Does my car insurance cover car rentals?
You’re standing at the rental car counter and they hand you an intimidating rental car contract filled with confusing insurance options. What do you do? You just want to get to your hotel and on with your family vacation already. You’re probably thinking, “I have car insurance. Do I really need to buy their coverage too?”
When it comes to renting a car for domestic travel, this is the most common question. The answer is: it depends. You want to make sure you’re covered, but you also don’t want to pay unnecessary duplicate coverage's.
The first thing to do is check your auto insurance policy to see what type of coverage for rental cars may already be included in your personal auto insurance, this can be done with a quick call to your agent or search of their website.
Insurance you may already have:
If you carry comprehensive and liability coverage on your personal car, coverage typically will extend to your rental car. If you’re renting a car of similar value to your personal car, your insurance coverage will likely be adequate for the rental. However, if you’re renting a super nice sports car, the extra coverage offered by the rental company might be a good idea.
You should also check to see if you have personal injury protection or medical payment coverage. If you carry this coverage already, you won’t need this additional coverage at the rental counter.
Protection you might need:
Collision Damage Waiver: This transfers financial responsibility from you to the rental car company in case of damage or theft. It provides coverage for “loss of use” if the rental car company charges for the time a damaged car cannot be used because it’s being repaired.
Personal Effects coverage: If you have homeowners or renters insurance, your personal items are usually covered,to a limit, even if they are stolen from a rental car. If you don’t already have a policy that covers this, it may be a good idea to elect this coverage at the rental counter.
Before adding any of the extra rental car coverage's at the counter, know what your personal auto and homeowners/renters insurance covers. Chances are you have enough coverage already that extends to the rental vehicle and can save you some money instead.
If you have a credit card (not a debit card) call them and ask them if you use their card if they automatically add on rental car insurance. If they say yes, then you don’t have to be concerned about whether or not you should add it on. Put it on that card and drive away worry free!
-AZ Insurance Team