No, you do not need insurance to rent a car because rental companies have their own insurance. Rental car companies usually provide minimum liability coverage only, so if you don’t have personal insurance, you’ll probably want to purchase extra rental car insurance through the rental company. If your personal car is insured and you pay for your rental with a credit card, you can probably skip optional coverage at the rental counter.
You don’t have to purchase all of these coverage types to be protected while driving your rental. But minimum liability insurance carried by the rental car company isn’t enough protection if you get into an accident.
When You Don't Need The Rental Company's Insurance
Before you buy the rental company’s insurance, you should consider what coverage you may already have through your personal car insurance. The coverage limits and deductibles you have on your personal vehicle typically still apply to rentals, as long as you’re renting for personal use. Many major credit cards also offer coverage for rental cars if you pay with your card and decline the collision damage waiver offered by the rental company.
hmm that's not exactly correct, because a 2020 law was upheld in a Federal Court called the Graves Amendment, and it basically says that the rental car companies are not liability for any damage or injuries the renter causes. Therefore anyone who doesn't have adequate insurance is taking a potentially big risk. I am an insurance agent/broker licensed in all states.
Cory K, Certified Clinical Research Professional® (CCRP)
A few key items are left out: it appears you mean do I need a CDW to rent a car? Liability is always required—State-minimum liability must be carried through one’s own traditional auto insurance policy or else via the rental company’s offerings. The latter is most applicable to folks who don’t own a car or don’t drive and thus don’t carry “traditional” auto insurance. Cheers!
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 … read full answercredit 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.
Yes, your car insurance covers rental cars, in most cases. Standard auto insurance policies cover car rentals in the U.S., up to your normal policy limits and with your regular deductible, but it’s best to check the details of your car insurance policy to make sure you’re aware of any specific rental car restrictions.… read full answer
In addition, other policies, like health or home insurance, kick in for certain situations. Your health insurance will usually cover injuries resulting from a car crash, and home or renters policies cover items stolen from a car. Also, depending on the credit card you used to rent a car, you may be able to file a claim through it, too.
When Your Car Insurance Does Not Cover Rental Cars
Although every standard car insurance company has its own criteria for covering rental cars, a few situations are commonly excluded.
Most insurers do not cover rental cars outside of the U.S., though you can buy specialty rental car or travel insurance to fulfill another country’s insurance requirements.
If you get into an accident, the rental car company may charge you for things that your insurance won’t pay for, like loss-of-use or administrative fees.
Many personal car insurance policies do not cover cars rented for business reasons
Most companies have time limits, meaning that your insurance will cover a rental car for a few weeks or a month at most.
If you carry full coverage, your insurance will only pay for the limits established by the value of your usual car, even if the rental car is worth more.
When to Buy Additional Rental Car Insurance
You don’t have your own car insurance policy.
You have a personal insurance policy but want additional coverage.
You are renting a car for business purposes.
You are renting a car outside of the U.S.
Keep in mind that not every state requires rental car companies to automatically provide the minimum mandated insurance coverage. In California, for example, you need to carry a personal car insurance policy with liability coverage or purchase the rental car company’s additional liability coverage in order to drive legally.
Yes, Geico offers rental car insurance. Geico rental car insurance is usually included in a driver’s personal car insurance policy if the driver carries liability, comprehensive, or collision coverage and is driving in the U.S. Each policy is unique, though, and there may be certain exclusions based on your specific situation. It’s important to confirm the details of your policy by calling customer service at (800) 207-7847 before declining additional coverage at the rental counter.… read full answer
Geico Rental Car Insurance Coverage Limits
The same Geico coverage limits that apply to your personal vehicle will also apply to a rental car. If you only carry liability insurance, Geico will pay for the other driver’s injuries and property damage after an at-fault accident—but not physical damage to the rental. You need a full coverage policy to have damage to the rental car covered by your insurer.
If you have full coverage and you rent a car of similar value to your personal vehicle, you will probably have sufficient coverage. But if your personal vehicle is a 15-year-old Ford and you decide to rent a brand-new Lexus, you should look into extra coverage options.
Ways to Supplement Geico Rental Car Insurance
If you don’t feel confident about your coverage levels when you’re at the rental desk, consider purchasing a Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) from the rental company. In the event of a collision or theft, the waiver ensures that the rental company will be responsible for the costs.
In addition to a CDW, rental car companies offer a few other types of insurance if you don’t have enough coverage with your Geico policy. These include supplemental liability protection, personal accident insurance, and personal effects coverage.
You should also look into whether your credit card has rental car insurance as part of its benefits. This extra layer of protection could help bridge any gaps in coverage for your rental car. Bear in mind, however, that purchasing insurance from the rental company nullifies any coverage you would get from your credit card.
Geico Rental Reimbursement Coverage
In addition to standard rental car insurance, Geico offers rental reimbursement coverage as an optional policy add-on. It helps pay for the cost of a rental car while your personal vehicle is being repaired for a covered claim. This coverage costs between $2 and $15 per month, on average, but you’ll need to call customer service to get a personalized quote and add rental reimbursement coverage to your policy.
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