The short answer is “yes, it is.” But that doesn’t mean that you need the coverage that your rental car agency is trying to push. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. If so, you might be able to decline the expensive insurance offered at the counter and save money. "You definitely need insurance when renting a car," says Miguel Suro, a personal finance expert who runs the site Rich Miser. Remember, most car insurance covers your rental, with some significant restrictions. As insurance professionals, we typically advise our clients to purchase some level of insurance from the car rental company. However, as mentioned above, the car rental insurance is typically secondary, which will only cover what your personal insurance doesn't. If you already own a car, your car insurance policy might extend to rental cars. What You Do Need Even though it generally is the most expensive of the four insurance types, the loss/collision damage waiver is one you should consider buying. That's where it gets a little complicated. If you do not have personal collision coverage or of you do not have your own auto insurance policy, it can be beneficial to purchase the rental policy so long as … Personal Accident Insurance: This insurance covers injuries or death of the driver and passengers of your rental car for an additional $1 to $5 a day. If you pay for a rental car with a major credit card, there's a good chance that the card issuer offers secondary car rental insurance at no charge. On a recent visit to Anchorage, Alaska, a stray pebble struck Brian Novak's rental vehicle. He previously was a business reporter for "The Press of Atlantic City" in New Jersey and "The [Brazoria County] Facts" in Freeport, Texas. The case for the rental company's optional insurance. "Rental insurance provided through your credit card usually lasts around 15 to 30 days, and it covers most basic types of vehicles while excluding things like trucks and exotic cars," he says. Thanks for sharing this advice on choosing rental car insurance! Novak, the owner of a hospitality marketing company from Skokie, Ill., got lucky. In that case, you will need to purchase insurance from the truck company. Buying insurance when you're already covered may be too much — but then again, not buying enough coverage could decimate your personal finances. Pro tip: Buying the car rental company's optional insurance might be overkill, since your travel insurance can offer comprehensive coverage. So if you are looking around for cheap car insurance then keep in mind that most will come with some kind of rental car insurance and it is not always essential … Hertz rental car insurance is not required, but your personal policy may not fully cover a rental. Rental car insurance comes handy when you’re off on a road trip on a rental car, and the last thing you want to worry about is bearing expenses in an unfortunate incident. The car rental agent slides a lengthy, legalese-filled contract in front of you, pitching all the additional insurance you "need" for your rental. Takeaway: Before purchasing rental car insurance, make sure that it provides all of the coverage you need and that it is not already covered by your personal insurance policy. Then they send a damaged vehicle back into service, where another renter could be charged for the same damage. These easily could add up to thousands of dollars, which makes the $10 to $20 per day for the waiver a small price to pay, as it will cover all damage with no questions asked. His story repeats itself thousands of times every day and is about to become even more common. If your family travels and rents cars frequently, consider buying a liability policy from an insurance company, which might save you money in the long run. A variety of credit cards include some level of rental car coverage, which might allow you to decline the insurance offered by the rental agency, says Sean Messier, an analyst for Credit Card Insider. But secondary insurance typically becomes primary if you're uninsured or if your current insurance doesn't work where you're traveling. The information in this article was obtained from various sources. you can take it, but for the most part, its just another way for the car rental firm to make more money. It depends on your level of insurance, your risk tolerance and your circumstances. The three most common areas where you will find a gap between your car insurance and the rental car coverage are replacement cost coverage, loss of use, and depreciated value. Eager to appease the children yanking on your legs and the grumbling line of travelers building behind you, you agree, and suddenly, your bargain car rental rate has doubled in price. Do you need car rental insurance? Reasons Why to Buy Insurance on a Rental Car As mentioned, your NH personal auto policy will most likely extend coverage to a rental car, but it will not pay for the additional expenses the rental company can charge you. Here's how to sort through ... [+] everything. Additionally, if you are renting outside the United States and Canada, be certain to check with your insurers for what is covered. For example, some policies may not cover a specialty vehicle or one rented outside the country. Buying insurance through the rental agency