Determine if you would benefit from securing rental car insurance.
When renting a car, it’s natural to think that you need insurance from the rental car company to protect your journey. While they may want to sell you auto insurance coverage with all of the added bells and whistles, it’s wise to first consider if you actually need insurance. Before you drive your rental car off the lot, here are a few basics you need to know.
Before you take out the rental company’s car coverage, you’ll want to see whether you’re already covered by your own personal insurance policy and credit card benefits.
Typically, there are four coverages available when you rent a car:
- Loss-damage waiver: Covers you for liability if a car is damaged while you are renting it. If you don’t have this coverage, the rental car company could charge you for loss of use during repairs, as well as any repair and towing charges. If your primary insurer doesn’t cover these, you’ll need the waiver.
- Liability coverage: Encompasses damage to any property as well as medical expenses for passengers in another vehicle if you’re in a collision.
- Personal accident insurance: Covers medical costs for you and your passengers in the event of an accident.
- Personal effects coverage: Covers valuables you keep in the car in case of theft or damage.
Are you covered already?
If you aren’t already an insured driver, you’ll want to take out the car insurance from the rental company. However, if you already own auto insurance, you may be covered already.
- Check to see if you have adequate liability limits.
- If you have comprehensive and collision coverage, you may consider declining the rental company’s loss damage waiver.
- If you have adequate health insurance, you may not need the company’s personal accident insurance.
- Review your home or renter’s insurance policy. This should cover your belongings wherever you take them, meaning it’s safe to decline the rental company’s personal effects coverage.
- See if your credit card offers any benefits for putting the rental car payment on the card. Some cards will offer complimentary insurance.