Rental Car Insurance Coverage: Do I Need It? (2022)
There are four main rental car insurance options that may be offered to you through your rental agency: a loss damage waiver, liability coverage, personal accident insurance, and personal effects coverage.
Below are the different types of car rental insurance:
responsibility insurance for rental cars
Car rental companies also sell liability insurance. This covers damage to other drivers’ property and injuries resulting from an accident you cause. if you have personal liability insurance, your own policy will provide this coverage (as long as the trip is not for business). But if you know you’ll be cruising Miami alongside Lamborghinis and Ferraris, $10,000 in liability coverage probably isn’t enough, so you may want to increase your policy limits.
If you’re a frequent traveler but don’t own a car, you can also get non-owner car insurance that covers you in all driving situations.
rental vehicle loss damage waiver insurance
This option relieves you of your responsibility to pay for a total loss, accident damage, environmental damage, theft, and vandalism. A Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) is similar, but it does not protect against theft. these waivers basically act as comprehensive and collision policies for the rental. If you already have comprehensive and collision insurance, you probably don’t need it.
however, a loss damage waiver will not require you to pay a deductible, which is another thing to consider.
If you damage your vehicle and it is sent to the repair shop, the car rental company may charge you fees for each day the car is out of service. the loss damage waiver will protect you from these charges, as will most comprehensive coverage insurance policies. however, some won’t, so it’s a good idea to check your own policy before renting a car.
car rental personal accident insurance
This type of coverage pays medical bills for you and your passengers, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. It’s similar to the medical payments (medpay) and personal injury protection (pip) you’d get in your standard vehicle.
If you already have any of these insurance products, you do not need personal accident insurance. Also, if your personal auto insurance doesn’t cover your medical costs, your health insurance may cover them after you pay your health deductible. personal accident insurance does not require a deductible.
rental car personal effects coverage
This additional coverage option protects your personal items like electronics, luggage, and clothing. if you have a homeowners or renters insurance policy, it will also cover personal items stolen from a rental car.
other types of car rental insurance
In addition to the car rental company’s options, you may be covered through your credit card company or travel insurance plan.
rental car insurance with credit card
premium credit cards often include primary coverage for rental cars. Prime coverage comes with high limits and can handle the entire claim, meaning your own insurance company won’t know about the claim (and won’t raise your rates).
on the other hand, standard cards often include secondary cover. This comes with lower limits and requires you to file a claim with your own insurance company first. in either case, you must reserve the rental with the credit card to qualify for coverage.
car rental travel insurance
Travel insurance programs can usually cover collisions and loss of use at a cheaper price than the car rental company.
international car rental insurance
if you travel to mexico or canada, your personal insurance may or may not cover car rentals in those places. it’s a good idea to talk to your agent to find out before you go. In general, standard auto insurance companies in the US. uu. they do not cover rentals abroad, so it may be worth buying car rental insurance in that situation.