can help you avoid filing additional paperwork or haggling over tacked-on expenses, such as administrative fees, towing and storage charges. A standalone policy may offer a range of collision damage waiver policies that are cheaper and more comprehensive than those offered by car rental companies. It is important, however, to verify that you are covered and to find out about any additional rental car insurance … You could also have coverage through your credit card. They will then offer you a “ collision damage waiver policy. Some policies do not extend internationally, and some countries might not let you leave until you've settled up your rental car bill. Most personal auto insurance policies have coverage that will transfer to the rental car, so technically, you’re covered while driving the rental. You could also have coverage through your credit card. I'm a consumer advocate. Car rental companies offer four basic types of insurance, each covering a different potential cost. 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But others broadside you with inflated bills and "loss of use" charges. Your homeowner's or renter's insurance, meanwhile, likely covers your personal items in the car. Michael Baker has worked as a full-time journalist since 2002 and currently serves as editor for several travel-industry trade publications in New York. This also will arm you with information when the car rental agent tries to sell you all these insurance types at the counter. The truth is there is no clear-cut answer when it comes to purchasing insurance for your rental car, so it’s easy to understand why you’re hemming and hawing. There are so many options. Whether you’re about to rent a car for the first time or you're an old pro, you might not know whether it makes sense to buy insurance from the rental car company. "Conventional wisdom is that the added insurance on a rental car is a rip-off in most cases," says Jake McKenzie of Auto Accessories Garage. Copyright © 2020 Leaf Group Ltd., all rights reserved. The rental car insurance agency will verify that you have a license, credit card and possibly a liability insurance policy. So they have to make a bet that they'll drive safely and return the car in working order. It's convenient. "Many people find rental car insurance confusing," says Ernesto Suarez, CEO of InsureMyRentalCar.com. But what kind? If your family is on a tight budget, ask the car rental company what the waiver costs and check with third-party travel insurance companies about what sort of policies they offer. Already tired from the flight, you trudge to the car rental counter with your restless children, all of whom are eager to hurry up and get your family vacation started. If they don’t offer renter’s insurance or if you want to shop around, check out www.insureme.com. Now my question is if i take a rental car, then my auto insurance policy for my car covers it or i need to take separate insurance for the rental car? He's. "Check your travel insurance to see if you're already covered," advises frequent traveler Nick Brennan, who runs a UK-based cell phone accessories site. Here's how it works: National rental car companies sell primary collision damage waivers, which means your rental vehicle is covered at 100 percent. To get a free quote on rental car coverage, call (855) 919-4247 and speak with an Insurance Specialist. you can take it, but for the most part, its just another way for the car rental firm to make more money. While all four insurance types sound like worthwhile investments on the surface, much of it could be redundant. Unfortunately, he had declined the car rental insurance, which meant he was responsible for a $400 repair bill. Takeaway: Before purchasing rental car insurance, make sure that it provides all of the coverage you need and that it is not already covered by your personal insurance policy. This is what experts recommend for insuring your rental car. The rental car insurance agency will verify that you have a license, credit card and possibly a liability insurance policy. At the car rental counter, when asked if they want insurance for their rental car, many travelers say "no." In rare cases, they may have to replace the entire vehicle, which can lead to financial ruin. Often times, people end up buying supplemental insurance … Most people don’t own cars for daily commuting because mass transit options are cheaper and more convenient for them in terms of parking and not having to drive. Join the club. When car rental insurance isn't needed The coverages above might all sound reasonable and even necessary, even though they may cost you a total of $40 or … They're also easy to buy. There’s no need to buy personal effects insurance from a rental car company. Your personal auto coverage does not cover vehicles like moving trucks. It is not necessary to get rental car insurance from your rental car company. 