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Essential Information For Those Considering Rental Car Insurance

Essential Information For Those Considering Rental Car Insurance

Many consumers think that their personal car insurance can be used to cover a rental vehicle, but this is not usually the case. You should always ask your insurance company first before making this assumption. If your personal car insurance policy does not cover your rental car, you are responsible for securing or ensuring insurance coverage.

Credit Card Companies

Some credit card companies offer free coverage for rental insurance when the credit card holder uses the card to rent the vehicle. You should find out from your credit card company whether this is an option for you or not. Coverage, however, has its limitations whether you are using your personal auto policy or a credit card. Many credit card companies put a time limitation on filing claims. In many cases, the time limit could be 45 days from when a vehicle collision occurred. Additionally, the insurance coverage cannot be transferred to another country while traveling internationally.

The Rental Car Company

Many rental car companies will not allow you to drive the vehicle off the lot if you don’t have the right insurance. They will prefer that you buy additional insurance. The rental car company usually charges a daily or weekly rate for insurance coverage, depending on how long you will be using the vehicle. The insurance premium is included in the rental fees. The insurance is bought when the car is rented. You won’t be able to add insurance later. If you truly don’t want or need additional rental care insurance coverage, don’t be afraid to get pushy and demand that they remove it from your charges. And look carefully; they’ll often try to sneak it in there!

If you do purchase insurance as part of your rental car package, be sure that you don’t violate the terms of that insurance. Certain behaviors, including driving with intoxicated, can make your insurance null and void, saddling you with the repair costs.

Your Personal Auto Insurance

When you buy insurance for your vehicle, your broker may suggest additional coverage for instances where you have to rent a car. Some people choose not to follow this suggestion and instead wait until they actually need to rent a car. However, for some individuals, this additional insurance may be worthwhile, especially for those who travel a lot. The cost of additional insurance coverage is not as high as you may think. In fact, it can be as low as an extra $30 for every six months. And it could easily pay off: while many personal auto insurance policies cover damage caused during a rental car accident, rental car companies have begun to charge for days that a damaged vehicle is out of use. Your standard auto insurance probably doesn’t cover that, so your pocketbook will have to, and the charges can be very steep.

If you have to rent a vehicle because your own vehicle has suffered damage in an accident, your personal insurance company will cover the cost of repairs (minus your deductible) and, often, the cost of temporary transportation such as a rental vehicle. This allows you to continue your normal daily commute while you wait on your own vehicle to be repaired. However, your policy may only pay a certain amount each day. You may even have to pay the cost of renting the vehicle and then be reimbursed for it by your insurance company. Therefore, as a policy holder, there are certain limitations that you need to be aware of prior to making the decision to rent a vehicle.


Joseph Kearney is an avid traveler who enjoys writing about foreign cultures, vacation spots, rental car deals, travel insurance and other related topics; fellow travel fiends considering a rental car in the future should take a peek at the rental car insurance from

Image credit goes to advicecarinsurance.

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