Even though it’s not required for you to get rental car insurance, there’s a lot of reasons why you should. We get it — it’s expensive and seems almost unnecessary for a vehicle you’ll only be driving for a few days, at most.
We’re going to go over a few things rental car insurance covers that regular coverage may not cover.
Does My Credit Card Cover My Rental Car?
Rental car companies will require you to use a credit card if you want to rent out a vehicle. You have the option to use your credit card if it has comprehensive coverage. Be sure to speak with your credit card provider to see what coverage they offer.
Most credit cards will have caps on what they cover and how much they cover. In addition to this, you may need to pay the upfront costs of the damages done to your rental vehicle and wait to be reimbursed later.
Credit card providers will either pay the rental car company directly, or will reimburse cardholders after an investigation.
Check with your credit card company to see how they process claims made on rental cars. Filing a claim with your credit card company can be extensive. Be sure to ask yourself:
- Can I afford to pay for all up-front damages on my credit card?
- Do I have the time to wait for my credit card company to investigate before I’m reimbursed?
Can I Use My Regular Auto Insurance?
In most cases, you can use your own personal car insurance coverage if it extends to rental cars. Remember that your regular auto insurance may not cover some things that rental car insurance can cover, or may cover more if you have low coverage on your normal vehicle.
Ask yourself if you have coverage for:
- Liability and personal injury
- Loss of use coverage
- Towing charges if you can’t bring the vehicle back to the rental office
- Diminished value to the car if it’s damaged or vandalized
- Comprehensive and collision coverage
Check your automobile insurance policies to see if those policies will extend to your rental car. If you don’t already have health or auto insurance, you should consider getting full coverage with your rental car.
What Kind of Rental Car Coverage is There?
Rental companies normally offer 4 different types of coverage. Consider what type of insurance coverage you will need when renting a car:
1. Loss-damage waiver or collision damage waiver
This coverage will cover everything if your vehicle is damaged or stolen. It also covers loss of use charges if the car is towed or needs repairs while you’re using it.
This is the most expensive coverage and costs $9 to $20 a day.
2. Liability coverage
Most states will require that you have liability coverage to protect you from lawsuits if you injure another person or damage property with your rental vehicle.
This coverage only costs about $7 to $15 a day.
3. Personal accident insurance
This coverage will cover any medical costs after an accident. If you do not have adequate or low health insurance, you may want to consider this coverage.
It’s relatively inexpensive and costs $1 to $5 a day.
4. Personal effects coverage
This will cover any theft or possessions damaged in the rental car. This coverage can have a set dollar limit. Unless you’re using a rental car to move over a long period of time, or are transporting high-value items. Most of the time, your homeowners or renters insurance will help cover the cost of stolen items.
Personal effects coverage costs $1 to $4 a day.
So Do You Really Need Rental Car Insurance?
Ask yourself if you’re able to risk any potential threats to you, your rental car, and even other people.
You are responsible for any damages to the car, and to other people around you. Remember to consider how you can pay for any damages done to people and vehicles, and whether or not you have enough coverage with your current insurance policies.
Figuring out how whether you’ll need rental coverage can be stressful especially if you want to focus on traveling. If you need to know more about rental car insurance, give us a call to speak to one of our partners today at (877) 200-6113.