Imagine traveling up the Road to Hana in Maui on a superb summer vacation. Through those tight curves and turns up the mountain, your rental car scrapes the side of a tour bus, and suddenly your vacation excitement turns into panic.
Many people don't realize that their regular auto insurance policy doesn't always cover them when they're renting a car. Let’s discuss the different types of rental car insurance and what kind of coverage they provide.
This way, you can determine whether or not your regular policy will cover you when you're renting a car and what coverage you need if your regular policy doesn't cover your rental car.
Rental Car Insurance Explained
Rental car insurance is a type of insurance that helps to cover the cost of damage to a rental car. You can check out options for rental car insurance online, but most of the time, your rental car insurance will not cover the cost of damage to other vehicles or property.
In most cases, it will only help to cover the cost of repairs to the rental car that you’re driving, as well as any medical expenses that may occur as a result of an accident.
Rental car insurance is typically offered by credit card companies, and auto insurance companies, and you can also usually purchase it from the company you’re renting your car from.
The best rental car companies typically won’t let you rent a car from them without first ensuring that you have rental car insurance on your car insurance policy. If you don’t, they're going to insist that you purchase a short-term rental car insurance policy through them.
Does my car insurance policy cover my rental car?
It's always a good idea to check with your regular car insurance policy before renting a car or paying extra for a third-party insurance policy. Most policies will cover rental cars, but there may be some restrictions.
You want to ensure that you are well educated on the terms of your rental car insurance policy, because your policy may only cover damages if the rental car is involved in an accident with another vehicle. If you damage the rental car on your own, you may be responsible for the repairs.
It is also normal for your regular car insurance policy to have a limit on how much it will pay for damage to a rental car. As a result, it's important to understand the coverage options offered by your regular car insurance policy before renting a car. By doing so, you can avoid any surprises in the event that you need to make a claim.
What happens if you don't have rental car coverage and something happens to the rental car
When you rent a car, you're responsible for any damage that happens to it while it's in your care. If you don't have rental car coverage, that means you'll have to pay for any repairs or replacements out of your own pocket.
The cost of repairs can quickly add up, and if the damage is extensive, you may even have to pay for a new car. Some people opt to have their rental car covered by an add-on policy. However, if you get into an accident in a rental car and choose to use your personal insurance for the claim, your insurance premium rates are likely to go up.
So, it’s generally a good idea to purchase separate rental car insurance when you know you’ll be traveling in a rental. While it may cost a few extra dollars per day, the peace of mind is worth it.
How much does rental car insurance cost and is it worth it?
Rental car insurance helps to protect you financially in the event that your rental car is damaged or stolen. It typically costs between $5 and $15 per day, and it can be purchased through the rental car company or through your own insurance company.
Whether or not rental car insurance is worth the cost is a personal decision, but it is important to consider the potential risks involved in renting a car without this type of coverage.
If your rental car is damaged or stolen, you could be responsible for paying for the repairs or replacement out of pocket, which could quickly become expensive. Or, if you are involved in an accident while driving a rental car, your personal auto insurance policy may not cover the damage.
Are there any other ways to protect yourself when renting a car?
There are a few other things you can do to protect yourself when renting a car:
Make sure you understand the terms of your rental contract.
Read it carefully and be sure you understand what is covered and what is not. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask the rental company.
Your personal car insurance may cover you when you're driving a rental car, but it's always a good idea to check with your insurer to be sure. You may also want to purchase additional insurance from the rental company.
Be careful when driving.
Accidents happen, but if you're careful and take reasonable precautions, you can minimize the risk. Drive defensively and obey all traffic laws, and you'll be able to enjoy your rental car experience without worry.
Bottom line - should you buy rental car insurance or not?
The decision of whether or not to buy rental car insurance is a personal one and the best decision is the one that makes you feel most comfortable. If you're renting a car for business purposes, it's probably a good idea to purchase rental car insurance.
However, if you're renting a car for personal use and you already have comprehensive and collision coverage on your own car, you may not need to buy rental car insurance.
The risk you take is up to you. If you want to take a road trip down the Road to Hana without worrying about a silly thing like car insurance, then rental car insurance may just make your vacation that much more enjoyable.