Will the other driver’s policy pay for my rental car?
Your vehicle is being repaired, and you need a vehicle to use during that time. The other driver’s property damage coverage will pay for the repairs to your vehicle. It will also pay for the rental reimbursement of a car. It works well if the other person has enough coverage to pay for everything.
You may have learned that rental car coverage is optional and not required. That answer is correct for your policy; you are not required to include that coverage. But what if someone hits you and causes damage to your car? When the other driver is at fault, the property damage part of their policy will pay for your repair or replacement. Read this article to learn everything that property damage pays for.
What if the other person doesn’t have enough coverage?
What are your options when the other person does not have enough coverage? Aside from any legal action you might take, you can use your policy to help cover the remaining costs.
Every driver in New York State must include at least $10,000 of property damage liability. That will pay for your repairs and car rental if the other person is at fault for an accident. If the damage to your vehicle is greater than this, there is not enough coverage to pay for a rental car.
If you included the optional rental car reimbursement coverage for your policy, you could look to your policy to help pay for the rental car while your vehicle is being repaired. If you do not have this optional coverage, you will need to pay out of pocket even though the accident was not your fault.
What if the other driver is at fault but does not have insurance?
The answer to this question is the same as in the previous section. You must use your policy if the other driver has no coverage. If you include the coverage in your policy, you can be reimbursed for renting a car. If you did not include it, you would pay for a rental car out of your pocket.
What if the accident is my fault? Will my policy pay for a rental car?
Rental reimbursement coverage is optional, so you decide if it is included in your policy. This optional coverage will only reimburse you for a rental car you need, not for anyone else. Also important to remember is this coverage will only pay for rental car reimbursement if your policy pays for your vehicle repair.
The part of your policy that will pay for damage to your vehicle if you cause an accident is either comprehensive or collision liability. Read this article for more information about comp vs. collision. Both are optional, but you must have at least one to include rental reimbursement in your policy.
If you decide not to include comp or collision, your vehicle has no coverage if you cause an accident. The insurance company will only reimburse you for a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired for a covered accident. If you decide not to insure your vehicle for damage, the insurance company will not allow you to add rental reimbursement coverage.
What kind of car can I rent?
While trying out that sports car you have always dreamed about would be nice, the insurance company will deny that option. Insurance is about getting you back to where you were before the accident. If the other driver is at fault, their insurance is paying for your rental during repairs. You will get transportation, but maybe not what you are used to driving.
The other insurance company will likely reimburse you for a four-door sedan if you drive a four-door sedan. If you drive an exotic import vehicle, the insurance company will likely reimburse you for a four-door sedan. The insurance company’s perspective is that you need transportation, not a standard of living.
However, if you own a minivan because you have four children in car seats, there is a good chance you will be allowed to rent a van. It may not have all the bells and whistles, but at least you still have similar transportation.
But what if the accident is your fault? If you include rental car reimbursement coverage, your policy will pay for a rental car. When you decide to include this coverage, you have options about how much coverage to include.
Typically this is a per day or per month dollar amount. The insurance company will give you a range you can choose from; the more you include, the higher the cost will be for the policy. Include at least enough to get that minivan if you have those four children in car seats.
When can I use this coverage?
When you include this coverage, it can only be used in very specific circumstances. Your vehicle must only be in the shop for repairs because of an accident. Or your vehicle was a total loss, and you do not yet have the replacement vehicle. Your vehicle must also be in for repair or replacement for covered damage. Thus, this coverage is not for when your car is serviced for non-accident-related problems.
It is not coverage for a car you voluntarily rent. If you travel somewhere for vacation, this coverage will not pay for a rental. And the sports car you rented to impress the high school class at the reunion? You will pay for that out of your pocket, not your car policy.
However, your New York car insurance policy will cover you while the rental car is in your possession; it will not pay for the cost to rent the car. If you have an accident while driving a rental car, you have the same coverage as your vehicle.
Is this coverage part of my towing coverage?
No, rental reimbursement is separate coverage with a separate premium. Towing and Labor coverage or Roadside Assistance coverage is unique and has its own premium. While it’s typical to add Roadside coverage if you’re adding rental reimbursement, it’s not automatic.
You have discovered more than the average car insurance shopper knows about Rental Car Reimbursement coverage. If your thirst for knowledge remains, consider reading tips on How to Get Car Insurance next.
If you want to add rental reimbursement to your existing policy, call us. Not a car insurance client yet? We would be glad to discuss your options. To begin, tap the Get A Quote button below, and one of our insurance professionals will contact you.