Do I Need Rental Car Insurance?

You can’t always control what happens on the road. Accidents can happen at any time, even if you are driving a rental car. But if you get involved in an accident while driving a renter, who is financially responsible? You always need auto insurance when driving any car, whether it is your own or one you rented from an agency. Before renting a car, you should ask yourself ‘do I need rental car insurance’? Many people do not often consider purchasing rental car insurance. But one way or another, you have to be protected and the rental agency wants to make sure their property is adequately protected, specially if you fall below a certain car rental age requirement. When filling out the paperwork at a rental agency, they will ask you if you want to purchase rental insurance. If you are not sure about your coverage and need to know do I need rental car insurance, then here are a few questions to ask yourself.

Rental Car Financial Liability

If you are behind the wheel of any car that is involved in an accident, you are financially liable for any damages to yourself, the other driver, and any property involved. Do not assume that since the car is not yours, that you are free and clear of any responsibilities. If you’re involved in a collission and you’re not properly insured you will be soley responsible for the rental car financial liability.

Will My Own Car Insurance Cover Rental Car Damages?

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If I have my own insurance policy, do I need rental car insurance? Or will my own car insurance cover rental car damages? Well, in many instances, your own insurance policy will cover car rentals. Before you go to a car rental agency, find out how much coverage you have on your own car. Usually, whatever coverage and deductibles you have on your own car are going to also apply to any car that you rent assuming you are using the rental car for recreation and not for business. However, some people drop comprehensive insurance in order to save money. If you do not have either comprehensive or collision on your own car then you will not be covered if your rental car is stolen or damaged in an accident.

While you are checking with your insurance provider, find out whether your policy pays for administrative fees, loss of use or towing charges. Some insurance companies may provide a rider that will cover some of these costs. It is definitely less expensive than purchasing coverage through the rental car company.

Will My Credit Card Company Cover Any Damages?

Most credit card companies offer some form of insurance. The benefits offered will vary depending on which bank or institute issued the card as well as by the level of credit card used (such as gold versus platinum cards).

Credit cards will usually only cover damages to the rented vehicle. Credit card insurance will not cover damages to other cars, drivers or personal property of others. Some credit card companies will provide coverage for towing, but many may not provide for diminished value or administrative fees. To know exactly what type of insurance you have, contact your credit card company before you go out and rent a car using that specific card. However, in most cases, credit card benefits will be secondary to either your own personal insurance policy or the insurance offered by the rental car company.

If My Insurance Does Not Cover Rental Cars, What Can I Do?

If your own insurance policy does not cover rental cars, and your credit card does not have adequate protection, then you will need to purchase rental insurance from the rental agency. The cost will vary depending on what state, or even country, that you are renting in. There are several types of insurance you can purchase that cover different things such as Loss Damage Waiver, Liability Insurance, Personal Accident Insurance, and Personal Effects Coverage.