Personal Coverage: Do You Have Rental Car Insurance Benefits?

You should check your personal coverage policy on your automobile insurance plan to see if you have coverage on a vehicle that you rent and to what extent you are covered. Your automobile insurance specialist will be able to tell you what is included with your individual auto insurance. 

If you have liability insurance (which is required by law), you have basic rental car insurance coverage, but only for liability. Liability insurance basically covers the driver and passengers but not the rental vehicle itself. Liability insurance covers you in whatever vehicle you drive, as long as long as driving that particular vehicle is a non-common occurance or not part of your normal driving routine.


This includes personal coverage for you while you are in a rental car. Your insurance company will cover any damages you cause to anyone else (property and injury), up to the minimum legal limits required by law or the limits on your automobile insurance policy,if different.



Many drivers are covered in some way for damage to the actual rental car itself, in an average car rental (assuming it's for pleasure and not business). 


If you own a car, talk to your car insurance agent. The same coverage and deductibles you carry on your car will apply — in most cases — to a vehicle you rent for pleasure. 

Be careful. If your car insurance policy provides minimum rental car insurance coverage, you may need to calculate the value of the loss or damage of a brand-new vehicle (the rental car) and decide if you need to supplement it. 


If you decline LDW at the rental counter and rely on your personal coverage, you probably would be responsible for paying your usual deductible. Also, a loss-of-use fee is not normally covered by personal automobile insurance policies. And, personal car insurance policies that extend collision coverage to a rental car may only provide a rental car insurance coverage limit equal to the value of your own vehicle. If the value of your personal vehicle is less than that of the rental vehicle, you could still incur some damage responsibility. 


Note: Loss of use is a fee that is charged by the rental company if your rental car is damaged and is sent out for repair. You would be billed a loss-of-use fee for every day that the vehicle was not able to be rented. That can add up! The loss damage Waiver offered by the rental car company covers loss of use.

In addition, if you don't own a car or if you rent cars often, you should ask an automobile insurance specialist about buying a non-owner liability policy.  It can provide personal coverage for multiple rentals and may be a better bargain than the Damage Waivers offered by the rental companies. Make sure to request that the policy inlcudes Collision or Loss Damage Waiver coverage.

Keep in mind, if you cause damage to your rental vehicle it will cause your regular personal automobile insurance rates or premiums to go up.

If you are currently looking for insurance coverage for your personal vehicle and would like more info, then visit Auto Insurance Knowledge.com about Comparing Auto Insurance Quotes.

If your travel is for business, check your company’s corporate travel policy to see what you are covered for in a rental car. 


Related Pages




If a rental vehicle is being used to transport a group (such as a school, sports team, camp, organization, etc.), the group must provide the rental car company with their own group liability insurance. 


The bottom line is check into everything!

If you don’t need to purchase the optional coverages you will certainly save money, but only if you are truly covered.







Image Credit: Matt Banks / FreeDigitalPhotos.net




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