Whether your regular car is in the shop for repairs or you are on vacation, you may find yourself renting a car for a few days or even weeks.
It’s important to remember that during this time you are as likely as ever to be involved in an accident and, if this happens, you want to make sure that you are protected just as well as you are when driving your own car. This is when rental car insurance needs to be considered.
The same state minimums that apply to driver owned vehicles apply to rental cars as well. Usually, this involves liability coverage which will pay for damages and medical bills for other people and their property in an accident where you are at fault.
If you own a car, you will probably not need to purchase liability insurance from the rental car agency since the liability coverage that you already own will most likely carry over to the rental car.
Since most people do not feel sufficiently protected with just the state minimum, they often get more comprehensive forms of insurance. If you want to feel safe knowing that payments for damages on your rental car as well as any other vehicle or property you might collide with are taken care of, then full coverage insurance is the way to go. This kind of insurance offers the most protection, and usually will also include loss of use and towing fees related to an accident.
The price of your insurance will not only vary based on the services you select, but also on the place where you get it from. Some motorists might have car rental coverage already included in their standard full coverage auto insurance, depending on their insurance provider. This service will pay for the cost of renting the vehicle while the regular car is unavailable, but it usually does not also cover insurance for that car. This varies from case to case as it is up to each insurance company to define the terms of their coverage. If you know that you have a good car insurance policy, the best course of action is simply to call your provider and ask whether car rental services are included in it and to what extent.
Where to Get Coverage
When you are selecting insurance, you can choose to get it directly from the car rental company. This is the best option available as you can select between various forms of coverage and they also have the most detailed full coverage car rental insurance plan available. The main drawback here is the price, as this is usually also the most expensive option.
A lot of the major credit card companies also offer insurance for your rental car. There are certain requirements that you need to meet in order for this to be possible, but most of them involve you using your credit card to pay for the car rental service as well as any additional charges. However, when you get your car insurance this way you will be susceptible to additional hidden fees which you might be unaware of until you get involved in an accident. If you are interested in full coverage car rental insurance, you might not be getting the best deal around since you are dealing, after all, with a credit company and not an insurance provider or car rental service. If you select this route, be sure to read the fine print carefully so as to avoid unpleasant surprises in the event of an accident.
Lastly, there is also the choice of getting car rental insurance that has been bundled together in a vacation package. It might be cheaper, but it comes with the same pitfalls as buying from the credit card company so be careful and read everything twice before you sign anything.
Watching the following video may also help clarify what you need to consider and what actions to take when renting a car.