Know Your Personal Auto Policy
In many instances, your personal auto policy will provide coverage for a rental car, but it may be limited to the value of the car you own, rather than the one you rent. You must purchase coverage from the rental company if you don’t have a personal auto policy. If you choose to use your own auto policy for coverage, keep in mind that your policy deductible will apply in the event of an accident. Any accident with the rental vehicle will be placed on your auto insurance policy for three to five years. Also, keep in mind that many rental companies will add a loss-of-use fee for each day the car is unusable, as well as charge you for the vehicle due to the value of the car being decreased. Not all insurance policies cover these fees, so be sure to review your insurance policy.
Check Your Credit Card Protection
Most credit cards will provide some coverage, but payment is often limited to reimbursing your personal auto policy deductible. Generally, loss-of-use and other fees are not covered, but it’s essential to check with your credit card provider to determine their policies. Coverage is usually limited to damage to the car, not liability for injuries to others. Remember, to receive any sort of benefit from your card, you must use that card to pay for your entire car rental.
Consider Any Unique Circumstances
Are you renting a car in a foreign country or for more than a week? If so, different rules might apply. Also, vehicles such as trucks, RVs or exotic sports cars are not often covered under standard agreements. Finally, if you are using a vehicle for business purposes, your personal coverage might not apply. Keep in mind that if there are multiple people who will be driving the vehicle through the duration of the rental, make sure your coverages will also apply to them.