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Rental Car Insurance

Rental car insurance is a sometimes confusing and often misunderstood area of auto coverage. It is extremely important to make sure you are protected as a renter and a driver when you do rent a car. But at the same time, there are certain instances in which buying extra protection from the rental company doesn't make sense. An astute consumer will do the research and know the difference. Any time you rent a car, you should be covered. But you might already be and not even know it. There are a few different sources of protection for drivers who have to rent a vehicle. These sources are generally not very well publicized, and the agencies we rent from certainly don't speak out about them. Take the time to read up and find out for yourself where your money should be going, and where you could hang on to it to avoid paying for duplicative coverage.

Rentals May Already Be Covered

When drivers who need to rent cars while on vacation or out of town on business approach the counter to pay for their rental, they normally are asked to pay for insurance coverage protecting them against possible damage to the vehicle, similar to no deposit car insurance. Truthfully, most of us automatically buy whatever the company suggests, probably thinking it is mandatory and not even questioning it. But in actuality, paying for these policies may constitute a waste of our money. Your own policy may very well already have that vehicle you're renting covered. Many policies include this type of protection built in, even though this feature is not all that well publicized.

Drivers should avoid buying duplicate coverage that is quite simply unnecessary and a waste of money. Whether you are taking a family trip out of state, or you grab a car at the airport for a business conference, you should first get in touch with your insurer or examine the terms of your policy to see what kind of protection is included. It may very well be that you don't need to pay a cent for rental car insurance through the leasing company. If your policy will transfer to that vehicle, it is foolish to pay for additional protection you don't need. Personal policies often do transfer when cars are used for pleasure, though business use usually requires a commercial policy. But your work's policy may suffice if you are a listed driver. Take a few moments before you even book your rental car and find out. Your rental auto insurance investment may be a waste of money.

Coverage and Deductibles Often Transfer

The basic coverage and deductibles on your policy will often transfer over to rentals depending on the terms of your plan. The rental automobile insurance terms will be listed somewhere in the language of your policy. An exception common in many cases is the collision damage waiver (CDW). This is an additional fee on your rental car insurance that rental car companies add to the cost to cover the vehicle in the case of an accident. Basically what it covers is loss of use. Since these vehicles are money makers for the rental car companies, they lose income while their cars are out of commission. Collision damage waivers cover those losses on your behalf. This protection is usually not included in your personal auto policy so it's smart to purchase this coverage at the very least when you rent a vehicle.

Credit Card Insurance for Rentals

Another relatively unknown source for insurance protection when you rent a car can come through your credit card company. Many credit card accounts come with rental car insurance built in to the terms of the card agreement. If you already have adequate rental car insurance through your credit card provider, it is smart to pay for that rental car and skip on the extra insurance bill they'll try to charge you before you pick up the keys at the front desk. Most credit card companies only cover basic auto makes and models, so check the terms of your card agreement before charging a luxury sedan or an SUV to your account and expecting to be covered. Also investigate your card agreement as it pertains to loss of use so you can make sure to purchase CDW rental vehicle insurance coverage as needed.

Car insurance for rentals is a gray area for many drivers. Read up on rental car insurance and get up to speed. There is no reason that any of us should spend money unnecessarily when it comes to these sorts of expenditures. At the same time, caution is always in order, and it pays to be sure all of your bases are covered. Auto insurance can be a headache, but there is no reason renting a vehicle should be.


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