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Is Rental Reimbursement Coverage Worth it After an Accident?

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Let’s face it — car insurance isn’t a sexy topic most people enjoy thinking about. When we sign up for auto insurance, we often focus on meeting the state’s legally required minimums rather than true self-protection. Maybe we consider the big ticket items like collision and comprehensive but skip over all those other options. After all, we hope never to use the insurance we buy, so why get more than we need, right? Does car rental reimbursement coverage make the cut?

But insurance also can be seen as a combination of self-care and financial planning. It’s a gift from when things are going well to your future self dealing with the stress and frustration of a car accident. It’s also choosing to pay a small premium today rather than a hefty penalty when you can least afford the charge.

Car rental reimbursement coverage is an option that can pay big dividends both financially and in terms of simplifying a foreseeably hectic time. It can do more than reimburse you for the cost of a rental car. Wawanesa also steps in to help streamline the process for you when you need a rental car while your vehicle is not drivable following a covered incident like theft, vandalism, or an accident.


What is Rental Car Reimbursement Coverage?

Rental car reimbursement coverage is an auto insurance option that reimburses you for the cost of a rental car while your vehicle is in the shop for repairs following a covered incident. Typically, your insurance policy must include collision or comprehensive coverage to qualify for the optional car rental coverage. If you don’t have this optional coverage, you’ll need to book and pay for the rental car.


Rental Car Reimbursement vs. Car Renters Insurance

Despite the similar names, rental car reimbursement coverage should not be confused with car renters insurance. While your auto insurance policy may include car renters’ insurance, you’ll need to add on the optional rental reimbursement.

Car insurance for a rental provides insurance specifically while you’re driving a rental car. You’re protected if you’re involved in an accident while driving the rental car. While most car rental agencies are eager to charge you for insurance, you’re almost certainly already covered by your auto insurance policy.

Car rental reimbursement, however, pays for your use of a rental car while yours needs repairs due to a covered incident. If the other driver caused the accident, their insurance should pay for your rental car. Rental reimbursement typically covers expenses for public transit or rideshare expenses like Lyft and Uber.


What Does Rental Reimbursement Cover?

Rental reimbursement coverage pays the cost of a rental car, while yours is being repaired or replaced for reasons such as:

  • If you’re at fault in a multi-car collision.
  • If you collide with a stationary object, like a light pole or wall.
  • If you collide with a moose, deer, or other wildlife

Under these circumstances, rental reimbursement coverage will pay for your car rental or rideshare for up to 30 days.


Rental Reimbursement Coverage vs. Car Rental Costs

We’re all looking for ways to tighten our belts, and optional auto insurance coverages might seem an easy way to cut back. However, rental reimbursement coverage adds up to maybe a single Starbucks run per month. While the cost of a rental car is far higher.

Further, rental car rates can more than double due to the agency’s location and time of year, such as the summer months and holidays. But rental car coverage costs generally remain the same. Best of all, with Wawanesa rental coverage, you won’t have to pay the elevated car rental rates if you need repairs while rates are inflated. Our pre-negotiated car rental rates remain the same throughout the year.


Additional Benefits of Wawanesa Rental Car Coverage

When you have rental car coverage with Wawanesa, you get more than reimbursement for the cost of a rental car. Your experience will be smoother with the rental agency as Wawanesa has a dedicated Enterprise Customer Service team to help ensure your experience is hassle-free.

You can arrange the car rental through Wawanesa to unlock additional protections. For instance, if you arrange to rent a particular size or quality of car that’s unavailable when you arrive, Enterprise will upgrade your vehicle with no additional charge.

Younger drivers enjoy further benefits from rental car coverage. Most rental agencies won’t rent to drivers aged 18-21. Further, drivers aged 21-25 can be charged an additional fee averaging about $15 a day. However, if the young driver arranges the car rental through Wawanesa, Enterprise will not only release the car but waive the additional fee.

Our direct billing presents another valuable benefit for those insured with rental coverage. For example, suppose you arrange a car rental from Enterprise through Wawanesa. In that case, you'll pay a deposit of roughly $50 -- $100 for the rental. However, if you work directly with Enterprise, they require a far larger deposit based on the number of days you plan the rental for. This can tie up your funds just when they may be tight.


What Level of Rental Coverage Should I Choose?

When considering optional car rental coverage, you’ll see the chance to choose the level of the rental car. For instance, in California, you can select reimbursement levels of $30/day, $40/day, and $50/day for a 30-day maximum. Some people just use their car to go from Point A to Point B, and the size of the vehicle doesn’t matter to them. But if you rely on your big truck to carry your power tools to the construction site or need extra legroom, pennies today will cover the vehicle you need.

Like all forms of insurance, car rental reimbursement coverage provides big peace of mind for a small investment. So, be kind to your future self and speak with one of our friendly insurance agents to be sure your auto insurance has you well protected.



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The above content is for informational purposes only and is not a direct representation of coverages offered by Wawanesa or its policies. The information does not refer to any specific contract of insurance and does not modify any definitions, provisions, exclusions or limitations expressly stated in any contracts of insurance. All references within the above content are illustrative and may not apply to your situation. The terms and conditions of the actual insurance policy or policies involved in a claim are determinative as to whether an accident or other loss is covered. To understand the coverage under your current policy, please log into the account management platform to review your policy or contact an agent directly.