When you go to rent a car for a road trip or vacation, the person at the counter is going to ask you if you want to purchase car insurance.
At first, you might think that you should buy the car insurance since you want to make sure you’re totally covered while driving.
But you should think twice before making this decision. There may actually be a chance that your current car insurance policy will cover the rental car. This is why it’s so important to ask yourself: “does my car insurance cover rental cars?”.
Continue reading and we’ll walk you the various insurance options that rental companies offer and help you find out if you’re already covered.
What Types of Car Insurance Do Rental Companies Offer?
The rental company you go to will likely offer you several different insurance options.
One of the most popular options is the collision/loss damage waiver. This option covers your costs if your rental car is vandalized, damaged in an accident, or stolen.
The supplemental liability/liability insurance will cover you if you damage another vehicle or property while you’re driving the rental car. The policy can also cover medical expenses for the driver and passengers of the other vehicle if you’re found to be at fault.
Personal accident insurance will pay for medical expenses for you as well as your passengers if you get into an accident in your rental car. And personal effects coverage will cover any personal items that are damaged or stolen in the rental car.
How Much Do I Have to Pay for Rental Insurance?
Although prices vary, you can generally expect to pay between $10 and $30 each day. If you plan on renting for a long period of time, then prices can quickly add up.
Does My Car Insurance Cover Rental Cars?
By purchasing rental car insurance, you could end up overlapping your already existing car insurance. In general, your rental car will be covered under the policy that you have from your primary auto insurance.
For example, let’s look at liability insurance. If you should get into an accident while operating the rental car, your liability insurance will pay up to the limits of your existing policy for damages done to property or the other car.
Let’s look at the main things you need to consider before purchasing car rental insurance that you may not need.
How Much Liability Coverage Do I Have?
Pretty much every state in the country requires that you have liability coverage. This is because, if you cause an accident, the coverage will be able to pay for the injuries of the other driver. The policy will also cover the damage done to other vehicles or property.
In North Carolina, for example, the minimum coverage requirements are $30,000 for Bodily Injury and $25,000 for Property Damage. And as long as you’re driving your rental car with a limit that you’re comfortable with, you can skip on paying for supplemental liability coverage.
Do I Have Full Coverage?
Having full coverage means that you have collision and comprehensive coverage on your car insurance policy. Comprehensive insurance will cover damage to your car that doesn’t deal with driving situations. This could cover theft, fire, and damage from the weather.
Collision insurance, on the other hand, will pay for damage that is due to driving situations. For example, if you hit an object or another car.
Depending on your insurer and the specific details of your policy, the full coverage may actually apply to rental cars too. It’s a good idea to double-check with your insurance company before you rent.
If you don’t get to have full for a rental car, then purchasing the loss damage waiver from the rental company may be a good idea. There is one catch here.
If you do have full coverage and decide to not buy the loss damage waiver, the rental car company may actually be allowed to charge you if you damage their vehicle. These fees they charge for are to pay for the repairs of the damaged vehicle.
Do I Have MedPay or PIP?
If you have health insurance, you likely do not have to get personal accident insurance from the rental company. This is especially true if you have medical payments (MedPay) or personal injury protection (PIP) from your car insurance policy.
MedPay and Pip are fairly similar. Both policies covered medical expenses that you incur due to a car accident injury.
The main difference between these policies is that MedPay is less comprehensive. It only pays for medical costs and not for anyone else. PIP will cover you, immediate family, and anyone who’s under the same insurance policy.
Does My Credit Card Cover Rental Car Insurance?
Many people don’t realize this, but credit cards can actually help you out when it comes to car rental insurance. You should call your credit card customer service line and see if they offer car insurance for rental cars. If they do offer the insurance, there are a few things you should find out.
First, you have to find out how you actually receive the coverage that your credit card offers. And you also want to ask if the coverage is primary or secondary.
Make sure to find out how long the rental can be covered for and what’s included in the coverage.
The Importance of Knowing About Rental Car Insurance
Hopefully, after reading the above, you feel that you have the answer to the question: “Does my car insurance cover rental cars?”. As we can see, there are many scenarios where you may actually be covered by your own car insurance.
By knowing for sure, you can end up saving a lot of money and having a more enjoyable trip.
Are you looking to get auto insurance? Contact us today and see how we can help you!