving an SUV, you should get an SUV.
On the contrary, if you are at fault, it’s important to know what you are covered for. Not all rental reimbursement coverage is created equally. Discuss with your agent what specifically you are covered for.
Knowing Your Coverage
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, your insurance company likely won’t pay for your rental car indefinitely. There will be a limit on how much per day and how much in total they will pay per claim.
For example, if you’re covered for a fixed amount of $600, that may not be enough. If you are accustomed to driving a large SUV, truck or minivan, and are given one as a rental, that could cost $50-$80 per day, so you will be at your limit at the end of a week or so.
“A comprehensive repair can take 2-3 weeks, without delays,” says Brian Roach. However, delays on large claims can be quite common for a number of reasons. The first, and most obvious, is that this repair is unscheduled. If your vehicle is towed or dropped off at a shop that already has a full schedule, then it would have to be fit into our production schedule.
Next, after we disassemble a vehicle, 90% of the time we will find additional hidden damage. Keep in mind all the plastics the manufacturers are using these days to keep the cost of the vehicles down, help with gas mileage, etc. Then, there is the issue of supplements and insurance company delays and issues with parts. We will need to generate what’s called a supplement. Then we’ll contact the insurance company, but they may not be able to visit our shop for several days. Once we finally get the okay, we’ll need to order all the supplemental parts. The availability of parts is completely up to the manufacturers.
As you can see, all of these factors can lead to a comprehensive repair extending to longer than a month. Be sure to check with your insurance agent about your daily and monetary limits!
Where Should I Turn for A Rental Car After an Accident?
If you do hold rental reimbursement on your current auto policy, that’s great! Knowing what rental car company to turn to is the next hurdle. You have two options:
1. Rent the car yourself, pay out of pockets and submit the bill to your insurance for reimbursement. If you’d like to go this route, we can refer you to some wonderful rental car companies in the Akron, Ohio area.
2. Let your insurance company handle this for you. They will pay the rental company directly and handle all paper work involved.
So, Is Rental Reimbursement Coverage Worth It?
The above was our original question at the start of this article. We think the answer is obvious: yes, rental reimbursement coverage is worth it! If you need your vehicle on a daily basis then you need rental reimbursement coverage! If you have extra vehicles and think you can survive without one during repairs, then maybe you can manage without this additional coverage. However, we often find this is not the case for our customers.
If you have specific questions about rental reimbursement, please be sure to contact your insurance agent today. For general inquiries, don’t hesitate to call Alexander Body & Fender at (330) 376-8105.