Whether or not you need insurance coverage for a rental car is of course an individual decision, but in general you need to know what can be covered and where to find it before making a decision.
There are a variety of options when deciding if and from where to take out insurance for a rental car. Accidents and the resulting medical costs in connection with a rental can be covered by:
- Existing health insurance
- Existing homeowner or tenant insurance
- Travel insurance
- Credit card benefits
- Rental company
We’ll cover each of the options below and walk you through what they might offer.
Is it necessary to take out rental car insurance?
Insurance for your rental car is usually not required by law. However, you need to research what is already available and what you might want to add.
Car rental companies may offer insurance through fully comprehensive insurance or fully comprehensive insurance (LDW or CDW). This type of insurance can insure you if your rental car is damaged, stolen or destroyed in a collision. With this waiver, the car rental company will not be able to pursue you for repairs and losses.
However, this type of rental car insurance is often, if not always, superfluous if your regular insurance policies have certain levels of coverage. By following the steps below, you can find out if you are already covered.
Does my car insurance cover rental car incidents?
You may already be covered by your existing auto insurance if an incident occurs while driving a rental. Review the types and limits of your personal car insurance policy to see if it includes some type of damage compensation or fully comprehensive insurance for rental cars. However, your existing auto insurance may not cover all incidents.
Benefits of using your own insurance for car rental
- You know your car insurer and its reputation: Using your existing insurance means you have a relationship with the provider and you know how reliable it is. When you choose rental insurance, you may be working with a new organization that you don’t know about.
- Less paperwork is required at the time of rental: When you’re at the rental desk, you usually want to get on and off as quickly as possible. Completing rental car insurance forms takes additional time and effort. This part of the rental process can be bypassed if you already have an insurance policy that covers the rental.
Disadvantages of using your own insurance for car rental
- Personal car insurance may not offer what you want: Your insurance company may not provide the coverage you want or your agent may recommend if there is a qualifying event with the rental car.
- You are planning a trip overseas: Many auto insurances are limited to the United States. If you are traveling abroad, your auto insurance may not cover claims for rental cars that occur outside of the country.
How can I get insurance when renting a car?
In some cases, your other insurance policies and credit cards offer benefits that can be helpful if you are experiencing a qualifying event with your rental vehicle.
Check your health insurance
Your health insurance company may cover medical expenses for you and your passengers if you are injured in a rental car accident.
If this is not covered by your health insurance, personal accident insurance can cover medical costs for you and your passengers if you are injured in a rental car accident.
Check your homeowner or tenant insurance
Your homeowner or tenant insurance may have your belongings covered wherever you take them, even if they are stolen from a rental car.
Be aware of the limits of your personal coverage, which may require additional drivers for certain valuables such as expensive jewelry.
Check your travel insurance
If you have travel insurance for your trip, check to see if it includes car rental collision coverage. This type of coverage may be similar to the landlord’s compensation landlord arrangement, sometimes at a lower cost.
However, check to see if the coverage is primary or secondary. Primary means that this insurance starts first. Secondary means that this insurance starts after other insurance policies have been reviewed and may pay off.
Check your credit card benefits
A certain amount of rental car insurance is offered by many credit card companies as long as you pay for the rental with your card.
The specific benefits of car rental insurance vary depending on the company and card. You can be insured for a certain period of time. The amount of collision damage is usually limited to different amounts.
Theft and towing costs are usually covered, but personal property and medical services are less common. Some companies take on downtime fees. It is common for card companies to ban certain vehicles, e.g. B. expensive luxury cars and costs incurred in certain countries. Most credit card services only offer secondary rental car insurance. Typically, you will also need to decline coverage from the rental company to take advantage of these benefits.
What does a rental car insurance cost?
Rental car insurance costs vary by company and coverage. You can pay $ 10 to $ 30 a day for damages alone. If you choose to have additional liability, you can add another $ 10. Personal Accident Insurance and Personal Property Cover could add an additional $ 5 each.
What does the rental car insurance offered at the counter offer?
Car rental companies have their own process for selling insurance when renting a car. Therefore, there is no list of coverages that apply generally. However, most rental agencies have coverage that you can purchase along with your rental.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, here is a list of the types of coverage commonly offered by rental agencies. The covers can either be sold separately or packaged as part of a single rental insurance policy:
- Waiver of loss / collision damage: The loss damage waiver or LDW is sometimes referred to as a collision damage waiver or CDW. The LDW can cover whether your rental car was stolen, destroyed or damaged in an accident. This may include downtime fees that rental car companies charge to make up for lost profits when they need to repair a vehicle.
- Liability: This rental car liability insurance is sometimes called Supplementary Liability Insurance or SLI and may cover if you were at fault while driving the rental car. It can also pay medical expenses for others who have been injured in an accident that you are responsible for.
- Personal accident insurance: Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) can cover medical expenses for you and your passengers if you are injured in a rental car accident.
- Covering personal items: Personal Items Cover (PEC) can cover you if personal items are stolen from or damaged in your rental car.
Some drivers may choose to purchase additional coverage from the rental agency even if they have some protection as part of their insurance policy.
Standalone guidelines for rental cars
If you don’t have rental car insurance as a perk to your other insurance policies or credit cards and want to skip the policy offered at the rental desk, you may be able to get a standalone policy.
If you often rent cars and want a standalone policy, here are some options for your insurance provider.
- alliance:: The company has a policy called Rental Car Damage Protector that may provide 24 hour emergency assistance. This policy includes possible coverage for lost or damaged baggage, fully comprehensive insurance to possibly cover your rental car if it is stolen or damaged in an accident or if it is parked.
- Insure my rental car:: Insure My Rental Car offers annual and daily rental insurance with collision damage and damages. This provider does not insure in some east coast states.
- Bonzah:: Bonzah offers comprehensive claims for damages to cover qualified damage caused by falls, theft or vandalism. It can also cover damage caused by bad weather such as storm, fire, hail or flood.
- For sure:: Sure offers rental car insurance coverage in the event of a qualified accident or theft, as well as potential protection against loss of keys, flat tires and damage caused by driving on the wrong fuel. It could also pay towing costs.
When should you get rental car insurance?
There are situations when people sometimes consider car rental insurance.
- You don’t have auto insurance or what you have is bare bones.
- You are traveling on business.
- You are driving a rental car abroad.
- You are concerned about a rental car incident that is affecting your personal insurance rates.
- You want peace of mind at all costs.
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