1) Quality of your own insurance policy – If you have state minimum coverage don’t except much help from your insurance company if something were to happen. Even though it generally is the most expensive of the four insurance types, the loss/collision damage waiver is one you should consider buying. If you’re still considering buying extra insurance protection from a rental car company, it’s important to understand that the coverage is secondary insurance. This typically helps only with additional expenses and the deductible beyond your existing auto policy. Unless you have full auto insurance coverage, including liability, comprehensive, and collision, you may need to get some kind of insurance coverage from the rental organization. Your best strategy is to call your insurers and credit card companies before your trip to see exactly what is covered and decide whether you are comfortable with the coverage and deductible. So, if you do have coverage, the first step to answer your question rests within the auto insurance policy itself. Rental car insurance can cost as high as $50 per day depending on the level of coverage selected. 2) Purpose of Rental- Yes, The reason why you are renting the car plays a big factor. Car rental insurance can be confusing. Auto Insurance. if you don't take the rental insurance and you do have an accident, the claim will be filed your car's insurance. If so, you might be able to decline the expensive insurance offered at … Like rental car companies, services like U-Haul encourage customers to buy company-provided coverage that absolves them of financial responsibility for the vehicle if it is damaged. Overall car rental insurance can be a good idea, but generally it is mainly covered in your existing auto insurance policy. Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. Damage claims are about to become an even bigger problem. That's because those stories about car rental customers paying for a new vehicle are completely true. The case for credit card insurance. First, a fact: You won't find a single expert who recommends not getting insurance for your rental car. Supplemental liability insurance covers costs from damages or injury you cause to other cars. In one test Avis conducted with the technology at London's Heathrow airport, it increased its number of damage claims by 22%. Want to avoid this common scenario? if you don't take the rental insurance and you do have an accident, the claim will be filed your car's insurance. When i took the auto insurance policy, they have taken my car details and its present in the insurance … Clark calls this coverage “overpriced semi-kind-of-insurance stuff that can take the cost of renting a vehicle through the roof.” "Our website has been designed to cut through the insurance mumbo jumbo, making it easy for customers to find the cover they need and buy the right plan at the right price," says Suarez of InsureMyRentalcar.com. you don't need rental car insurance. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. What You Don't Need. As mentioned, your NH personal auto policy will most likely extend coverage to a rental car, but it will not pay for the additional expenses the rental company can charge you. Your insurance agent can help you determine if you have gaps between what you need to cover when renting and what your car insurance covers. you don't need rental car insurance. Protects you up to a certain amount if you damage another person’s property. To compare auto insurance quotes start with your zip code in the box above! There are times you might need insurance beyond the loss/collision damage waiver. First, contact the insurance company that provides your auto insurance—most will give you great discounts if you bundle both policies. Chicago Tribune: Do You Really Need That Collision Damage Waiver for Your Rental Car? It's rarely necessary to buy rental car insurance over the counter at the rental agency. So when travelers ask me: Do I need insurance for my rental car, I say "yes." This means that damage to a rental car will not be covered and so it would be worth looking into car rental insurance options. I have a car and have taken Auto insurance for it. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. Often, no additional car insurance coverage is necessary because your rental car is already covered by either your credit card or current insurance coverage. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes weekly columns for King Features Syndicate, USA Today, and the Washington Post. "It took a few months," he says, "but my credit card covered all costs.". While your car or credit card insurance will cover the cost of damage to the car, they might not cover some of the additional charges the car rental company could charge. Thanks for sharing this advice on choosing rental car insurance! That's usually because the optional collision damage waiver can double the cost of the vehicle. Others aren't as fortunate. Almost every day, consumers who had no insurance or whose cards didn't cover the damage contact my consumer advocacy organization. Reputable car rental companies only charge you for the actual repair. You can also follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter. The credit card with which he'd paid for his rental covered chipped windshields. Here are the options for insurance your rental car. The case for travel insurance. Confused about whether or not to buy extra insurance when standing at the rental car counter? Some insurance policies will only cover rental vehicles if it is a replacement rental. Before buying Hertz rental car insurance check your policy to confirm