Once you rent a vehicle you will be surprised by amount of taxes and fees that you will pay on top of the rental cost. As you are checking out, you will be asked whether you want an insurance policy on your rental automobile. This question may throw you if you are not prepared for it, because the rental agency agents are quite good at making it sound like you need the coverage to save yourself thousands of dollars in the event of a crash. Do you need this coverage, or is it simply an extra cost to put more money in the rental agency’s pocket?
What Is Covered?
Answering this question begins with knowing what is covered by the policy. This will vary from rental company to leasing company, but there are usually several similarities to these insurance policies. There are 4 basic types of coverage: loss harm waiver, liability insurance, personal incident insurance, and personal effects coverage.
Reduction damage waiver covers your responsibility for damage to the vehicle if it is in a collision. This is not actually an insurance coverage product, because it does not pay for the damage. Instead, it takes the liability for your damage off of you, as the renter, even if you caused the crash. The rental company’s insurance will cover destruction to the vehicle. Some exclusions apply to the waiver, such as accidents caused by off-roading, drunk driving, or speeding. This waiver will also usually protect you from being charged for the loss of use that the rental company suffers while producing repairs to the vehicle.
Rental cars automatically come with some liability insurance, since the state law will require it. However , the protection is minimal. Mainly because most drivers need more liability coverage than what comes with the automobile, rental agencies offer liability insurance coverage.
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If you or your passengers are usually injured in a crash while driving the vehicle, your medical care could be protected under personal accident insurance. This is fairly affordable to add to your policy. However , you likely do not need it if you have health insurance.
Personal effects insurance, the final type of coverage, will pay for almost any theft of the things you are carrying in the rental car. Keep in mind that your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy probably already covers the theft of personal possessions, even while traveling.
Do You Need Insurance Whenever Renting a Car?
Before you sign up for the car rental company’s insurance policy, make sure you absolutely need it. Some of the insurance products a person already own may cover the same things that these insurance products covers. Before you head out for your trip, call your own insurance agent and find out what type of coverage you have when renting a vehicle. If you have crash and comprehensive coverage, you are probably already covered for a rental. However , if you only have liability coverage, you may want to consider purchasing the loss damage waiver whenever renting a car. When you call your insurance agent, find out if loss of use, towing, and administrative charges are covered if you were to wreck the particular rental.
Another place to look for existing coverage is with your credit card company. Many credit card companies that offer rewards applications automatically insure the rental cars leased with that card. This coverage is normally only for the rental vehicle by itself, not for the people in it or the other vehicles on the road. However , this coverage combined with your existing liability policy and health insurance plan may be all that you need.