What is rental car coverage and what does it cover?
Rental car coverage is a form of insurance, usually offered by a rental car company, that provides financial protection for a vehicle you may rent for short or long periods. It is an additional insurance policy that gives you peace of mind should something unexpected happen while you are using a rental car. Rental car insurance may include the following:
- Liability coverage, for damages or injuries you may cause while driving the rental.
- Personal accident coverage, to help pay medical bills if you and your passengers are injured in an accident.
- Loss/collision damage waiver, which releases you from paying for damage that occurs to the car, such as theft and vandalism.
- Personal effects coverage, which covers your personal belongings, such as laptops, if stolen from a rental car.
Does my car insurance cover rental cars?
Usually, your personal auto insurance automatically offers coverage for rental cars depending on the insurance policy you have. However, your personal insurance policy terms limit rental car coverage.
Your car insurance company may only pay up to the value of the insured vehicle on your policy. If you only carry the state-mandated minimum liability coverage for your insured vehicle, then your car insurance company will only offer liability coverage for rental cars.
To find out exactly what is covered by your current car insurance company, it’s best to check your policy or contact your insurance company to make sure you have enough coverage to use when you pick up the rental car.
In addition, most credit card companies offer insurance for a rental car if their credit card is used to pay for the vehicle. Coverage can depend on the credit card used and the type of car rented. If you plan on renting a newer or luxury model, buying additional coverage can help make up the difference.
We recommend checking with your credit card company before renting for coverage information, rules, and restrictions. Knowing that all your bases are covered when using a rental car can provide some peace of mind during the whole process and let you enjoy driving without worrying.
Should I get rental car coverage?
If you already have personal car insurance or rental car coverage through your credit card company, then purchasing rental car insurance may not be necessary. However, you may want to consider adding rental car coverage if you fit any of these scenarios:
- You have very high deductibles on your personal car insurance. With rental car insurance coverage, you could pay much less on a claim since it oftentimes has no or low deductibles compared to your auto policy.
- You don’t want claims on your personal policy. Once a rental car insurance policy is purchased, it becomes your primary insurance policy while driving your rental. Filing a claim with the rental car company helps you avoid a potential rate increase on your personal auto policy.
- You don’t have an auto policy. If you don’t own a car or don’t use a credit card that covers a rental car, then you’ll need to purchase insurance for a rental car.
- You don’t carry comprehensive or collision coverage. Usually, rental companies will offer you a loss-damage waiver if you don’t carry comprehensive or collision coverage on your personal auto policy, which protects you against physical damage to the car.
- You only carry low liability coverage. If your auto policy only carries state-mandated minimum liability coverage, adding additional coverage will offer greater protection in the case of an at-fault accident.
Now that you know everything there is to know about insurance for a rental car, it’s time to make sure you are properly prepared for the open road. Depending on your auto insurance coverage type, your standard auto policy may already cover rental cars. You may also be able to get coverage from credit card companies. If you still feel uncertain, purchasing a separate policy might be worth considering.
If you are looking for a trusted car insurance agency in the area, look no further! With five office locations across Louisiana, our agents at TSL Insurance Group are ready to help you find the best auto insurance policy. Fill out the form below for a free consultation!