Car Rental Reimbursement: Is It Worth The Hassle?

Oct 14, 2022Additional Insurance, Blog0 comments

Car Rental Reimbursement: Navigating Auto Insurance Benefits and Options

Renting a car while on vacation seems straightforward until you encounter the myriad policies and conditions that rental companies and auto insurance providers have in place. Among these, car rental reimbursement is a feature that often puzzles many. It’s a provision that can either be a boon or a bane, depending on your situation and how well you understand it. This guide aims to demystify car rental reimbursement under auto insurance, outlining its essentials, benefits, and the critical considerations you need to keep in mind.

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Unpacking Car Rental Reimbursement

Car rental reimbursement is an insurance feature that covers the cost of a rental vehicle while your car is in the shop due to a covered insurance claim. This coverage can be a lifeline, ensuring you remain mobile without out-of-pocket expenses for the rental. However, the specifics can vary significantly between policies, including daily and total maximum reimbursement limits.

Types of Car Rental Reimbursement Programs

Rental companies and credit card issuers offer programs that might influence your decision:

  • Hertz memberships might offer fixed reimbursements per rental.
  • American Express benefits range from points redemption to rental discounts through their Membership Rewards and Preferred Rate Programs.
  • Thrifty provides rewards through its Fuel Rewards Club and Hotel Rewards Club, emphasizing spending on rentals.

These programs offer varied benefits, from cash back to discounts on future rentals, adding layers of value to your car rental experience.

The Pros and Cons of Car Rental Reimbursement


  • Cost Savings: Avoid the hefty price tag of rental insurance at the counter.
  • Convenience: Picking up your rental at the airport or elsewhere becomes seamless.
  • Automatic Reimbursements: Many rental companies offer hassle-free reimbursements for expenses incurred.


  • Complex Application Process: The need for detailed documentation can be daunting.
  • Potential for Non-Reimbursement: Not all expenses might qualify for reimbursement.
  • Delayed Reimbursement: Processing times can vary, leading to delays in receiving your money back.

Evaluating the Worth of Car Rental Reimbursement

The value of car rental reimbursement hinges on individual needs and circumstances. For many, the benefits of cost savings and convenience outweigh the potential hurdles of the application process and the wait for reimbursement.

Claiming Your Car Rental Reimbursement

To claim car rental reimbursement, you’ll typically need your driver’s license, rental agreement, and original receipts. Some insurers may also request photos of any damage to the vehicle. Prompt communication with your insurance company is crucial to facilitate the reimbursement process.

Prepaying for Rental: Is It Necessary?

While not always required, prepaying for your rental might unlock discounts or ensure availability. However, weigh this against the flexibility of paying upon arrival, significantly if plans might change.

Conclusion: Weighing the Benefits Against the Hassle

Car rental reimbursement can significantly reduce travel costs, but it’s not without its challenges. Understanding the terms of your auto insurance policy and the rental agreement is crucial in making the most of this benefit. For many, the advantages of having a rental car covered in times of need far outweigh the initial effort to secure reimbursement.


  1. National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) – Understanding Auto Insurance:
  2. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) – Shopping for Auto Insurance:
  3. Insurance Information Institute (III) – What is covered by a basic auto insurance policy?:
  4. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) – Understanding car rental agreements:


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