Insider Tip: Rental Car Reimbursement

A few years ago, I was chatting with my auto mechanic about my goal of getting my car to at least 250,000 miles.  Without hesitation, he told me to always get my oil changed at least every 6,000 miles and to get a new serpentine belt between 100k-125k miles.  He said that the serpentine belt should be about $150-$200 and that would save me $1000’s of dollars in repairs in the future and extend the life of my engine.  I followed his advice and my car lasted over 250,000 miles.

Customers like it when wait staff are recommending items to order- or to stay away from- on the restaurant menu.  To me, that type of information is very useful and can make or break my experience with that restaurant.

So called “inside tips” that help steer us in the right direction, based on their experience can make our consumer experience much better.

In that mindset, I am going to share with you some tips on Auto insurance over the next few weeks on items that I would definitely recommend to you that will save you money in the long run if the need arises.

This week, I want to recommend to you to get the rental reimbursement on your Auto insurance.  It is fairly inexpensive.  A starting rate adds about $2 per month to your policy.

Many people we talk to tell us that they would be ok without rental reimbursement because they can share a ride to work with their spouse or borrow a car from a friend or family member.  Which all sounds great, until your car is in the auto body shop for 2 weeks.  Or your car was stolen and it is not “officially” considered stolen by the insurance company until it has been missing for 27 days.

Last week, we had a customer that was following a truck on the freeway.  Suddenly, a pile of snow slid off the top of the truck and onto the windshield of our customer.  The snow completely shattered the windshield and damaged the side of the customer’s car.  Our customer’s car would be in the shop for a few days while parts were ordered, which also meant that he needed a rental car.  He told us that something like this has never happened before, so he really didn’t think about rental reimbursement before.

We had a customer that had her car stolen right out of her own driveway!  She reported the car stolen and was told by the police that if the car is not recovered within 48 hours, that it normally will never be seen again or else will be found on blocks somewhere.  From the insurance carrier, a car is not officially stolen until it has not been recovered after 27 days.  That means that this customer needed either a rental car or alternative transportation for almost one month.  She told us something like this has never happened before and she never really paid attention to the importance of rental reimbursement coverage. 

In our own home, we have 3 drivers and 3 cars.  We figured that if one car goes down, our teenager will just need to give up her car for a little bit.  But the teenager was the one in the car accident where her car was totaled and she was without a car for about a week.  Our original plan of driving her around or her borrowing one of our cars was great on paper- but in reality was a real pain!  Our daughter needed a car because she was in a work-study program that required a car for her to get to work for her class.  The shuffling of the remaining cars and multiple schedules made losing that one car a challenge.  We did not have rental reimbursement at the time because we thought that we could just figure it out and manage.  We did do that.  However, just having a rental car for a week would have made things so much easier- and for just $2 / month- would have been totally worth it.

Most people do not think bad things are going to happen to them.  Snow or a rock flying off a truck.  A deer running in the road and you hit it (or the deer hits you).  Your car getting stolen either out of your driveway (it’s happened), your valet steals it (it’s happened), stolen while you are pumping gas (it’s happened), or while you are parked at work (it’s happened).  Or just a plain accident where you just didn’t see the other person coming.  Bad stuff happens all the time.

Rental reimbursement is our first insider tip for you.  It is very inexpensive compared to the headache and (higher) expense of needing to get a rental car in the future.  Don’t skimp on this coverage!

 

 

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