An important decision when renting a car is whether to purchase insurance from the rental company. In many cases, coverage will extend from your existing auto policy, which can save you the expense of having to purchase additional coverage. Coverage may also extend from other types of insurance policies that you already carry.
Know Your Policy
Your insurance policy should indicate which coverages extend to a rental car and in what amounts. However, insurance policies are infamous for their confusing language and "gray areas," which allow room for interpretation. It's a good idea to contact your agent for clarification. For a higher level of expert advice, call or email your company's customer service department to see if you can get in touch with an underwriter. An underwriter is an insurance company employee who evaluates risk and is usually more familiar with policy language than your agent.
Virtually all auto insurance policies provide liability coverage, also known as third-party coverage because it pays for damages and injuries sustained by others as a result of your negligence. To rent a car, you will need to show proof of liability coverage before you can leave with the vehicle. In nearly all cases, your present liability coverage will transfer to the rental, so you won't have to buy the rental company's coverage. However, if you carry low liability limits, you can purchase supplemental coverage from the rental company.
Physical Damage Coverage
Physical damage coverage pays for damages to your own vehicle and includes collision, which pays for accident-related damages, and comprehensive, which pays for "all other" losses like windshield chips and vehicle theft. Physical damage also normally transfers to a rental vehicle. However, you are not required to carry physical damage on your own auto policy unless it contains a financed vehicle. You'll want to be sure that you have physical damage coverage on your policy. If you don't, you may need to purchase it from the rental company.
If you're traveling on vacation or for business, you may be carrying personal property like clothes or even cash in your car. In general, loss of personal property is not covered under an auto policy. However, it is often covered under a homeowners policy, so you should check yours before buying the coverage from the rental company. If you're using a credit card to rent the vehicle, it may provide personal property coverage (as well as other coverages) at little or no cost, but you'll need to check with your card issuer to be sure.
- Photo Credit Luxury Car sportscar from my luxury car series image by alma_sacra from Fotolia.com
Does Auto Insurance Cover a Rental Car?
If you will be going on a business trip, road trip or vacation that requires you to rent a car, chances are...
What Does Rental Insurance Cover?
Does Car Rental Insurance Cover Liability If I Cause an Accident? An important consideration when renting a car is whether you need...
Do Credit Cards Cover Liability Coverage for Rental Cars?
A liability insurance policy for vehicles covers bodily injury and property damage involving a car. Liability coverage protects and reimburses other drivers...
How to Tell if My Insurance Covers a Rental Car
Adding a loss damage waiver or collision damage waiver to your rental car agreement can significantly drive up the costs for your...
Does Your Credit Card Cover Rental Car Accidents?
Does Your Credit Card Cover Rental Car Accidents?. ... Do Credit Cards Cover Liability Coverage for Rental Cars? How to Tell if...
State Farm Auto Insurance Car Rental Policy
Does My Car Insurance Cover a Rental? Just as when a person is driving his own vehicle, a person driving a rental...
How to Have Insurance Pay for a Rental Car
Make sure your rental reimbursement policy is enough to cover a rental car that will accommodate your lifestyle. If you own your...
What Insurance Covers a Loaner Vehicle?
Insurance Coverage When Driving Someone Else's Car; Does Gap Insurance Cover ... How Does Auto Rental Reimbursement Work on an Auto Insurance...
How to Insure a Rental Car Overseas
A long-term car rental,... Does Car Rental Insurance Cover Liability If I Cause an Accident? ... Does My Car Insurance Cover Me...
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Car Damage?
A standard homeowners insurance policy will cover all damage expenses if an automobile, airplane or train crashes into your home, but your...
State Farm Vs. Allstate Auto Insurance
Allstate Auto Insurance. State Farm and Allstate are two of the largest insurance carriers in the United States. ... State Farm Auto...