Rental Car Insurance: Do I Need It?

When you go on vacation, you don’t want to stress out about insurance, so give us a call before you leave. Then, when you head over to the rental-car counter, you can stop worrying about your coverage — and start enjoying your trip!

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’re renting. If you don’t have a personal auto policy, you’ll need to purchase coverage from the rental company. If you choose to use your own auto policy for coverage keep in mind that in the event of an accident, your policy deductible will apply and any accident with the rental vehicle will be placed on your auto insurance policy record for 3-5 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 because the value of the car has decreased. Not all insurance policies cover these fees.

Check your credit card protection.

Most credit cards will provide some coverage, but often payment is limited to reimbursement of your personal auto policy deductible. Generally, loss-of-use and other fees are not covered, but it’s important 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 often aren’t covered under standard agreements. And if you’re using a car for business purposes, your personal coverage might not apply. Finally, if multiple people will be driving the car during your trip, make sure your coverages will apply to them.


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