If you've ever rented a car, you've probably been warned by sellers at the counter about the possible consequences of leaving without buying their company's rental car insurance. Get in place, you may not be sure what your current auto insurance covers. And that's what rental companies rely on, along with their fees for selling the coverage.
Note that the rental car insurance is not the same as the refund coverage of a rental car, an auto policy option that covers the cost of a rental car if the vehicle is repaired. as part of a complaint. Most insurers offer such coverage and you can learn more from our auto insurer reviews.
Do you want to be prepared the next time you rent? We can help you understand if you need rental car insurance and how to get it before you arrive at the rental counter.
»OTHER: Auto Insurance Quotes: What You Need to Know
Rental car insurance or own car insurance?
Here are the typical insurance options of car rental companies, along with how to determine if you already have coverage within your auto insurance policy. Your policy coverage applies when you use a rental car for personal and non-commercial purposes. The rules may be different for corporate use of a rental car. Check with your insurer or employer for coverage details when using a rental car for business.
Car accidents and thefts
At the counter: an exemption for loss of damage (LDW), also called an exemption for collision damage (CDW), takes away the hook for any damage to the rental vehicle or theft of the car. Technically it is not an insurance but rather a waiver that says that the car rental company will not follow you.
Your Policy: If you have a collision and full coverage of your policy, it will generally extend to a rental car. However, you will still be hooked on your deductible. If you don't have full coverage and a collision on your regular policy and you don't have LDW, you will have to pay for the damage.
Damage you do to others
At the counter: additional liability protection will pay for damage to vehicles or property of others. A typical limit is $ 1 million. If you don't have auto insurance (for example, if you don't own a car), you should buy it.
Your policy: your liability insurance will cover you when you drive rental cars. If you have very little liability coverage on your auto policy, you may want to purchase additional protection to increase your coverage.
Injury to you
At the counter: personal accident insurance covers medical expenses for you and your passengers if you are involved in an accident. This includes ambulance, medical care and death benefits.
Your policy: if you have protection from personal injury or MedPay through the auto insurance, you will not need an accident insurance. If you are interested in death benefits, consider getting a life insurance policy. You can get life insurance quotes online.
Your stolen stuff
At the counter: Personal belongings coverage pays for your belongings if they are stolen from the rental car, up to a pre-determined dollar amount.
Your Policy: An insurance policy for homeowners or renters will cover your property if it is stolen, even away from home. To file a theft request, you will need to file a police report and the deductible amount will be applied.
»OTHER: compare car insurance
Using your credit card to cover the rental car
Credit cards often provide coverage for rental cars, assuming that you have used the card to pay for the rental and that the rental is in your name. You will automatically get this coverage if it is included with your credit card – no need to call or sign forms. But it's secondary coverage, which means that your auto insurance policy will pay off first. NerdWallet has rated credit cards that offer good rental car insurance.
If you don't have auto insurance and plan to rely on credit card coverage, call the credit card issuer to confirm the details.
Buy a rental car insurance yourself
There are companies that sell autonomous car rental policies if you don't want to buy insurance over the counter. Generally you need to refuse the rental company's coverage to use them.
Allianz global assistance
Allianz Global Assistance sells rental car damage protection for $ 9 per day which pays up to $ 40,000 for damage and loss. It is primary coverage, so pay before your auto insurance and include 24-hour emergency assistance.
Bonzah sells insurance starting at $ 7.99 a day which pays up to $ 35,000 in repairs or vehicle replacement. It is a primary insurance, so pay before your insurer. Policies generally cover travel abroad, but check the fine print.
Insure my rental car
Make sure My Rental Car offers loss damage exemptions covering up to $ 100,000 in damage to your rental vehicle. You can purchase coverage for a period between one day (starting at $ 6) and one year. The policy provides primary coverage, so you don't need to use your auto insurance first. The policies also extend to rentals outside the United States.
The rental coverage offers non-deductible policies that count as primary coverage, so there is no need to file a claim with the auto insurer first. It does not list policy limits or pricing on its website, but claims that it will exceed any competitor's daily rate.
Definitely offers rental car insurance that covers up to $ 100,000 in damage to a vehicle, plus all your belongings inside. The coverage also includes flat tires and lost keys and you can get a quote online from its website.
Lacie Glover is a NerdWallet writer. Email: email@example.com.
The article Explanation of rental car insurance originally appeared on NerdWallet.
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