I recently had a neighbor who couldn’t turn off the radio in his car. When he turned the ignition off, the radio continued to play until it drained the battery. Turns out it was a faulty circuit board and it took 4 months to get a new one.
This past weekend I was reading about how auto repairs involving chips and circuit boards sometimes take up to 8 months because of supply issues. Most auto policies, at best, include 30 days of coverage for loss of use, usually to rent a vehicle or use a service like Uber or Lyft. ISO’s Personal Auto Program has an option for expanded coverage ($30-$75 a day up to $900/$2,250 max.), but I’m told by many agents that carriers are reticent to provide more than 30, maybe 60, days coverage (not that consumers would buy it if available).
Fortunately for my neighbor, he had another car in his household that he was able to use. But that’s not an option for many people. And perhaps this is even a bigger issue when someone has rented a car that is damaged. I’m aware of one $9,000 loss of use charge assessed to a renter because of a delay in getting parts from Japan. In the case of a rental car, the renter is at the mercy of the rental agency and may be contractually obligated to pay whatever the rental company demands.
While agents may have little control over the availability of increased limits of loss of use coverage, they can at least warn customers about the increased need to buy the rental car agency’s loss damage waiver. For additional reasons, check out this article.
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