Do I Need to Buy Car Rental Insurance?

Renting a car is a convenient way to transport yourself from place to place while on a vacation or business trip. However, car rental comes with a variety of risks, the worst of which is the potential for having to pay for any damage the car incurs while you are renting it. No matter where you are traveling or how good of a driver you are, there is always the potential to get into a car accident. If your rental car is damaged during the rental period, there is a good chance that you will end up paying extremely high fines, both for the repair or replacement of the rental car, and the profits the company will lose while the vehicle is being repaired. Personal and business car insurance rarely covers damage done to rental cars. Before you rent a car, be sure to check whether or not your personal or business vehicle insurance will be adequate. If they aren’t you will want to check out the rental company’s insurance plans and waivers to be sure that they will protect you from paying massive fines on damaged cars.

Although most rental companies offer insurance packages for their cars, it is a wise idea to first check if your own vehicle insurance will cover rental cars. Why is this important? First of all, personal insurance plans that include rental cars are more likely to fully cover damage done to that car than any rental company insurance plan. Many rental companies use rather limited plans, which can leave you completely responsible for damaged or stolen cars. Additionally, you can save a lot of money if your personal insurance covers rental cars. Car rental insurance plans often cost over $20 a day, which can add up quickly, even on a short trip. Finally, if you decide to extend your trip for whatever reason, you will not have to begin a new insurance plan with the rental company of choice if your personal insurance works for rentals. Most car rental companies will require you to fill out new insurance waivers if you change the length of your car rental period, which may create a bit of a hassle for you.

Even if your personal or business car insurance plan fails to cover rental cars, there is a chance that your credit card might ensure car rentals charged to that card. You may want to check with your credit card company to see whether or not car rentals are insured when purchased with the car. If they are, be sure to find out which types of cars qualify for insurance. Some credit cards will only provide coverage for small and midsize vehicles, as opposed to sport utility vehicles and luxury cars. In addition to finding out which types of cars are covered, check whether the credit card company provides primary or secondary insurance.

If your personal or business car insurance doesn’t cover rental cars, and if you can’t get the car insured through your credit card company, you should purchase an insurance plan with the car rental company you choose. This will save you from having to pay or replace a damaged rental and give you peace of mind during your trip.