Rental car insurance isn’t something that you deal with every day. When you’re on your vacation and want to rent a car, you can pick your vehicle from the rental company and on check-out, you are asked if you would like to have the rental insurance additionally. This is where you get overwhelmed or shocked.
In such a situation, you might think, does car insurance cover rental cars, or will you opt to drive without insurance coverage legally?
Well, before going for car insurance, you must know if you really need to have extra coverage despite having your personal insurance policy.
Do Auto Insurance policies cover rental cars?
Cutting the long story short, every auto insurance policy is different, and it all depends on what type of auto insurance policy you want to have. You should always check with the insurance provider when you rent a car, if you are covered with one.
However, insurance policies offered by rental car companies often come with the same provisions inscribed in a personal car insurance policy. Such as:
In the US you are required to have auto liability insurance that covers the damages and injuries to other drivers if you are involved in an accident. If you have a minimum liability insurance limit, it will suffice.
Comprehensive and collision coverage
If you have a comprehensive and collision coverage policy, it means you are protected with full coverage, and you are entitled to be compensated for unintentional incidents like hitting a pole while you are driving as well as the coverage against damage due to harsh weather conditions, corrosion or theft. Before making an agreement with your rental car company ask your personal insurance company if they are already providing coverage for rental cars or not. Make sure they do.
If your personal car insurance policy provides coverage for rental cars, you may have to pay your insurance deductibles whether you met any accident while driving a rental car.
ALERT: Even a damaged rental car is covered by a personal auto insurance company. And you may be obliged to pay if a rental car is damaged, in case you took it out of commission to get it repaired by a professional mechanic.
If you have a health insurance policy or MedPay, which provides PIP coverage (personal injury protection coverage), then injury protection insurance offered by a rental car company might be a redundant option.
Travel and credit card insurance
You may have just booked your rental car through your credit card. If yes, then call the number mentioned at the back of your card to determine if the credit card company offers rental car coverage or not.
If you have travel insurance coverage in your credit card policy, the rental car collision clause must be covered in that policy.
Be sure that you have asked for travel insurance coverage from your personal insurance company as well. If your insurance plan does not cover travel insurance, then you may not want to forego the additional coverage.
What would you expect from your insurance company if your possessions get stolen from inside the rental car? In such a case, you must have a renters’ or homeowner’s insurance coverage that possibly extends your coverage for stolen possessions. Don’t forget to inform police about theft, because to claim your compensation, you will have to submit a proof to your insurance company.
What would you do if you are not covered with auto insurance coverage?
It is possible that you don’t own any vehicle or aren’t protected through a credit card, but want to rent a car. In such a case, it is better to purchase a rental car insurance policy through a third-party before renting a car.
In cases where you have a minimum legal requirement of having liability insurance, then it would be a better option to purchase the policy from rental car companies to have extra protection.
If you are planning to spend a long vacation traveling, then ask your personal auto insurance company if they have any time or mileage limitation coverage mentioned in the policy.
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