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What is Loss of Use Coverage?

People buy insurance as a safety net to deal with risk. One unfortunate aspect of a car accident is that damaged vehicles need repair. While the car is in the shop, the driver is stuck with solving the problem of how to get around and often ends up renting a car — which is why many people carry insurance called “loss of use coverage.”

Virginia statute § 8.01-66 allows anyone who is entitled to recover damages for a motor vehicle to also recover the reasonable cost of hiring a comparable substitute vehicle while the other vehicle is either being repaired or the owner is purchasing a new vehicle. Under the North Carolina Motor Vehicle Safety and Financial Responsibility Act, the definition of a judgment lists damages for care and loss of services that results in destruction of property, and includes the "loss of use." Drivers who purchase insurance to cover loss of use expect the insurance company to cover their rental car expenses. Unfortunately, some policies have terms that limit the time allowed to rent a car or put other restrictions on the loss of use feature.

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