Car repairs are not the only cost you will incur if you are in an auto accident. You will also need a rental car or another form of transportation while you wait for your car to be repaired, which means you might benefit from including a rental endorsement as part of your car insurance coverage. 

Will my insurance give me a rental car? 
Coverage for a rental car is not part of the core coverage on auto insurance policies. Typically, it is an optional benefit you can choose to add to your policy, through a rider or an endorsement. 

If you opt to add rental car coverage to your policy, you will be given some money towards the cost of a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired. Given that there are sometimes multiple people who have to review your auto insurance claim before you can be approved for coverage, it might take several days or more to get your car repaired, which means you could be in a rental for a while. Having rental coverage on your auto insurance can help you cover some or all of that expense. 

What's the difference between 35/day or 45/day? 
Rental car endorsements are sold based on the amount per day they pay toward the cost of a rental car, and typically provide coverage up to 30 days of needing the rental. A policy that says 35/day will pay a maximum of $35 per day for a rental car, no matter what the rental agency charges. If you end up paying $52 per day for a car, a 35/day rental car endorsement will pay $35 of that cost. 

There are multiple levels of coverage available for a rental car endorsement. 30/day, 35/day, and 45/day are all common amounts of coverage you can choose from when selecting a policy, but each company has their own unique benefit selections. You might need a policy that offers more or less coverage than average, which is why it is so important to work with the experts at Goosehead Insurance to make sure you have the right amount of coverage for your needs. 

How long does an insurance company have to provide a rental car? 
The amount of time an insurance company will cover a rental car depends on the specific benefit you choose. Some companies provide coverage for up to 30 days, while other companies only allow 2 weeks of coverage without filing an appeal. 

Other companies limit their coverage by dollar amount instead of time in a rental car. For example, an insurance company might choose to cover a maximum of $750 in rental car costs, at which point you are expected to pay for any additional rental car expenses. Different companies have different amounts of coverage they offer, so consider your options carefully when choosing rental car coverage.  

Does insurance cover a rental car when my car is in the shop?  
Insurance only covers the cost of a rental car if your car is being repaired due to a covered event. If you have liability only coverage and you hit a pothole, the odds are good your insurance coverage isn’t going to pay for a rental car while yours is being repaired. If you have comprehensive coverage and you hit a deer, your policy will likely cover the cost of a rental car if you have a rental car endorsement. 

Will your insurance pay for a rental car if your car breaks down? Not likely, unless the breakdown is related to a claim. 

If you are facing a small repair or something that can be done in just a day or two, it might be worth calling around to find out if there is a repair shop in your area that offers a temporary vehicle while yours is in the shop. This is a common practice if you get your car repaired at an auto dealership, but many smaller shops also offer this benefit as well. If you don’t want to file a claim for a single day or have opted not to purchase a rental car endorsement this could be a good way to make sure you aren’t stuck without a car while yours is being repaired. 

Who pays for rental car insurance after an accident? 
Typically, the driver who is at-fault for an accident is responsible for the rental car costs of the person they hit. This isn’t always easy to determine, however, and if the insurance company comes back to determine both drivers are at fault or that fault cannot be determined you may be responsible for your own rental car costs.  

If you have a rental car reimbursement coverage endorsement on your policy it will likely pay for your rental car even if you are found partially or completely at fault. It is important to review your benefits carefully so you know exactly what is covered in the event of an accident. 

Fun Fact: Goosehead Insurance maintains a higher client satisfaction score than major companies such as the Ritz Carlton, Disney, and Apple. 


The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. You should not act or refrain from acting based on this information without first consulting a Goosehead licensed agent at service@goosehead.com. We disclaim all liability for actions taken or not taken by you based on the contents of this article which is provided "as is." Goosehead makes no representation that this content is error-free.