Car Insurance, When Should I buy Rental Car Insurance

Car Insurance, When Should I buy Rental Car Insurance?

As you pick up your rental car, you will be asked by the associate if you would like to purchase insurance for the rented vehicle. You may stop and ask yourself, do I really need this insurance? Am I already covered through my current auto insurance policy for a rental car? Won’t the credit card I used provide insurance? Is the rental car company’s insurance the best option? Any consumer may easily dismiss the notion of paying the extra fees for rental car insurance, thinking they are covered and can save that money. However, it is best to know when it is and isn’t necessary to purchase rental car insurance before you get to the counter to avoid paying for duplicate coverage or not having enough.

To know the terms of your auto insurance policy prior to renting a car will save you from worrying and wasting time wondering about your policy. Every car insurance company offers different terms concerning the rental car coverage. It could be offered as a separate coverage that is available for purchase by any driver, or it could be included in your policy at no charge.

There'ss a difference between your policy including the insurance for a rented vehicle and your policy offering to pay for a rental car while your owned car is in the shop for accident-related repairs. If you are confused by what is covered through your policy, be sure to contact your insurance company and get a clear definition of what you have purchased regarding rental cars. In most cases, the policy you purchased applies towards the vehicle you regularly drive as well as any other vehicles — including rentals — you occasionally or very rarely drive. Again, each auto insurance company’s terms vary.

In terms of providing insurance for a rented vehicle, your auto insurance company will provide collision and comprehensive coverage for the vehicle, provided you already have those options on your policy. It is also suggested checking with your insurance company to see if they would be responsible to pay for any fees, loss of use or charges to tow the vehicle if needed. When comparing different means of rental car insurance, place yourself in the situation of an accident and think of the stresses that come with that situation. Don’t leave any room for error in being covered for all charges to prevent yourself from being required to pay for the damages.

Other way to purchase auto insurance for a rental car is by using certain credit cards for the payment to rent the vehicle. Some credit cards include an agreement that when the owner of the card uses it to pay for the rented vehicle in full, the credit card company will instantly insure the vehicle. However, just like different auto insurance companies vary in coverage, so do credit cards. Some credit card companies only offer rental car insurance to clients who have good credit standing. Sometimes the insurance offered for the rented vehicle only covers the rented vehicle and not the additional property that was damaged due to your negligence. Also, medical expenses for you and or the other driver or passengers may not be covered as well, leaving you to foot the bill. Before going to pick up a rental car, have the terms of coverage provided by the credit card company sent to you in writing so you can be very familiar with the terms. You may be able to see where you wouldn’t be covered by the credit card company and purchase rental car insurance from the rental car company for safe measures.

The third option for rental car insurance is by purchasing the insurance from the rental car company for an added fee. While some consumers find this fee to be obscenely expensive and unnecessary, other drivers view it as a must. For instance, if you do not currently own a vehicle and do not have auto insurance, it would be in the driver’s best interest to look into coverage provided by the rental car company, especially if the driver is not using a credit card that offers rental car insurance. The rental car company offers a variety of coverage that will provide drivers with what they can afford. Keep in mind that it is the driver’s responsibility to pay for any damages that occur to the rented vehicle, whether it was the driver’s fault or not. One example includes a valet who accidentally scratches the side of the rented vehicle. The driver would be required to pay for the damages upfront and hope the other party is good to reimburse.

One of the waivers or coverage that a rental car company provides is known as a loss damage waiver. By purchasing this waiver, the renter of the vehicle is not responsible to pay for accident damages or if the vehicle is stolen. Towing, administrative, and loss of use fees are also waived by purchasing loss damage waiver. Just as with a regular auto insurance company, the rental car company expects the driver to operate the vehicle with caution by obeying all traffic laws. If the driver is found in an accident and had been speeding or breaking any of the other traffic laws or conditions of the rental agreement, the waiver becomes void.

The rental car companies also offer liability insurance in the amount that is required by the state. Most often the state requirement liability amounts are rather low compared to what it costs to pay for the expenses of an accident. Check with your auto insurance company to find out whether or not you can apply your liability insurance towards the rental car. If you have it already, you might consider not purchasing this supplemental insurance.

The personal effects coverage will also be offered to you from the rental car company. This coverage will protect your personal items if they are stolen out of the rental car. Check with your homeowners insurance and see if property stolen away from your home is covered, and if it is, you won’t necessarily need to purchase this coverage.

Personal accident insurance is another form of coverage offered by the rental car company that will provide you and your passengers with medical coverage in the event of injuries sustained from an accident while in the rental car. Personal injury protection on your auto insurance policy or your health insurance will also pay for these expenses up to the purchased amount of coverage.

It is important to know what insurance is already provided to you through your credit card company and your auto insurance company before you get to the rental car counter. You can prevent duplicating your coverage and needlessly spending extra money to insure the rental car by knowing your insurance and knowing how you want to be covered by insurance.


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