Do I Need Insurance When I Go to Rent a Car ?

 If you are going to rent a car to go on vacation with family or friends and you go to pick up your car, they will most likely ask you at the rental agency counter if you want to buy car insurance with them.

Perhaps your first reaction is to accept auto insurance, because you don't want to get in trouble with the law and you want to be covered in the event of an incident on the road.

But before taking this step, first check with your insurance provider to see if you're covered under your current policy and ask the following questions:

  • Does my rental car policy cover?
  • Who and what does the policy cover?
  • Can someone else drive the vehicle?
  • Does coverage extend beyond collision damage to liability insurance, personal property, theft, etc.?
  • Is the coverage adequate for the type of vehicle I plan to rent?
  • Does the current policy work as the primary insurance on the rental car?
  • What is the policy deductible and is it the same for rental cars?

When should you opt for rental car insurance?

Sometimes it pays to buy rental car insurance. This depends on whether:

  1. You don't have insurance because you don't have a car
  2. Have insurance that comes with low coverage limits
  3. You want peace of mind and don't mind the extra cost
  4. It's up to you to do your research before renting a car.

Insurance options offered by car rental agencies

The most common are:

  • Collision/Loss Damage Waiver:
    Covers costs if your rental car is stolen, damaged in an accident, or vandalized.
  • Liability / Supplemental Insurance: Covers you if you cause damage to other vehicles or property while driving the rental car. You can also pay for the medical expenses of the other driver and their passengers if you are at fault in an accident.
  • Personal Accident Insurance: Pays your and your passengers' medical bills if you are involved in a car accident while driving the rental car.
  • Personal Effects Coverage: Covers if your personal items are stolen or damaged in your rental car.

Coverage through your credit card

Some credit cards have this benefit that usually covers physical damage orrented vehicle , without deductible. Please note that to be eligible using your credit card, you will generally need to book and pay with the card. You'll also need to decline the rental agency's collision damage waiver, as well as any offers of coverage you receive from third parties at the time you reserve the car.

Find out if your credit card covers you when renting a car, before going to the rental agency.

If your auto insurance or credit card policies provide adequate coverage, it may not be worth the extra expense. You'll save money by paying twice for the same coverage.

But if you decide to buy insurance from the rental company, be sure to ask about the terms and conditions. What does it cover? Which drivers? What is not included?

Also keep in mind that whatever your decision is when renting a car, it is essential to understand in the end what you are paying for and what you will be responsible for.

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