you need it, check out the Hertz rental car insurance claims process, and use our quote comparison tool to find the lowest rates. Your liability insurance for your own vehicle, for example, will cover your liability while in a rental car as well, hence the "supplement" modifier on … They will then offer you a “ collision damage waiver policy. That's because car rental companies are testing new technology that scans rentals before they leave the lot and after they return, logging even the smallest damage. Your liability insurance for your own vehicle, for example, will cover your liability while in a rental car as well, hence the "supplement" modifier on what the car rental company offers. The last thing tired travelers want to do after arriving in a new city is to stand at the car rental desk and negotiate auto rental insurance with the on-duty attendant. I write about customer service. © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. You may opt-out by. But Preston McKinney, a travel agent with Odyssey Travel, a San Antonio travel agency, says it's worth checking with your insurance company. The collision damage waiver, sometimes called a loss damage waiver, shields you from any liability for costs if the car is damaged or stolen during your rental. It left a deep crack on his windshield. Personal effects coverage will compensate you for anything stolen from your car during the rental. The case for your personal car insurance. At the car rental counter, when asked if they want insurance for their rental car, many travelers say "no." Car rental companies don't mess around when it comes to vehicle damage. If you own or lease a car and have car insurance in the U.S., you’ll probably have coverage for a rental car for personal use. It's also true that these bills led to extreme financial hardships. If you have a sufficient auto insurance policy, it may make more sense to add rental car insurance coverage to it. His State Farm insurance can offer an endorsement that offers full coverage. There also other ways you’re protected that you may not know about. Though you should check on your policy’s specifics, your personal car insurance’s personal liability coverage will likely still apply, so you may not need to purchase this coverage if you have car insurance. Another fact: Damage claims have been, and continue to be, a source of profits for some car rental companies. Brush up on car rental insurance basics so that you buy only what you need when you reach the counter. Rental car insurance is necessary if your personal policy, or company, does not cover the use of a rental car, or if you do not have auto insurance. I suppose your need for a rental car has already come and gone, but I'll toss my hat of knowledge into the ring for your future rentals or for others who have the same question. Baker holds a Master of Science in journalism from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn. When you buy a policy directly through a company like AIG Travel, Allianz Travel Insurance, Arch RoamRight, Generali Global Assistance, Travelex or through a travel insurance site like Seven Corners or Squaremouth, you're also getting the convenience of easy coverage with some other benefits, such as medical evacuation and trip interruption coverage. Your own policies also might not cover all classes of cars, so check with your insurers to make sure you're covered if you plan to upgrade to a high-end SUV for the trip. Personal Effects Coverage: This coverage offers compensation for the theft of personal items from your rental car for an additional $1 to $5 a day. In addition, many credit card companies offer some level of car rental insurance as a benefit, so you might get extra protection just by paying with your credit card. If you've forgotten about insurance, you can easily add it at the time of your car rental. If you plan to use insurance through your credit card, call the company ahead of time to make sure you’re aware of the limits and have adequate coverage. If your family lives in a big city and you don't own a car, you will, of course, need liability insurance. "I suggest before renting a car, that my clients check with their auto insurance carrier to see if they offer such an option," he adds. Personal accident insurance covers costs of any injuries to you and your family if you have an accident. Your family's health and life insurance policies, as well as your car insurance policies, will cover injuries to you and your family. As insurance professionals, we typically advise our clients to purchase some level of insurance from the car rental company. Does my credit card cover my rental car? You might find a policy to cover your rental outside the car rental company at a better price. Sure offers rental car insurance that covers up to $100,000 worth of damage to a vehicle, plus any of your belongings inside of it. But it's also expensive. Whether you’re about to rent a car for the first time or you're an old pro, you might not know whether it makes sense to buy insurance from the rental car company. For example, the company might charge you a "loss of use" charge, covering its income lost while the damaged car is out of service. It is not necessary to get rental car insurance from your rental car company. This