To Buy Car Rental Coverage or Not

Knowing your coverage can save you a headache

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Standard Auto Insurance Coverage

Standard auto insurance policies usually offer these six coverage options:

  1. Bodily Injury Liability
  2. Property Damage Liability
  3. Medical Payment or Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
  4. Collision
  5. Comprehensive
  6. Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

As you might notice, there are some things that basic car insurance leaves out. One auto insurance coverage that tends to be overlooked is car rental coverage.

Optional Car Rental Coverage

Nowadays, we have so many more options for car rentals, including airport car rental and peer-to-peer rentals. It’s great having more options, but it also creates confusion for insurance coverage on rentals.

If you have collision on your personal auto insurance policy, it is likely that it will follow you on a rental car. Depending on the agreement of your policy, some of the property damage coverage might transfer, but not all.

To be sure of your coverage before you decide to buy or reject the car rental company’s rental insurance, the Insurance Information Institute (III) recommends that you do these two things:

Call your insurance carrier and ask what coverage will transfer to the rental car and if there is any gap that you should get covered before you start driving. It is important that you find out what property damage/physical damage coverage is going to apply in the rental or if there is no coverage at all.

Call your credit card company to see what insurance benefits are provided when you charge the rental on your credit card. The coverage available through credit card use varies by companies and level of the credit card (i.e. Platinum level or Gold level). It’s important to note that, in most cases, your credit card benefits are to be secondary to your personal auto insurance or the insurance coverage provided by the car rental company.

Should You get Car Rental Coverage?

Once you get this information from your personal auto insurance provider and your credit card company, you can more easily make the decision of whether you should purchase the rental car insurance from the rental car company, or not.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources. This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements, nor is it intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. The definitions, terms and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.

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