When you rent a car, they always try to sell you insurance as well, but do you really need to buy it? Many liability insurance policies will protect you even in a rental car, but you should check your coverage to ensure that additional coverage isn’t needed.
Are You Covered?
If you have auto liability insurance, it will most likely extend to a rental car. When driving a rental car, your liability policy will cover the cost of damages to another car and the injuries of the other driver in the event of an accident. However, some policies will not cover the expenses if you are renting a car for business purposes.
Some states, like California and New York, will extend this coverage to a spouse as well. You may also list additional licensed drivers on the rental agreement, but the rental agency may charge an extra daily fee.
Will My Credit Card Cover Me?
In many cases, your credit card company will offer rental car coverage, if you use that card to pay for the rental. Check with them first, though. Some only offer collision coverage, which won’t cover damages associated with personal injuries.
Most major credit cards offer additional rental car insurance for a fee, and the rates are usually reasonable. Be sure that you don’t have coverage through another source before buying it, though.
For example, if you have health insurance, you will not need to buy personal injury insurance from your credit card. If your liability insurance does not extend to a rental car, you should buy a supplemental liability policy.
Be sure to call your credit card company every time you rent a car, as the auto insurance policies change frequently, and to make sure that the limits are high enough to give you the protection that you need.
Be sure to understand your coverages so that you aren’t tricked into buying insurance that you don’t need at the rental office.