Is Car Rental Liability Insurance already included in your rate?
It can be, if the rental company is required to do so by country/state or provincial law.
Most rental companies, in most places in North America, provide basic public liability and property damage coverage for its vehicles and their renters and authorized drivers as required by applicable law.
(California and Texas are common exceptions; Always check with your local rental car provider for specifics for that location's liability coverage policy).
Some states may provide basic liability coverage in the rates, but ONLY if you do not already have an active personal automobile insurance coverage policy (ie for your own car).
If you are looking to rent a car outside of North America, make sure to carefully check insurance requirements for that particular country or location.
Remember, Liability insurance coverage for a rental car (either included in the rate or provided through your personal auto insurance) Does not include coverage for loss or damages to the rental car itself.
Liability covers third party public liability and property damage claims against YOU while in the rental car (damages you cause to other people's vehicles, property, etc)
Read more about:
Personal Auto Insurance Coverage
Car Rental CDW and LDW Coverages
Car Rental Credit Card Coverages
If this basic coverage is not included in your rate, the rental agent will request proof of insurance. If you do not have insurance you will be required to purchase car rental liability insurance from the car rental company.
Car rental companies offer a package usually called SLI (supplemental liability) or ALI (additional liability).
This provides excess protection for bodily injury, death or property damage and increases the limits up to a certain amount (usually $1 million for the renters and authorized additional drivers of a r)ental car. It usually costs under $15 per day.
Excess coverage is that which is above the limit required by law. In some areas, the SLI or ALI, if purchased, is in excess to any other applicable coverage. This means the renter’s personal coverage is used first and the individual car rental agencies’ protection will not apply until the renter’s or driver’s insurance, if any, has been exhausted.
SLI and ALI May not be available in all areas. Check your rental agency regarding exceptions for rental car insurance liability at specific locations.
When SLI or ALI is purchased the rental company will provide the Financial Responsibility Limits on a primary basis. This means that any claims would not go through your own insurance and would not increase your premiums.
When looking at coverages that may or may not be included in your price, as always - carefully research all the information that is available to you!
If you don’t need to purchase the optional coverages you will certainly save on the bottom line of your bill, but only if you are truly covered in case of an issue.