If you’ve ever rented a car, you have been offered that supplemental rental car insurance. But do you really need it, and when?
Car Insurance Liability for a Rental
Most US drivers with regular auto insurance already carry coverage the provides full or partial rental car protection. While there are certain dollar limits and coverage and geographical limitations, it pays (or rather, saves) to find out what car rental insurance coverage your auto insurance provides.
Keep in mind that if you own an older vehicle, you may carry just liability. That coverage will take care of damages to another car and passengers if you are found liable, but if there’s damage to the rental car you are still on the hook for the repairs. You will also be responsible for paying your deductible if you are in an accident.
For example, State Farm rental car insurance covers damages made in the US and Canada, but the rental car insurance State Farm offers does not help you if you are in an accident in Europe.
Credit Card Car Rental Insurance
Rental car insurance offered by credit card companies has become commonplace. Many of them offer a CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) when the credit card is used to pay for the rental. Car rental insurance from the credit card companies may have certain exclusions and limitations, you need to call your credit card company before assuming you are covered.
Foreign Rent a Car Insurance
Traveling outside the US and Canada? Take a few minutes to consider the auto car insurance for the rental. Not used to driving on the left side of the road in England? You might want the insurance. Rental car insurance in Mexico is almost mandatory as their road rules aren’t as civil as they are in the US and accidents can actually land you in jail.
Car Rental Business Insurance
Traveling on business means even more on the line – especially if you are renting in the name of your company or employer. Ask your employer or the company representative what their policy is on car company insurance for rentals. They may have enough coverage for company rentals, they may require that you opt for the insurance.
If your company or representative doesn’t require you to opt in but you do anyway, you may be held liable for paying for the car insurance for the rent a car.
There are a multitude of car rental insurance coverage options. Alamo car rental insurance, for example, comes in three waiver flavors. The maxi waiver covers the cost of repair and loss of use of their rental car, but not personal injuries. There are two waiver saver options, one covers the first $3000 of damages, the other covers the first $500 in damages. These are great if you want car rental insurance to pay for your deductible only.