Most car rental companies offer some options for personal protections during your rental (not related to the rental car itself), in addition to optional coverage for rental car damage waivers and additional liability insurance.
Personal Accident Insurance (PAI), and Personal Effects Protection (PEP) or Personal Effects Coverage (PEC) are two such options. PAI and PEP/PEC usually are sold together as an optional protection package. Costs can vary by company and by rental location.
PAI (personal accident insurance)
This provides you and all passengers in your rental vehicle accidental death benefits and emergency medical expenses. Renters are usually protected both in and out of the rental vehicle during the entire rental period while others may only be covered while occupying the vehicle.
The amount of coverage varies, check with the individual rental company.
Many renters may already be covered by personal health policies or travel policies. Check with your insurance agent.
Many rental companies offer a more substantial PAI program for renters who require more coverage (example: visitors from foreign countries).
PEC/PEP (personal effects coverage/protection)
This provides coverage for theft of or damage to personal items of the renter and (usually) immediate family members that are travelling with the renter inside the rental car. Some rental companies may offer this coverage for other passengers as well, Check with the individual rental location. There is always a maximum benefit amount that will be allowable; make sure it meets your needs.
You may already have this coverage through your home insurance, but check to see if it would cover the other passengers in the car as well!
The bottom line is check into everything!
If you don’t need to purchase the optional coverages or rental car insurance, you will certainly save money, but only if you are truly covered.
*Note: Car rental companies can modify coverage offers at any time; I make every attempt to maintain up-to-date info, but always check with an individual company to verify any offers for coverage. See: Disclaimer