If you depend on your car on a daily basis, you may find yourself in a dilemma should it need to go to the panel beater for repairs after an accident. Insurance companies understand the inconvenience that comes with not having your car for a period of time and the high costs of hiring one to temporarily replace it. That is why there is an option to take cover for a hired car as a low-cost added-extra on your insurance policy – putting you into a hired car when you need it most.
If your car is written off, stolen or hijacked, it could be weeks until you are back in the driver’s seat. Having the car hire option on your policy means immediate relief of pressures and worries, equipping you to get on with life, like getting kids to school, going to work and doing the shopping.
These five questions will give you a clear idea of how to get car hire on your car insurance – and how it works.
- When can I get a hired car?
If you have taken the car hire option on your car insurance, you’ll have access to a hired car when you lodge a claim.
Your insurance company, through a car hire company, will provide you with a hired car only if your car is:
- Damaged and is being repaired;
- Damaged and not drivable;
- Stolen or hijacked.
2. How long can I keep the car?
It’s important that you understand the period of time that your insurer will pay for the hired car. For example, at MiWay clients can select between 10, 20, 30, 45 or 60 days when taking the cover. The hired car is available for the maximum period you have selected, or until your claim is finalised if that happens before the time selected has expired.
Remember, you may not necessarily have your car repaired by the time the rental period is over. If this is the case, you are able to hire the car for longer, but at your own expense. As a MiWay client, you are able to extend your car hire after your selected rental period at a discounted rate, provided there is no break in the car hire period.
Tip: If your car has parts that are hard to come by, it is suggested that you select car hire for a longer period, as it could take a while for the panel beater to find the right parts to your car.
- What are the terms and conditions that I should know about?
Deposit and Insurance on the hired car
The deposit may be high but it is refundable once you return the hired car in the same condition you received it in from the car hire company, less e-toll fees and fuel, if applicable. You will also have to pay for running costs as well as the collection and delivery fees, if any. In the event of a claim on a hired car, you will be liable for the excess.
Tip: Inspect the hired car very carefully when you pick it up. Note any damage, no matter how minor, to prevent being held liable upon returning it.
- My car broke down, can I get a hired car?
Car hire is an optional add-on cover for a specific car for which an additional premium is paid. You can only use the hired car when you have a valid claim on the car on which you took the car hire option. Mechanical and electrical failure are excluded from policy cover and are not seen as insured events, so you will not get a hired car through your insurance while your car is being attended to.
Some insurers, like MiWay, will provide you with an emergency roadside assistance benefit which will pay R500 towards a hired car if you are stranded more than 100 kilometres from your home. Be sure to check your policy schedule to see if you qualify for this MiHelp benefit.
- Can I get an automatic car?
If you prefer an automatic transmission, it can be specified when taking up the car hire cover with your insurance company. For drivers with special needs, car hire companies such as Avis have a limited amount of cars available.
Car hire cover with your car insurance can be a lifesaver, especially if you don’t have a second car in your household.
For more information on car insurance and car hire, visit www.miway.co.za
MiWay is an Authorised Financial Services Provider (Licence no: 33970)
MiWay Insurance Limited (‘MiWay’)is a direct, short-term insurance company, offering customers a range of short-term insurance products including motor, household and homeowners insurance as well as add-on products such as warranty cover and liability cover. MiWay’s shareholder is Santam, a blue-chip JSE-listed company.