You need some form of rental car insurance to drive a rental car, but you only need a special policy if you don’t have personal auto insurance, you’re traveling internationally, or you want extra peace of mind. Standard car insurance policies usually extend to rental cars, so most drivers are already covered. Many credit cards also provide insurance against damage to the rental car itself.
You Might Need to Buy Rental Car Insurance If You:
- Don’t have a personal car insurance policy.
- Have a personal car insurance policy but your limits are low.
- Are traveling internationally and your personal insurance won’t cover you.
- Are traveling for business and your personal insurance won’t cover you.
- Don’t want to pay your normal deductible or see your premium increase if you file a claim.
- Don’t want to pay fees that your normal insurance won’t cover, like loss-of-use charges.
- Are renting a car for longer than your insurance or credit card will cover you.
- Want to avoid filing a claim with your normal insurance company if you get into an accident with the rental car.
If your car rental is covered by your standard insurance and you’re willing to pay your normal deductible, it’s fine to go without separate rental car insurance. In this case, just be sure to ask your insurer about any exclusions before the rental begins.
It’s also worth noting that even if your standard car insurance policy only includes liability coverage, you might be protected in other ways. For instance, some credit cards allow you to file claims for damage to a rental car, while homeowners, condo, or renters policies cover personal possessions.
In other words, you should consider your current insurance policies before deciding if you need rental car insurance. Additionally, if you plan on using a credit card as coverage, be sure you know about any exclusions and actions you need to take for the coverage to apply, such as declining the rental car company’s insurance options. For more details, check out WalletHub’s complete guide to rental car insurance.
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