Alternative Accommodation - Breakdown Cover Explained

Broken Down Car
By , 25 March 2021

2 min read

We’re aware as much as you are that sometimes breakdown cover can be seemingly needlessly complicated and full of terms that may not mean much to the average customer.

We’re determined to change that perception and hopefully clear up a few things along the way. In this guide we’re covering everything there is to know about alternative accommodation in a breakdown cover policy.

What is Alternative Accommodation?

Alternative Accommodation is an (often) optional policy benefit that affords you a reimbursement if you choose to stay overnight whilst your vehicle is being repaired.

It’s only ever an option in your policy if your vehicle has already been recovered to a garage and repairs are taking longer than expected (usually longer than a day), however, this policy benefit only applies when the breakdown occurs over a specific distance from your home, normally 20 to 25 miles, so check your policy details to make sure you know these limits. Most people choose a hotel, bed and breakfast or motel to stay in, but depending on how rural the area you have broken down in, you may be forced to travel a sizable distance to find the nearest accommodation. Sometimes, your breakdown cover will also cover this cost of travel too, but again, check your own policy out to see what you have.

For more information about onward travel, head to our guide all about it below.

Is Alternative Accommodation offered on Every Breakdown Policy?

In a word, no. Alternative accommodation is usually found under the onward travel part of your cover and not every policy offers onward travel, so it’s never a guaranteed benefit in breakdown cover. You can check to see if you have alternative accommodation by looking at your policy wording.

Are There Limits on the Hotel I Can Choose to Stay in?

Generally no. You’re free to choose whichever hotel to stay in whilst your vehicle is fixed that you wish. However, your policy will only reimburse you up to a certain amount, per person or per room, so you’ll need to factor this in before you go booking into in the nearest 5 star resort you can find. For example, if your policy reimburses you £75 per room and you book into a hotel that charges £125 per room, then you’ll essentially still be paying £50 per room once the reimbursement has been returned to you.

It’s really important you check through your policy wording before you purchase so you know exactly what to expect in terms of alternative accommodation reimbursements, so you don’t have any nasty surprises.

When Will I Get Reimbursed?

Once your claim is complete and your vehicle has been fixed, you’ll need to send proof of the accommodation stay through to your claim handlers. This could be in the form of a receipt for the rooms you stayed in, so make sure you keep all paperwork from your stay, just to be safe.

You’ll then have to wait a (hopefully) short amount of time whilst the claim is processed and you’ll then be notified once the reimbursement has been approved.

Find Out More About Breakdown Cover

Want to learn more about breakdown cover and the different types of policy benefits you could be entitled to? We’ve put together a load of pages to help educate our customers and people looking for great breakdown cover, but who may not understand the ins and outs of insurance, take a look at some of our other “Breakdown Cover Explained” pages:

I Have More Questions…

No problem! Take a look at our FAQs page.

Still not satisfied? Head to our contact us page, type in your query and our customer service team will be in touch.