If your vehicle requires major repairs, it could take a service center multiple weeks to complete the work. Many motorists need rental cars while they wait; this often increases the total cost by $250 to $850. Luckily, your auto insurance might pay the bill under the right circumstances. It depends on the cause of the damage and the type of coverage that you carry.


Most insurers sell rental reimbursement as an optional add-on or “rider.” If you want the insurance company to pay for this service when an accident or disaster harms your vehicle, you’ll need to sign up for extra coverage and accept a slightly higher rate. Other add-ons are also available, such as roadside assistance.


An insurer will only reimburse you when the damage is covered by your insurance plan. If you have a comprehensive policy and a rental reimbursement rider, you can rent a car for free when vandals, severe weather or animals harm your auto. You’ll only be reimbursed when a traffic accident causes the damage if you just carry collision insurance.

When a fellow motorist causes a crash, his or her liability policy might cover a rental vehicle. However, there could be delays and the other driver might lack insurance. It’s preferable to have your own coverage. If you need to rent an auto because of a defective part or normal wear-and-tear, your insurer won’t pay the bill.


Normally, rental reimbursement riders have no deductibles but limits do apply. You might not be fully reimbursed if you rent a luxury vehicle or your car takes an unusually long period of time to fix. Consider using a taxi, train, bus or airline when it’s more economical. Many insurers are willing to pay mass transit fares; remember to keep receipts or other documentation.

To maximize coverage in this area, choose a comprehensive policy and add a rental reimbursement rider. This optional coverage is valuable yet surprisingly economical. If you desire affordable insurance with rental car coverage, turn to our independent agency in Austin, Texas. You can speak to an agent or use our website to see the latest rates.