Rental car insurance can cover liability claims, collision damage to the rental car, stolen personal items, and injuries to you and your passengers, depending on the types of coverage you buy. You need rental car insurance if you don’t have a personal auto policy, or if you want to avoid paying a high deductible.
What Different Types of Rental Car Insurance Cover
Generally, rental car companies offer four types of coverage for customers to choose from: collision damage waivers, liability coverage, personal accident insurance, and personal effects coverage.
Helps cover personal items if they are stolen from your rental car. Expensive items like computers and cameras may be subject to limits and exclusions.
Before you purchase rental car insurance, be sure to check your personal auto insurance because personal policies often cover rental cars. You can also call your insurance company or agent to verify the extent of your existing coverage.
You need some form of insurance to drive a rental car, but you only need to buy extra car insurance from the rental car company if you don’t have personal auto insurance or you’re traveling internationally. 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:
Yes, full coverage does cover rental cars. Rental cars are usually covered by any car insurance you have, including the main components of full coverage policies like comprehensive, collision, and liability insurance. It is always a good idea to double check your policy, though, to ensure there are no relevant restrictions.
On the other hand, full coverage insurance itself will not provide a rental car for you if your personal vehicle is out of commission. You would need additional rental reimbursement coverage for that.
When Full Coverage May Not Cover Rental Cars
Your full coverage policy may only cover a rental car for a certain period of time, such as a few weeks or a month.
Your full coverage policy will only pay out the actual cash value of your personal vehicle, even if your rental car is worth significantly more.
If you are traveling outside of the U.S. or Canada with a rental car, your full coverage policy likely will not apply.
Many personal full coverage car insurance policies will not provide protection for vehicles rented for business use.
If you are renting an expensive vehicle and plan to use it for business purposes or drive it outside of the U.S., you should consider getting rental car insurance.
Full coverage car insurance normally includes comprehensive and collision insurance and at least the minimum insurance coverage required by state law. Full coverage policies are designed to provide protection for car accidents and non-accident-related damage to ensure the policyholder is covered regardless of fault.
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