One frequently-asked question we receive from our policyholders and agents is: Are rented vehicles covered by the personal auto policy?
While the most common scenario is renting a private passenger vehicle while on vacation, this also applies to renting a moving truck or a motorhome for personal use.
Amy Justman, senior personal lines underwriter will explain the difference between a standard policy and a West Bend Home and Highway® policy.
The standard policy language developed by Insurance Services Office (ISO) and used by many personal auto companies provides coverage for rented vehicles under PART D – COVERAGE FOR DAMAGE TO YOUR AUTO. This, however, can be limiting as it only covers damage identified as “collision” and other-than-“collision” and a deductible will often apply. There may also be limits to the type of vehicle covered.
West Bend’s Home and Highway policy, on the other hand, includes rented vehicle coverage under PART A – LIABILITY COVERAGE. This allows us to cover any damages for which you’re found legally liable – including those assumed via contract (aka the rental agreement) – up to the limit of liability. Additionally, under liability coverage, there’s no deductible. The liability coverage automatically applies to four-wheel vehicles licensed for road use when rented for personal use.
This is a feature we call out as especially unique to our Home and Highway policy because of the broad coverage. Again, all insurance providers and their coverage forms differ so make sure to contact your agent or company to confirm before signing the liability waiver and driving off!
These questions are also often part of the discussion. The answers are specific to coverage provided by the Home and Highway policy:
1. Who’s covered for rented car coverage?

The “insured” and a “family member” as defined by the personal auto coverage form.
2. Is there a coverage territory for rented car coverage?

Yes, the coverage territory is:
1. The United States of America, its territories or possessions
2. Puerto Rico
3. Canada
3. Is there a limit to the amount of coverage West Bend will pay on a covered loss to a rented car?

Yes, the Property Damage or Combined Single limit is the total amount we’ll pay for damages to the rented car.
4. Will West Bend pay for loss of use to a rental car company?

After a loss, our Claims Department will investigate to determine if the rental car company did indeed suffer a loss of use due to damage to the rented car; we will only pay if warranted. If we find there were other fleet vehicles available for rent while the damaged vehicle was being repaired, there was no loss of use. In that case, we’ll deny this portion of the claim. If they can validate they experienced loss of use, we’ll provide coverage for a reasonable period. For example, replacing a windshield shouldn’t take more than a day.
5. My Home and Highway includes a Personal Umbrella. Will that limit be available as excess over and above the underlying auto liability limit?

Yes, the Umbrella limit will provide excess limits beyond the underlying auto Property Damage or Combined Single limit.
Furthermore, because the coverage territory for the Umbrella is worldwide, it would provide coverage even if needed outside the auto coverage territory described above. In such an event, a $250 retention (deductible) would apply.