How can I get a courtesy car if my car is stolen or written off?
Being involved in a car accident or getting your car stolen is traumatic enough, without having to worry about how you can get about whilst you are without a vehicle. At times like these, the majority of people say that the most important service that an insurance company can offer is an easily accessible customer helpline, and quick support in arranging a replacement vehicle if theirs is off the road.
However, not all car insurance policies offer the level of back-up that you might need, either in providing a courtesy car or covering the cost of a hire car. As with all insurance policies, the tip is to be well informed about the level of cover that your car insurance provides, and if necessary explore options to extend the cover with your existing provider or consider changing your insurer when your policy expires.
Some simple checks that you can make:
Does your policy provide for a courtesy car if you have an accident? Most comprehensive insurance policies do include courtesy car support. But don’t assume that this is the case if your vehicle is a write-off or deemed by the insurance company not to be worth repairing – in that case, you will not be provided with a courtesy car. Your entitlement is also often linked with using a repairer approved by your insurance company, with the risk of losing your right to a courtesy car if you choose to go elsewhere. Some insurers will not offer a courtesy car if your vehicle has been stolen.
Check the terms and conditions of your policy: these will set out the type of car to which you are entitled and for how long. If the accident is your fault, you can normally have a courtesy car for up to 30 days. If the vehicle provided is likely to be a three-door compact, when you need a larger and more powerful saloon for the amount of travelling that you do, then you may need to discuss this with your insurance company.
Are you covered for a hire car? The answer is probably not. Again, this can come as a surprise if you haven’t familiarised yourself with the terms of your policy. Most comprehensive policies don’t provide for the cost of a hire car if your car is a write off and you are left without a vehicle while you are waiting for the insurance company to pay out. Hire costs can soon mount up! So you might like to consider adding additional hire car cover to your insurance to make certain that you have the support that you need if you are left without your own car, and to remove the worry of escalating hire car bills. The additional cover can cost between £30 and £50 a year with most companies, and there will be a time limit – usually between 21 to 28 days. Use of the hire car will usually extend to named drivers on your policy.
What other options are available on your policy? Many comprehensive policies include legal advice and roadside rescue as standard, but some will offer these as part of a package of optional extras. Recognising that the rising cost of insurance is a problem in straitened times, some companies are offering “personalized” packages, with a core level of cover to meet fundamental legal requirements which can then be added to, choosing from a wide range of options to build cover best suited to your circumstances and budget.
Allianz Your Cover offers a Car Hire Insurance add on which you can add to your current Your Cover car insurance policy at any time. For more information about this add on, please visit the website: www.yourcoverinsurance.co.uk.