Emergency accommodation in car insurance
If your car breaks down while you're away from home, car insurance can cover you for emergency accommodation and transportation.
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Comprehensive car insurance policies often come with emergency accommodation cover. If your car breaks down while you're travelling away from home, and it can't be safely driven, an emergency accommodation benefit can cover the costs of your accommodation, up to a certain amount.
What does emergency accommodation cover you for?
Emergency accommodation (sometimes known as emergency travel and accommodation or emergency travel, accommodation and repairs) covers you for essential accommodation and travel you need to make if your car is stolen or damaged to the extent it is unsafe to drive. Many car insurance providers will pay for the driver's (and their passengers') transportation home, but if transport is not available, they will pay for the cost of their temporary accommodation. Others will only pay an accommodation and travel benefit if you are more than 100 or 200 kilometres from your home. They typically also come with a limit of around $500 to $900.
Most policies will cover you for the next destination only; that is, the place you were headed to at the time of the incident. If repairs are included as well, your insurer will likely cover emergency repairs to your car to make it safe to drive so you can get it to your next destination.
Is it included in all car insurance policies?
Emergency transport and accommodation is generally only included with comprehensive car insurance policies. You might find it included in some third party property, fire and theft policies but you won't get it covered with a third party property only policy. Some providers, such as Huddle, provide emergency travel and accommodation as an optional extra with their basic policy so you can pay to add the service to your cover.
How do insurers compare?
Check out how the following car insurance providers compare when it comes to emergency accommodation.
How do I compare emergency accommodation?
Most car insurance providers will have a clear benefit limit, though some also have a daily amount. For example, Budget Direct and Virgin have a cap of $100 per day, up to $850 in total. Generally though, the most any provider will pay is $1,000. Youi, for instance, will pay up to $1,000 for each claim, before excess. If you take out a policy with Woolworths, Real Insurance or Huddle, you will receive up to $500 for your accommodation and travel.
Keep in mind that many insurers, such as Woolworths, Huddle and Real, only provide accommodation and travel if you are more than 200 kilometres from your home and your car cannot be driven. Others, such as Youi, stipulate that you must be 100 kilometres from your home.
How do I make a claim for emergency accommodation?
So long as your claim for an emergency transport and accommodation benefit arises from loss or damage to your car, you can expect your insurer to reimburse you for the costs. Make sure that your emergency accommodation and transport costs don't exceed the benefit limit though. Keep any travel and accommodation receipts and be sure to include them when you make a claim. Most claims should be processed within seven days.
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