My family currently has 3 cars and 3 licensed drivers. I say currently because my son turns 16 next month and then there are 2 more future drivers coming up shortly after that (we have a 14 ½ year old and an 11 year old also!). Our driveway is going to be a parking lot of cars before long.
Like many parents, we considered our 17 year old daughter’s car to be the “extra” car in the household. Because really, she is 17. For her- driving should be a luxury. A privilege.
That is… until our daughter got into an auto accident this past May and she was without a car for about 10 days. And then we realized just how important having her car was- to ALL of us.
You see- she is a very active kid that has 2 jobs in addition to school. She also drives her younger brother to school every day.
In other words, she used her car a lot and a car for her was essential.
Now, like many parents that consider their kid’s car to be “extra” and non-essential if something happened to his/her car, we decided not to have rental reimbursement on our auto insurance coverage for her car. Why? Because we have 3 cars in our household and my wife and I work together and can carpool. We figured we could save a couple of bucks that way.
What a short-sighted mistake that was! To be sure, we did have rental reimbursement coverage on my wife’s car and for my car. Rental reimbursement coverage provides money for a rental car while your car is being repaired after a car accident or after a car theft. It would have been really nice to have that on our daughter’s car, because taking one car out the equation for our family was really a pain in the rear. We have other kids that played baseball (on 2 different teams that played in different towns on the same day), gymnastics, Girl Scout activities, and other events that my wife and I participate in.
Having a rental car for our daughter would have made our life a whole lot easier for the ten days that she was without a car.
And that was just ten days! What if it was longer?
Our office also had a customer that had her car stolen this past Fall, which seems to be a more common occurrence in the Milwaukee area. Did you know that a car is not considered officially stolen by insurance carriers until it has been missing for 27 days? What if your car was stolen? Could you wait 27 days without having a rental car to get you to work?
Rental reimbursement is generally very inexpensive. You can choose the amount of rental coverage that you want ($30-$70 per day). The price ranges from $16-$35 per 6 months and is one of the coverages that people think they can leave off. But we recommend that you include rental reimbursement coverage for all of your cars because it makes life so much easier for you during a very stressful moment (either a car accident or car theft).
We now have rental reimbursement for all of our cars in our family. It is a forgotten about coverage that many people think that they can live without to save a little bit of premium. But it is also coverage that can really be useful as you get back to normal after an auto claim.