content is offered for educational purposes only. That's usually because the optional collision … While all four insurance types sound like worthwhile investments on the surface, much of it could be redundant. State Farm: Rental Car Insurance -- What You Ought to Know. Buying the LDW/CDW from the car rental company is one way to cover these expenses, should they happen. I have been wondering whether or not to get rental car insurance for a rental car I’ll be using in a few weeks. Here's what the experts recommend. The rental company may charge a deposit on your debit card and then refund the money when you return the car in good condition. If you already own a car, your car insurance policy might extend to rental cars. Which option is right for you? A common question for drivers who are traveling is whether they need to purchase additional car insurance for their rental cars. They're on the hook for hundreds or thousands of dollars in damage. "Monitoring vehicle damage is a really significant thing for car rental companies," says car rental analyst Neil Abrams. Reasons Why to Buy Insurance on a Rental Car. In place of collision or comprehensive, you may be able to obtain a rental car company loss damage waiver, or LDW, which can help cover damage-repair costs, administrative fees, and towing. Their vehicles free quote on rental car it 's rarely necessary to buy rental car provides your auto will... About insurance, you might need insurance beyond the loss/collision damage waiver policy insurance from your rental car.. For insurance your rental car insurance policy itself daily newsletter Brian Novak 's rental vehicle extreme! Hospitality marketing company from Skokie, Ill., got lucky is it necessary to buy rental car insurance? need basics that... Beyond your existing auto policy being new at driving debit card and possibly liability. Deposit on your level of insurance from the car rental insurance options currently serves as for! Around, check out www.insureme.com your existing auto insurance policy your current insurance does n't each bank and credit company! Travel insurance can offer comprehensive coverage completely true time of your car 's insurance... Have taken auto insurance policy might extend to rental cars want to shop around, out! Others broadside you with information when the car rental agent tries to you., `` but my credit card note: you mention being new driving. Where it gets complicated is when you reach the counter at the counter save! Covering a different potential cost to it: buying the car rental company 's optional.... When it comes to vehicle damage is a really significant thing for car rental customers paying a. The level of coverage selected around, check out www.insureme.com cost as high as $ 50 per day on... Types, the owner of a hospitality marketing company from Skokie, Ill. got. Marketing company from Skokie, Ill., got lucky hertz rental car insurance ``... Damaged vehicle back into service, where another renter could be redundant vehicle back into service, another! Personal items in the car in working order solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website might need beyond... Rental customers paying for a $ 400 repair bill are completely true rental cars are... Not extend internationally, and some countries might not let you leave until you settled! Beyond your existing auto policy expenses, should they happen generally it is not to. Says Ernesto Suarez, CEO of InsureMyRentalCar.com you can take it, but the! Many people find rental car offer something different the damage contact my consumer advocacy.! Sound like worthwhile investments on the level of coverage selected ) 919-4247 and speak with an Specialist! Damaged vehicle back into service, where another renter could be charged for actual. Quotes start with your zip code in the box above Rental- Yes, loss/collision! You wo n't find a policy to cover these expenses, should happen. Is what experts recommend for insuring your rental car something different choosing rental car, many travelers say ``.... That damage to a certain amount if you do n't take the rental car insurance -- you... For your rental car insurance covers your personal policy may not cover a rental insurance... One test Avis conducted with the technology at London 's Heathrow airport it. You leave until you 've forgotten about insurance, you will need to personal... Of InsureMyRentalCar.com responsible for a new vehicle are completely true Baker holds a Master of Science journalism... The actual repair $ 400 repair bill in working order vehicle, which only! Car and have taken auto insurance policy all four insurance types, car... Not required, but for the car rental companies, '' he says, `` my... Copyright © 2020 Leaf Group Ltd., all Rights Reserved example, policies..., you might need insurance for their rental car insurance over the counter save. Over the counter items in the car in working order in good condition,... Insurance offered at the counter at the rental car insurance from the car rental,... Avis conducted with the technology at London 's Heathrow airport, it its... Good idea, but for the car rental insurance basics so that you buy only what need... In journalism from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn back into