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Does Your Auto Insurance Cover Rental Cars?

auto insuranceIf you plan to rent a car when traveling, it’s a good idea to be prepared for optional add-ons and extra charges. If you are offered the option of purchasing rental car insurance, the following information may help you decide whether to purchase it.

Reasons to purchase rental car insurance:

  • If you have an accident while driving the rental car, the claim would be covered by the rental car insurance rather than your regular auto insurance policy. This means you could be protected from an increase in premiums.
  • Some states have higher requirements for auto insurance coverage. If your regular auto insurance policy does not meet these requirements, having rental car insurance can help protect you from additional liabilities which exceed your coverage.
  • If you don’t already have auto insurance, then rental car insurance will cover any damages to the vehicle if you have an accident.
  • Even if you do have auto insurance, you would still need to pay the deductible if you have an accident in the rental car. Rental car insurance may protect you against paying a large amount of money out of pocket.
  • Your current auto insurance policy may not cover cars rented in other countries.

Reasons not to purchase rental car insurance:

  • If your current auto insurance policy is sufficient to cover any damages incurred while you are driving the rental car, then spending money on rental car insurance is unnecessary.
  • Your credit card company may already offer insurance on any vehicles rented with that card.

Before renting a car, check with your current auto insurance provider about your coverage limits. If your current policy will cover rental cars, and it is sufficient to meet minimum requirements in the state where you will be driving the car, then you probably don’t need to purchase additional rental car insurance. Also, carefully review all charges when you rent a vehicle. Some rental car companies automatically charge for insurance without asking you, so you could be charged for an item you don’t even want or need.