Imagine this: you’re driving to work when suddenly, another car crashes into yours. Thankfully, you’re okay, but your car isn’t. It’s going to be in the shop for weeks. Now what? You still need to get around. This is a situation many people find themselves in. The question is, will your insurance pay for a rental car during repairs?

Many drivers are unsure about what their insurance covers. They wonder if they’ll be left stranded or if their policy will help them stay mobile.

In this post, we’ll clear up any confusion. We’ll explain when your insurance will pay for a rental car during repairs, who gets the insurance check, and what you need to do to make sure you’re covered. By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of your insurance options and what to expect if you ever find yourself in this situation.

Understanding Your Insurance Policy

A paper that says "insurance policy"

When it comes to auto insurance, knowing what each type of coverage does is key. There are three main types: comprehensive, collision, and liability coverage.

Comprehensive coverage helps pay for damage to your car that isn’t from a collision. This includes theft, fire, or natural disasters. If a tree falls on your car, comprehensive coverage steps in.

Collision coverage is all about accidents. If you hit another car or an object like a fence, this coverage pays for repairs to your car. It’s useful in those “oops” moments.

Liability coverage protects you if you’re at fault in an accident. It covers the other person’s repairs and medical bills. This coverage is required in most states.

But what about when you need a rental car during repairs? This is where rental reimbursement coverage comes in.

Rental reimbursement coverage helps you pay for a rental car while your vehicle is in the shop due to a covered incident. It’s not automatically included in most policies; you need to add it. Unlike standard coverage, which handles repairs and medical bills, rental reimbursement is there to keep you on the road.

When Insurance Pays For A Rental Car

A car on a road

Now, let’s talk about when rental reimbursement kicks in. Here are the scenarios where this coverage is useful.

First, after an accident. If your car is damaged in a crash and you have comprehensive or collision coverage, rental reimbursement helps you get a rental car. This keeps you mobile while your car is in the shop.

Second, during repairs for insured damages. If something happens to your car and it’s covered by your policy, rental reimbursement can cover the cost of a rental car.

However, there are conditions and limits to keep in mind. Most policies have daily limits, like $30 per day, and total limits, such as coverage for up to 30 days. This means your insurance will only pay up to these amounts for your rental car.

Also, some policies specify which rental car companies you can use. It’s important to check your policy details so you know where you stand.

When Insurance Does Not Cover A Rental Car

Insurance doesn’t always cover a rental car. There are common exclusions to be aware of.

Repairs for maintenance or wear and tear are not covered. If your car needs new brakes or an oil change, rental reimbursement won’t help. Regular maintenance is your responsibility.

Non-insured incidents are also excluded. If the damage isn’t covered by your policy, rental reimbursement won’t apply. For example, if you get into an accident and it’s not covered by your insurance, you can’t get a rental car through your policy.

There are also situations where rental reimbursement simply isn’t included.

Policies without rental reimbursement coverage mean you’re out of luck. If you didn’t add this option to your policy, insurance won’t cover a rental car, no matter what.

Exceeding coverage limits is another issue. Most policies have a daily and total limit for rental cars. If you need a rental for longer than your policy allows, you’ll have to pay out of pocket.

How To Ensure Rental Coverage

Want to make sure you’re covered? Here’s how you can do it.

Adding rental reimbursement coverage to your policy is straightforward. It comes with costs, but the benefits can outweigh them. Typically, this coverage is affordable, costing just a few extra dollars per month. But it can save you a lot if you ever need it.

To add it to your existing policy, contact your insurance agent. They’ll guide you through the process. It’s quick and easy. A simple call can give you peace of mind.

There are also alternatives to rental coverage if you don’t want to add it to your policy.

Credit card rental car coverage is one option. Some credit cards offer this as a perk. Check with your credit card company to see if they provide rental coverage and what the terms are.

Car rental company insurance is another alternative. When you rent a car, the rental company will offer you insurance. It’s usually more expensive than adding rental reimbursement to your policy, but it’s an option if you don’t have other coverage.

Making sure you have rental coverage is about understanding your options and choosing what works best for you. Whether through your insurance policy, a credit card, or directly from a rental company, staying informed helps you stay prepared.

Filing a Claim for a Rental Car

When you need to file a claim for a rental car, there are a few steps to follow. Here’s a simple guide to help you through the process.

Steps to take after an accident:

  1. Report the accident to your insurance company. Call your agent or use the app if your insurance company has one. Provide all the details about what happened.
  2. Get a rental car authorization. Your insurance company will let you know if you’re covered for a rental car and give you the green light to get one. They might also direct you to specific rental companies they work with.

Documentation needed:

  1. Proof of repair duration. This usually comes from the repair shop. It’s a statement showing how long they expect your car to be in the shop.
  2. Rental car receipts. Keep every receipt you get from the rental car company. You’ll need these to get reimbursed.

Tips for a smooth claim process:

  1. Communicate with your insurance agent. Keep them in the loop about the repair progress and any issues you face. They can provide support and guidance.
  2. Keep detailed records. Maintain a file with all your documents, receipts, and notes about every conversation you have with your insurance company and the repair shop. This helps avoid any confusion later.


Understanding your insurance coverage is crucial. Knowing when rental reimbursement applies and how to ensure you’re covered can save you a lot of stress.

To recap, rental reimbursement coverage helps you get your insurance to pay for a rental car during repairs. It’s important to check if your policy includes this coverage and to understand the conditions and limits.

Finally, I encourage you to review your insurance policy. Make sure it fits your needs, including rental reimbursement coverage if you think it’s necessary. It’s a small step that can make a big difference when you need it most.

Take action now: Reach out to us at Insurance Advisors of St. Louis. Let our expert advisors review your current policy and help you add the rental reimbursement coverage you need. We’re here to provide you with personalized advice and ensure you have the best protection possible. Contact us today for peace of mind on the road.