You’re getting ready to start your vacation and you’re at the rental car desk. The rental car company employee asked you if you’d like to purchase to cover your rental in the event of an accident. Do you need it? In most cases, you probably don’t need to buy the insurance offered by rental car companies. Your personal auto insurance will have you covered for liability claims and, if you have collision and comprehensive coverage, for damage to the rental car.
That said, it’s a good idea to check with an insurance advisor beforehand since auto policies vary from person to person.
Here are a few questions to ask your agent about insurance and rental car coverage:
- When I rent a car for a combined business trip and a personal vacation, am I covered? (Your personal auto policy may not cover you, but your employer’s insurance might.)
- If more than one person is driving the rental car, am I covered? (In this scenario, coverage from the rental company could be a good idea.)
- If my luggage, purse or personal possessions are stolen out of my rental car, am I covered? (Personal property may be covered by a homeowners or rental insurance policy.)
Many credit cards also offer rental car insurance if you pay for the rental using their card. Just know that this coverage typically only covers physical damage to the rental car, so you’ll still need separate liability coverage. To get the details, get in touch with your credit card company.
With liability coverage, there are a couple things to consider. The state required minimum amount of liability, which rental car companies are required by law to offer, may not give you enough protection. If you have personal auto insurance and have opted for higher liability limits, you’ll be better protected.
If you're not sure whether buying rental car insurance is a good option for you, it can help to first understand what coverages you already have. Talking to your insurance agent about your car insurance policy before you rent a vehicle may help you make an informed decision when you're at the rental counter. Happy travels!
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