What Is Rental Coverage, and Should You Consider It? 

ELI5: Negligence

What Is Rental Coverage, and Should You Consider It? 

What Is Rental Coverage? 

Usually, when people talk about “rental car coverage” they’re talking about one of two things; either they’re talking about the coverage they have on a car they’re renting, or they’re talking about the part of their insurance policy that will reimburse them for the cost of a rental car. This blog is specifically talking about rental reimbursement coverage. When you get in a car accident, your insurance policy may cover the cost of your rental car while your car is being repaired. This type of coverage is usually inexpensive, and in many cases, you’re covered regardless of whether or not the accident was your fault. 

The Personal Injury Claims Process (TL;DR Version) 

To really understand the importance of rental car reimbursement coverage, you need to have a brief understanding of how personal injury claims work. When you’re injured due to the negligence of another person, you likely have damages—both economic and non-economic. Economic damages refer to damages that have an objective monetary value. This may include your hospital bills, lost wages, and even rental car expenses. When you’re injured due to someone else’s negligence, you shouldn’t have to pay for the damages they caused you to sustain. This is one reason why a lot of people choose to hire a personal injury attorney: insurance companies often don’t offer car crash victims a large enough settlement to cover all of their injury related expenses. Personal injury attorneys put together evidence, usually in the form of a settlement opportunity brochure, and negotiate a fair settlement. 

Who’s Paying for My Rental? 

A rental car would be an example of an economic damage. If you were in a car crash due to someone else’s negligence, and your car is in the shop, you may be without a car. If you don’t have rental car reimbursement coverage on your own insurance, you may be stuck with the cost of the rental car until the other party’s insurance agrees their driver caused the collision. While there’s a chance that the settlement from the negligent driver’s insurance could cover that, getting a settlement can take a long time—especially if you don’t hire an attorney. So, while the negligent party’s insurance may eventually cover the cost of your rental car, you’ll likely have to pay up front and wait for them to reimburse you. In this economy, a lot of people don’t have the money to pay for the cost of a rental car upfront and then wait weeks to be reimbursed. If you have rental car reimbursement coverage on your own insurance policy, you’ll be able to use that coverage immediately. 

Time to Rent a Lamborghini!? 

In Las Vegas, you can actually rent a Lamborghini for around $1000 per day. While that may sound like a great way to boost morale while you’re dealing with an injury, it should be mentioned that there are limits to rental car coverage reimbursement—and they’re usually not going to pay for you to rent a luxury sports car. Most policies only cover up to a certain amount. For example, your policy may cover up to 40 days not to exceed a certain amount per day and/or $1000. This would mean that the insurance company will only cover 40 days’ worth of having a rental car, or up to $1000 in rental car expenses. The insurance company is only required to put you in something comparable, and it may not be as nice or as big as your vehicle. If you decide to upgrade, you may not be reimbursed for that. This is something to keep in mind when you’re renting a car—how much will it cost per day, and if I need it for longer than my insurance will cover, can I afford it? Again, while the other party’s insurance may cover the cost, you will likely have to pay upfront for anything that goes beyond the limits of your coverage. Don’t feel like you need to pay extra for the insurance provided through the rental car agency. Although you may be feeling vulnerable since you were just in a collision, your insurance will cover you in the rental car, so don’t get tricked into paying more for their additional coverage. You’re already covered. Another thing to keep in mind: your car does need to be in the shop to use this coverage. You can’t use this coverage to rent a car while on vacation. 

Should Everyone Get Rental Coverage? 

Whether or not rental coverage makes sense will depend on your situation. If you have access to another car, you may not need rental car insurance. Though many households have multiple cars, it’s not always practical for two people to share a car. So even if you do have access to another vehicle, rental car reimbursement coverage may still come in handy. There is no legal obligation to carry rental car reimbursement coverage, and it is completely optional. However, it’s not that expensive—it’s usually only a couple extra dollars per month—and many people who used it find that it was really nice to have when they needed to rent a car after a crash. If you have been injured in an accident, and you have questions about your case, contact Moxie Law Group today. 

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