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How To Get a Rental Car From Insurance Claim

You may be able to get a rental car from an insurance claim whether you were at fault for an accident or not. If you were at fault, when you contact your insurer to report the claim, you will discuss rental car options at that time. Please note that a rental car will only be covered if you have rental car reimbursement on your policy.

If you are not at fault, you will follow the same process but contact the at-fault party’s insurance company. Sometimes, there can be a delay, so if you need a rental car immediately, you can pay for it upfront and then seek reimbursement from the insurer. 

Understanding Your Insurance Policy for Rental Cars 

One of the most important things you can do for your protection is to understand your car insurance policy. Many people are surprised when they get in an accident and find out they don’t have coverage for a rental car because they unknowingly declined it when they purchased their policy.

Read your policy carefully, and review it with a licensed agent to ensure you understand how to utilize it best if you get in an accident. Consider the premium cost versus how much it would cost without the coverage when you need a rental car after an accident. Most of the time, it is worth the extra expense. 

How to Get a Rental Car Through Insurance

If you need a rental car after an accident, follow these steps:

Your First Steps Post-Accident

There are a couple of things you should do after you are involved in an accident.

  1. Safety Check: Make sure that everyone involved in the accident is safe, and if you can move out of the road, do so
  2. Call EMS: Whether you need an ambulance or just the police, call emergency services
  3. Document: Take photos and video, and ensure you know where you are so when you report the claim, you can give as many details as possible
  4. Exchange Info: Give your insurance info to other involved parties and get theirs
  5. Witnesses: Collect witness information if applicable
  6. Call Insurer: If you are at fault, call your insurance company. If the other party is at fault, call theirs.

If You Were At Fault 

If you are at fault in a car accident, you will start the process of getting a rental car by contacting your insurance company. You can call and report it online, or some insurers have a mobile app where you can report claims. If you have rental reimbursement coverage, the insurance company will pay for the rental up to a specific cost or amount of time. Most insurers will work with certain rental car companies, so if you follow their lead, the process should be smooth and quick. Without rental car reimbursement coverage on your policy, you will have to pay out of pocket, which can be financially devastating. 

If The Other Driver Is At Fault 

When the other driver is at fault, getting a rental car is similar but may require a few extra steps, depending on the scenario. You will contact their insurance company; they usually work with a particular rental car company, and it should be a more straightforward process if you choose to work with them.

However, there can be occasional delays if they need to determine liability. If this happens, you can rent the car on your own either through your policy if you have rental reimbursement or by paying out of pocket and seeking reimbursement once liability is assumed. 

You should be able to keep the rental car you’ve received until your vehicle is repaired, so long as you do not delay the process. Also, if your vehicle is deemed a total loss, then rental coverage will cease.

Should You Add Rental Car Reimbursement Coverage? 

Rental car reimbursement coverage is an optional coverage that you can add to your car insurance policy that will pay for a rental if you are involved in an accident. It is important to note that it will not provide coverage if you have a breakdown, as it requires an accident. You usually have a daily limit, such as $40, and coverage typically ends after 30 days. If you don’t have an extra car or other alternative transportation options, rental car reimbursement coverage is a good option to look into. 

How to Get Rental Car Reimbursement Coverage 

First, check your policy to see if you have rental car reimbursement coverage. If not, follow these steps to get it added to your policy.

  1. Call or email your insurance company to ask what the options are
  2. Review the options which will have different daily limits and maximums
  3. Choose which option you want to add to your policy, noting the premium costs to make sure you can afford the additional expense
  4. Request to add it to your policy
  5. Keep a copy of your policy accessible for when you are in an accident

All in All 

Understanding your car insurance policy and coverages is crucial to your wallet and peace of mind. You should review your policy periodically to ensure you have all the coverage you want and need. While rental car reimbursement coverage does cost more, it may save you money in the long run if you are at fault in an accident and need a rental car. If the other part is at fault, call their insurer to get your rental car, and if it is delayed and you have the coverage, you can use your policy and then seek reimbursement. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

While you can select any rental car company, many insurers have relationships with some and often receive a discount, so your coverage could last a little longer using their recommended company.

The rental car agreement will be between the driver and the rental car company, and if you need to add other drivers, you can typically have them in the rental agreement if they are approved. 

Typically, a rental car provided through your auto insurance policy will only cover personal travel. 

Typically, rental car reimbursement doesn’t affect future insurance premiums, but at-fault accidents can depending on severity and frequency.

Find an auto insurance policy that meets your needs.

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Find an auto insurance policy that meets your needs.

Get a quote