Q. Something happened to my car. Will my policy pay for a rental car?
A. After your vehicle has an unexpected loss, a plethora of thoughts may form. Is everyone okay? Am I okay? Perhaps the car was parked and you weren't inside it, but is your car okay? It's always a relief to learn no one is injured, but perhaps the same can't be said of your car. Even if your car is driveable and your policy will pay for the damages, it may be stressful to imagine how you'll get to and from work or school while it's being repaired.
In Washington, your Underinsured Motorist - Property Damage coverage will provide a rental when your car is hit by someone who leaves the scene, or who lacks insurance. However, in many states, Oregon included, a rental is not provided in those same situations. Comprehensive coverage also provides a rental, but only for one type of loss and when certain conditions are met: your vehicle must have been stolen, and 48 hours must pass from the time your stolen vehicle is reported to both the police and to PEMCO.
Even if someone else who carries insurance is at fault for damaging your car, it may take time for their insurance company to step up and put you into a rental. An investigation can be prolonged and liability could be denied. Can you imagine going two days or longer without your vehicle?
This is where the stress-reducing Rental Reimbursement coverage makes things easier to manage. When your car is rendered inoperable due to a covered loss, Rental Reimbursement comes to the rescue by putting you into a vehicle until yours is back in action. PEMCO can help set up the rental reservation and a direct bill with the rental agency, and rental companies like Enterprise may even come to your location to drop off the rental car.
We offer a few different levels of protection for this, so it's best to choose the limit that's right for your needs. If you simply need transportation while yours is out of commission, then even our entry-level limit will suffice. Combined with the preferred rates we secure with rental car companies, the entry-level option usually can get folks into a suitable ride. But if you have children, a large family, or other specific needs, you may want to bump the coverage up a notch. You can even select our highest limit to ensure you can choose from the widest range of rental vehicles.
We offer this optional protection to any of your vehicles carrying both Comprehensive and Collision coverage, and when counseling folks about their coverage I find that most are pleasantly surprised with how little it costs -- typically less than a few dollars a month per car. Keep in mind that mechanical failure or general breakdown is not covered by your policy, so Rental Reimbursement will not be available in those cases. But for the wide array of losses your policy does cover, it's a huge relief to get back on the road with minimal disruption. As you might be able to tell, I'm a big fan of this coverage!