With summer only a couple of months away, storm season is also approaching. A time that mother nature sets off with an annoying habit of unleashing cyclonic winds, flash flooding, raging bush fires and golf ball size hail into unsuspecting rental cars all over the country. Its unforeseen, unfair, and unpredictable. So what can you do to protect yourself?
Seek ShelterUsually a major storm has a limited warning. If its a hail or severe lightning storm approaching your area, www.bom.gov.au will issue you warnings with live satellite images of where exactly they predict it will hit and when, as well as your local emergency radio station giving enough time for you, your family and your rental car to seek shelter. If you are also planning to rent a holiday home or an apartment, keep in mind to book something with undercover parking in an above sea level area so that if the region does flood your rental vehicle is less likely to become a scuba diving expedition.
Better photo of car in canal. Stuck yesterday in flood water, fire dept says still too much water to tow it out pic.twitter.com/XCWS7TM0kP
— Jill Monier (@jillmonierfox10) September 10, 2014
Wrap it UpThis is a long shot, but it has worked for many customers in the past. If you cannot seek shelter in time, and you happen to have clothing or towels in the car that can be placed on the overhead, bonnet and boot (trunk) of the car, this might just be enough to stop the full force of the hail, and therefore reducing and if lucky completely eliminating damage that you would have otherwise may have been charged for. Alternative you could plan for the worst case scenario and purchase a vehicle hail damage protection cover from these clever people over at Protivent.
Go Home EarlyIn the event of a natural disaster like a major bush fire or earthquake (we rarely get earthquakes in Australia) Redspot Car Rentals policy is to refund any customer who plans to travel or who already is travelling and wants to return early during the government stated disaster time. See example http://www.autorentalnews.com/channel/rental-operations/news/story/2013/01/australian-car-rental-companies-waive-penalty-fees-for-unreturned-vehicles-in-bushfires.aspx
Elect Financial ProtectionTo most this is an obvious option. Electing to reduce you damage liability on your rental car for any damage that may be caused, could save you a considerable amount in repair costs to fix the vehicle. If mother nature decides to unleash her fury upon your rental car, and you’ve declined the Redspot Car Rentals optional Damage Cover Options because you thought your credit card insurance covered you, you should really consider these facts first:
- You must pay for your rental using the card providing coverage or the coverage will not apply.
- Most cards only reimburse you for your deductible after your own insurance pays.
- Some cards don’t pay unless you submit documented, “paid by you first” repair bills within a specified time.
- Some don’t cover rentals that last longer than a certain period.
- Some don’t cover certain car types or classes, (e.g., large Sport Utility Vehicles or certain luxury cars).
- Some only cover you if you purchase a separate, additional, one-time rental car coverage before each rental or enroll in advance and pay an additional fee for each rental.
- Some don’t cover rentals on cards issued outside of the cards country of origin.
- Credit card rental car coverage is for damage to the car, not for liability claims against you by third party vehicles damage