The best rental car insurance is a personal car insurance policy. People who already have car insurance for their personal vehicle are usually covered up to their normal policy limits when driving a rental car in the United States. If you don’t have a personal car insurance policy, you can purchase rental car insurance from a third-party provider either directly or through the rental car company. Keep in mind that purchasing the coverage directly is usually the cheaper option.
Third-party rental car insurance providers are affordable, costing around $6 to $25 per day, depending on the type of coverage. In comparison, the insurance a rental car company will sell you at the counter can easily cost twice as much.
Best Third-Party Rental Car Insurance
- Insure My Rental Car
- Rental Cover
Bonzah is the best third-party rental car insurance provider because it’s the only option that offers supplemental liability insurance. The other major providers protect you from the cost of rental car repairs, roadside assistance, trip interruption, and/or stolen personal items, but they lack liability coverage options.
Some credit cards also provide rental car insurance, though they usually only cover damage to the rental car itself rather than bodily injury or property damage liability. Most cards offer secondary coverage, too, meaning that you must file a claim with your own car insurance company first – if you have one – before filing a claim with the card.
How to Choose the Best Rental Car Insurance for You
The best overall choice for rental car insurance depends on preference and personal circumstances. Some drivers consider their primary insurance to be the best option, especially when paired with the right credit card, since there’s no extra cost. But drivers who need additional coverage or who don’t want to pay their normal insurance deductible can purchase third-party rental insurance. Finally, buying insurance at the rental car counter is the most expensive choice, but it does add convenience and peace of mind.
If you plan to use your standard insurance policy or your credit card as rental car insurance, just be sure to read the fine print or call your insurer to make sure you’ll be covered. Also, check that you’ll fulfill the state’s minimum requirements for car insurance to avoid driving without sufficient coverage.
In most states, rental car companies automatically include the mandatory minimum coverage in your contract. California is a key exception, however, since state laws allow companies to rent out cars without providing any insurance. Consequently, if you don’t have a standard car insurance policy and you rent a car in California without purchasing liability coverage from the rental car company or a third-party insurer, you will be driving illegally without insurance.
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