Rental coverage provides insurance protection to a motorist on several fronts. It is a very necessary and very frequently used service that is included as an endorsement or a rider to the basic automobile insurance policy. It is offered to motorists not only by traditional car insurance companies, but also increasingly by credit card companies and automobile associations. Some particular aspects of rental insurance coverage are made available by car rental agencies, also.
In its basic form, rental coverage will pay or reimburse the cost of renting a vehicle for use while one's own vehicle is being repaired or is unfit for driving subsequent to an accident, perhaps. This portion is a quite common clause in most standard motor vehicle insurance policies. It is not collision insurance, of course, but it is directly related to this type of car insurance since vehicles are damaged in collisions so very frequently, and this damage renders many motorists unable to drive their own vehicles for varying lengths of time.
Often, a motorist will choose to rent a vehicle when taking a long road trip rather than take the vehicle that he or she owns, and of course, everyday many millions of persons rent vehicles while on business trips. There is another clause of the rental coverage that covers the renter for damages to or theft of the rented vehicle, as well as the motorist's personal injury or third party liability. During the process of renting the vehicle, the representatives of the rental agency routinely offer this insurance. A driver can choose to pay the additional daily fee, or rely on his or her own motor vehicle insurance policy to provide this coverage. These are all options to consider when shopping around and finding an insurance agent.
When an accident occurs, standard practise requires that a report be filed with one's insurance company immediately, or as close to immediately as possible, if one is intending to file a claim. Some people being the claims process by telephone immediately after the accident, while others will prefer to do the paperwork perhaps by going in person to the insurance office.
If there is substantial damage to the motor vehicle and it is no longer roadworthy, and if the motorist does not have another vehicle to use, then arrangements will best be made via a prompt telephone call to the insurance agent. The agent will clarify whether a rental is covered under the specific policy, and if so, whether it will be covered under the circumstances of the particular accident. The agent will also be able to give clearance for the rental, if that in necessary. While some agencies will accept billing directly from the rental company, others will require that the motorist pay out of pocket and then submit receipts for reimbursement.
The insurance carrier will cover the costs of renting a vehicle after an accident only up to the limit allowed per accident, so rental coverage will not necessarily last until the vehicle is returned to use.
If a Rented Vehicle is Damaged or Stolen
In this case, the person motorist will file a claim with the insurance company with whom he or she does business, and the claim will be handled as it would if the rented vehicle were the actual property of the person filing the claim, and will affect future claims and premium payments in the same ways. If insurance had been accepted from the rental agency, the motorist will have to inform the rental coverage agency immediately after having reported the damage or theft to the police. This is generally all that is required. No claims will be file on the personal policy of the renter.