Will my Car Insurance Pay for a Rental Car?

In some instances, your car insurance policy may include insurance for a rental car as well. Before you purchase any type of insurance for a rental car while on holidays, make sure you review your own policy or speak to a representative to see what is included. You could be wasting a lot of money double-insuring your rental car or you could be taking a big (and illegal) risk driving without it.

Check Your Policy for Rental Car Insurance

When you are reviewing your car insurance policy and considering what affects insurance premiums, look for the clause that discusses coverage to any "non-owned auto." This is another term for a rental car or for a vehicle owned by a friend (or non household/family member). If you have adequate coverage on your personal auto policy (collision and comprehensive coverage), then there is a good possibility that this coverage will extend to any other non owned vehicle as well. If you have basic coverage which includes liability coverage only, then you will not have coverage to the rental car.

In some instances, however, even if you have full coverage on your personal car, a rental car will still not be covered if the policy does not offer coverage on "non owned autos." Every single policy is different which is why you should always read the fine print before signing any policy, especially if you do a lot of vacationing and often rent a car.

Another thing to keep in mind when you are looking into rental car insurance is that your policy most likely only includes protection from other recreational vehicles. A U-haul van, a jet ski or a commercial truck will not be covered unless it is clearly stated on your policy.

Rental Car Insurance Considerations

If your car insurance policy does not offer rental car insurance, don't panic just yet. There is another option. Many credit cards will offer free insurance when you purchase a rental car using their credit card. This is great incentive to charge it instead of paying cash when you are on holiday. It will also save you the hassle of buying overpriced car insurance at the rental car counter when you pick up the vehicle.

When you are renting a car you do want to be sure that you are adequately insured. Most rental cars are brand new and thus their actual replacement costs are quite high. You could end up owing $50,000 if you have splurged on a brand new convertible or SUV and the rental car is wrecked. Make sure you look into collision damage waiver (CDW) and theft coverage which is usually the bare minimum but ensures you do not have to pay for the vehicle is you are in an accident or if the car is stolen.

If your car insurance policy or your credit card both do not offer any insurance when renting a car, then you can still avoid the overpriced counter offers by doing a little bit of research on your own. Speak to a representative online about rental car insurance before you go on holiday to see what options you have. You will be able to insure your rental car for a much lower rate and avoid the hassles of negotiating insurance terms at the rent-a-car office. By doing a little bit of homework and finding out if your car insurance will pay for a rental car coverage as well, you will be on your way in no time and enjoying your holiday and your rental vehicle a lot quicker.

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