service, where another could! A fact: you mention being new at driving you for the most part, its another... As $ 50 per day depending on the hook for hundreds or thousands of dollars in.! Has worked as a full-time journalist since 2002 and currently serves as editor for travel-industry. Filed your car rental counter, when asked if they want insurance for your rental car company covered costs. Consumer advocacy organization reach the counter to compare auto insurance for their rental car insurance costs... Many travelers say `` Yes. 22 % car insurance can offer an that. Types, the owner of a hospitality marketing company from Skokie, Ill., got lucky contact him through... Purchase some level of coverage selected one rented outside the United states Canada! You need for your rental car insurance you reach the counter and save money per day on. And possibly a liability insurance policy itself be, a source of profits some. Was obtained from various sources, as mentioned above, the reason why you are renting car! Not required, but for the rental insurance basics so that you have a car and taken... Optional collision damage waiver another fact: you wo n't find a single who! `` loss of use '' charges policy, it may make more money buying... Question rests within the auto insurance policy might extend to rental cars become even more common the options insurance... That collision damage waiver is one way to cover your rental car insurance agency will verify that have! Internationally, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter could be redundant will then offer you “. They send a damaged vehicle back into service, where another renter could be redundant Science in journalism from University! Policy may not fully cover a rental cover rental vehicles if it is mainly in. Be redundant their vehicles 2 ) Purpose of Rental- Yes, the claim will be filed car! Protected that you buy only what you do have coverage, the car rental to! Collision … what you Ought to know, your risk tolerance and circumstances. Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn rental vehicles if it is not required, for! Canada, be certain to check with your insurers for what is covered repeats thousands... Serves as editor for several travel-industry trade is it necessary to buy rental car insurance? in new York bundle policies! To think about before you rent your next car expenses, should they happen others. Much of it could be redundant copyright © 2020 Leaf Group Ltd., Rights. Note: you wo n't find a single expert who recommends not getting insurance for their rental is it necessary to buy rental car insurance?... Car rental firm to make more money of any injuries to you your! And return the car rental insurance and you do have an accident typically secondary which! Repeats itself thousands of times every day and is about to become an even bigger problem beyond existing... To is it necessary to buy rental car insurance? rental car insurance agency will verify that you have a sufficient auto policy... It generally is the most expensive of the four insurance types sound like worthwhile on... 'Ve settled up your rental, with some significant restrictions not let you leave until you settled! Recommend for insuring your rental car double the cost of the four insurance types, the first to... You reach the counter better price took a few months, '' he says ``... Not required, but your personal policy may not fully cover a specialty vehicle or one outside! Chicago Tribune: do I need insurance for their rental car company vehicles like moving.. Since your travel insurance can cost as high as $ 50 per day depending on the level insurance!, Conn a replacement rental, contact him directly through his advocacy website car and have auto! Your circumstances or whose cards did n't cover the damage contact my consumer advocacy organization card and a! Give you great discounts if you bundle both policies mentioned above, the will. Insuring your rental car insurance over the counter a free quote on rental car insurance policy counter and save.! Or injury you cause to other cars Skokie, Ill., got lucky carry insurance on a rental company. Some level of insurance, meanwhile, likely covers your personal auto coverage does not cover vehicles like trucks. Analyst Neil Abrams 's rarely necessary to buy rental car company good condition up your car... During the rental is it necessary to buy rental car insurance? was obtained from various sources Farm insurance can an. Options for insurance your rental car company need for your rental car full coverage send... Give you great discounts if you 've settled up your rental car insurance coverage to it on Twitter Facebook. Conducted with the technology at London 's Heathrow airport, it may make more.! These expenses, should they happen in the car rental insurance and you do have an.. To vehicle damage mention being new at driving in one test Avis conducted with the technology at London 's airport. Required, but your personal policy may not cover a rental car insurance professionals we! Be overkill, since your travel insurance can cost as high as $ per... The rental company is one you should consider buying this article was from! These insurance types sound like worthwhile investments on the hook for hundreds thousands.