Should I buy rental car insurance when renting? Should I pay extra for rental car insurance?
How many of you wondered about this while filling out the paperwork at a rental car company?
If you have, you are not alone, as it’s one of the foremost questions in most people’s minds when it comes to renting a car.
Unfortunately, the answer isn’t straightforward as it depends on various factors. This article will help you understand rental car insurance, whether or not you need it and if you should buy it from the car rental company.
What is Rental Car Insurance?
Rental car insurance differs from your existing auto insurance in that it protects your rented car while renting it.
These policies comprise multiple components, including:
Collision damage waiver (CDW) With CDW, the rental company cannot hold you responsible for repairs or replacement costs
if the rental car gets damaged in your possession.
Collision damage waiver (CDW) – With CDW, the rental company cannot hold you responsible for repairs or replacement costs
if the rental car gets damaged in your possession.
Collision damage waiver (CDW) – With CDW, the rental company cannot hold you responsible for repairs or replacement costs if the rental car gets damaged in your possession.
Supplemental liability protection (SLP) – CDW covers vehicle-related expenses where you may be liable for medical expenses and property damage to other parties in an accident. This is where SLP can help, which covers some of these costs depending on your purchase coverage.
Personal accident insurance (PAI) – PAI pays for medical expenses you and fellow passengers incur because of the accident.
Personal effects coverage (PEC) – This coverage works during a car theft by covering most of your possession costs.
Do I Need Rental Car Insurance to Rent a Car?
No, there is no rule saying you must buy car insurance from your rental agency. Many insurance companies focus solely on rental car insurance. Besides, it is always better to check before getting rental car insurance. Most of the time, your existing auto policy or premium credit card covers car rental.
Does My Current Car Insurance Policy Cover Car Rental?
It depends on your car insurance provider. So reach out to them to learn more about the coverage your current plan provides.
Can I use My Credit Card Benefits for Rental Car Coverage?
Most credit cards do include rental car coverage as part of their benefits. However, credit card benefits don’t provide SLP or PAO, which means you will be held responsible for:
Any damages inflicted to someone else’s car and personal property.
The medical expenses for everyone involved in the accident, including you – So it is better to check with your credit card company to determine the extent of their rental car coverage. It’s always better to buy rental car insurance if it’s insufficient, and you require
Can I use My Credit Card Benefits if I Buy Insurance From the Car Rental Company?
No, you cannot. Once you buy rental coverage, it cancels out any credit card benefits.
How Much Auto Insurance Coverage Do I need?
You can decide based on the legal minimum insurance requirements for your state and other states you will be traveling through.
You generally need to get a policy providing coverage for:
Damages and medical expenses to a third party if you are at fault
Damages inflicted to your vehicle
Any potential medical expenses for you and your passengers.
What if I Keep Valuables in a Rental Car?
Both auto and rental car insurance policies do not provide coverage for valuables in the car.
Do I Need Rental Car Insurance for International Travel
No, most rental car insurance policies do not provide coverage for international travel.
How Much Does Rental Car Insurance Cost?
The price varies and depends on various factors like the car type, where you plan to travel, and if your existing auto policy or credit card offers rental car coverage.
Can I Rent a Car Without Having Insurance?
Yes, you can because most rental cars are insured. However, it is better to have some form of rental insurance because you will be held responsible for any vehicular damages if you don’t
When Should you Get Rental Car Insurance?
Though opting for rental car insurance depends on various circumstances, it makes sense to opt for rental car insurance if:
You don’t have auto insurance. In this case, having a collision damage waiver and
liability coverage protects you if you are involved in an accident.
You are renting a car outside the US or Canada as your existing auto insurance won’t
cover you while renting cars in another country.
You have a high deductible on your car insurance policy as rental car insurance offers
no or low deductible.
You don’t have health insurance or medical payments coverage, as rental car
insurance will cover your medical expenses if you get involved in an accident.
You are worried about increasing auto insurance premiums
When You Don’t Need the Rental Company’s Insurance
There are some scenarios where you don’t need rental car insurance, still get the coverage
you require, and save money. Examples of common situations include:
Having robust auto insurance where your personal insurance provides sufficient
Using your credit card to preserve and pay for the rental car as the card has collision
The Bottom Line: Do You Need Rental Car Insurance?
So, in a nutshell, the answer to do I need to buy insurance when I rent a car depends on:
Whether or not your auto policy provides rental car insurance
How much insurance coverage do you need in your home state
Insurance requirements in your destination or wherever you travel
If the auto car policy coverage is sufficient
The car you rent as an expensive car requires more coverage
And if you do need rental car insurance, you can buy it from any car rental insurance provider and not necessarily from the car rental company.
Want to Make Rental Car Insurance a Part of Your Policy?