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Your top 5 insurance car hire questions answered

Published on: 23 July 2014

The ins and outs of car hireIf you depend on your car on a daily basis, you may find yourself in a bind should your car 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 a car. This is why they provide car hire as an added-extra at a low monthly cost so that you can have access to a rental car when you need it the most.

Benefits of having car hire with your insurance company

If your car gets damaged in an accident, stolen or hijacked, it could be weeks until you are back in the driver’s seat, and having the option of a rental car could save you money and relieve added pressures and worries of how to get to work and the kids to school.

1. When can I get a hired car?

If you have taken the car hire option, you’ll have access to the rental car once you’ve registered a claim and your claim has been approved.

Your insurance company will provide you with a car only if your car:

  • is damaged and being repaired,
  • is damaged and not drivable,
  • is stolen or hijacked.

2. How long can I keep the car?

It’s important that you clearly understand the period of time that your insurer will pay for the hired car. For example, at MiWay, clients can select either 10, 20, 30, 45 or 60 days. The hired car is available for the maximum period you have selected and must be returned as soon as your claim is finalised, even if within the period you selected.

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 nothing less than 60 days as it could take a while for the panel beater to find the right parts.

3. What are the terms and conditions that I should know about?

Deposit and Insurance on your Hired Car

The deposit can be high but it is refundable once you return the rental car in the same condition you received it in. 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.

4. My car broke down, can I get car hire?

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 that you took the car hire option on. Mechanical and electrical failure are excluded under the car hire option, so you won't be able to get a rental 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 rental car if you are stranded next to the side of the road more than 100km’s away from your home. Be sure to check your policy schedule to see if you qualify for this MiHelp benefit.

5. Can I get an automatic car?

If you prefer an automatic transition car you may specify this when taking up car hire with your insurance company. For drivers with special needs, car hire companies such as Avis have a limited amount of cars for disabled drivers.

Car hire cover with your car insurance can be a lifesaver – especially if you don’t have a second car that you can rely on. As a MiWay client you can always update your policy online as and when it is most convenient for you. For a quote on car on car hire, click here.

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