In California, if you don’t have a car, it’s pretty difficult to get anywhere! You can’t go to the store to buy groceries, hang out with friends, go out for dinner, get a cup of coffee… it’s just way too inconvenient without a car!

But what if your car needs maintenance after an accident? If you need to take your car to the auto shop for repairs, what can you do? What do you need to know?

“I heard that if you buy car insurance, the insurance company will cover all your rental car fees? I bought a warranty that includes rental coverage; does that mean I won’t have to spend any money?

The answer to that is… NO!

Rental reimbursement coverage is if in the unfortunate event that your car is damaged from a car accident, the insurance company will cover the cost of the car rental. However, it’s not automatically included in general car insurance. You need to buy it additionally, and it typically costs around $30 a year.

Is car rental insurance worth it?

Typically, there is $25 per day/$750 per claim in the rental portion of your car insurance. This means that the insurance company will cover up to $25 per day up to 30 days, and they will cover no more than $750 in total.

If a repair takes an average of 2-5 days, then renting a car could cost from $50 to $125. If the accident is a bit more serious and needs more repairing, it might take more than 10 days, which means that the cost of a car rental would be in the hundreds!

However, if you have car rental insurance, then it would cost around $30 for the entire year, and you wouldn’t have to worry about the costs of renting a car!

Notify your insurance company if you need to repair your car!

If you ever get into a car accident you must notify your insurance company—regardless of whether you’re right or wrong.

If the car is still functioning and you are still able to drive it, you should confirm with your insurance company that they can accept the claim before you rent a car. This is because if your car only needs 3 days to repair, but you rented a car for 6 days, then the cost of the other 3 days is most likely going to be coming out of your pocket!

What’s the difference between car insurance and car rental insurance? 

Many people think that the car rental is a part of their car insurance. However, this refers to a rental car that you can temporarily use while your car is in maintenance, not a rental car after a car accident! Furthermore, car insurance does not cover the cost of your car rental when your car is in maintenance.

A lot of people also ask if they should buy rental car insurance when renting a car to travel. If you already have car insurance and you are sure that you have “full” coverage, which means that liability coverage, comprehensive coverage, and collision coverage are included, then the cost of your rental car is most likely covered.