Have you ever wondered what rental car coverage on your insurance policy actually covers in Arizona?
-You take your car to discount tires on Gilbert & Baseline in Mesa to get new tires and it’s gonna take a day for them to finish- does your insurance pay for a rental car for you?
-Your car’s alternator goes out and it’s going to be in the shop for 3 days- does your auto insurance policy pay for a rental car?
These are questions we often get. When you get your Arizona auto insurance policy in the mail you see the coverage that offers $30 a day up to $900 for a rental car. When does your policy offer this coverage to you?
The only time that your auto insurance policy supplies you with a rental car is if your vehicle is in a covered accident. Covered accident, what does that mean? A covered accident means any claim that you filed with your insurance company that they accept and say you have coverage for it. So if you’re in an accident, you rear-end someone else and you file a claim and your insurance company says, “Yes this is covered. We’re going to pay for it” then in that case, they would supply you with a rental car. In this case, they would pay for a rental car up to whatever your limits are (i.e. $30 a day up to $900). Most companies will stop paying this amount once your car is completed and repaired. But it’s not just going to give it a rental car anytime you want because your tires are bad, you want to go out of town and have a rental car. That’s not what it’s for. It’s to supply you with a car in the case your car is disabled because it was in a covered accident.
What if My Car is Totaled?
How does this coverage apply if your car is totaled? Again, if it is a covered accident (meaning you have the appropriate coverage for your insurance company to cover the accident) then your auto insurance company would pay for a rental car (up to your limits) UNTIL they issue you a check to go replace your car. Some car insurance companies in Arizona will pay for a rental car for a few days after they issue you a check.
Insurance is not a maintenance plan.
The easy way to remember this is to know that insurance is not a maintenance plan. Insurance isn’t for mechanical breakdown or maintaining your vehicle. Car insurance (any insurance in general) is to protect you in the case of disaster, not simply because you got a flat tire and had to buy a new one.
So that’s what it covers. Check your limits. Make sure you have enough limits. Some agents will put you with $25 a day, which is not enough. Especially if you are a mom and you have multiple kids, you’re going to need a larger vehicle. So make sure you have at least $40, $50 a day for a rental car in the case you are in an accident.
For more information as to what insurance coverage you need while driving a rental car- check out this post.