How Does Car Rental Reimbursement Work?

This optional coverage may help cover your rental car costs if your car is stolen or in a crash.

A woman smiles inside her rental car on a rainy day

With rental car reimbursement, you can get a loaner vehicle at little or no cost to you. Speak with your insurance agent to learn more.

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If something happens to your car, you might end up without wheels for days, maybe weeks. So, how do you get around in the meantime? Car rental reimbursement coverage—referred to as a standard transportation expense or an enhanced transportation endorsement on your car insurance policy—puts you back on the road quickly by making it easy to borrow wheels at little or no cost to you.

What is car rental reimbursement insurance?

After a collision, a damaged car can sometimes spend several weeks in the shop. Renting a car while your own vehicle is being repaired can get expensive. A survey of a major U.S. cities shows that rates across the West can vary wildly, from $40 to $81 per day.
 
A standard auto insurance policy won’t reimburse you for rental car costs. But an optional enhanced transportation endorsement coverage called rental car reimbursement will—as long as your vehicle’s repairs are being paid for by your collision or comprehensive insurance coverage. (Rental reimbursement is only available in Arizona, Nevada, and some other states if a vehicle has been stolen; it does not cover damaged vehicles in those states.) 

How does car rental reimbursement work?

You can rent from any car rental agency with car rental reimbursement insurance. For your convenience, ask your insurer whether it has a preferred agency that bills directly so you can avoid paying out of pocket. (AAA’s preferred rental car vendor is Hertz.) Otherwise, you’ll typically pay for the rental car with your own money and then submit receipts to your insurer for reimbursement.

What does car rental reimbursement cover?

Car rental reimbursement insurance pays rental car or public transportation costs when your own vehicle:

  • has been stolen

  • has a collision with another vehicle

  • crashes into something

  • has been vandalized

What doesn’t car rental reimbursement cover?

Car rental reimbursement insurance usually does not cover:

  • fuel costs

  • car rental security deposits

  • car rental costs while your vehicle gets routine maintenance

  • car rental costs while you’re traveling

What are the limits of rental car reimbursement coverage?

Policies typically have a daily limit ranging from $25 to $50. So, if your policy reimburses up to $30 a day and your rental car costs $45 a day, you’re responsible for paying the $15 a day difference. Check with your agent for your policy’s limits. 

How long does the insurance pay for my car rental?

Rental coverage often has a limit of 14 to 30 days, depending on your policy. If your car is “totaled”, your car rental coverage may end as soon as a settlement is reached. It won’t necessarily continue until you buy a new car.

How do I get car rental reimbursement insurance?

Contact an agent today to learn more about car rental reimbursement and get a free car insurance quote from AAA.

AAA Insurance offers the protection you need, backed by stellar customer service. What’s more, if you buy auto coverage and another policy—such as renters or homeowners insurance—with AAA, you’ll be eligible for a discount. 
 

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More Insurance Definitions

The availability, qualifications, and amounts of coverages, costs and discounts may vary from state to state and there may be coverages and discounts not listed here. In addition, other terms, conditions, and exclusions not described above may apply, and total savings may vary depending on the coverages purchased. For more information regarding your eligibility for certain coverages and savings opportunities, please contact your AAA agent. Insurance products in California offered by AAA Northern California Insurance Agency. License #0175868, in Nevada by AAA Nevada and in Utah by AAA Utah. Insurance provided by CSAA Insurance Group, a AAA insurer.