Do you really need optional car rental insurance??
Vacation season is upon us and many of us will be flying to our vacation destination and renting a vehicle. When you arrive at the rental counter to pick up the car, you’ll likely be asked if you want to get the optional insurance. Taking this coverage may not be necessary, so you should do some research before leaving home. The optional coverages offered by the various car rental agencies can make your cheap rate skyrocket! Of course, we can’t make this decision for you, but we CAN assist you by letting you know what to ask and what research you should do first!
There are a few kinds of car rental insurance that you may be offered at the time of rental. The most expensive is the Loss Damage Waiver or Collision Damage Waiver (LDW or CDW). This coverage means that the car rental company cannot hold you responsible if the event of damage to the vehicle, or even theft of the car. Your own collision and comprehensive car insurance often will cover car rentals so verify this with your own insurer. The next type is supplemental liability coverage which can protect you if you cause damage to another person’s vehicle or personal property. The liability insurance you already carry should extend to rented vehicles. However, if you have just a minimum amount of coverage, or none at all (for example, if you don’t own a car) this might be coverage to consider. Personal accident insurance can provide coverage if you’re injured in an accident. If you have health insurance, then there is likely no reason to have double coverage. Your own auto insurance, again, may also provide coverage for injuries. Lastly, coverage for your personal property while in the rental car may well already be covered by your homeowner’s insurance, even while traveling. You will need to provide a copy of a police report, and of course, your regular deductible will apply, but chances are, you’re covered if thieves steal items from the rental vehicle. Check with your credit card company to see what sorts of rental car coverage are included with your card. Usually insurance provided by credit cards will be secondary to your own policy. Be sure to verify this information prior to your trip. You can purchase car rental insurance through third party travel insurance companies such as insuremyrentalcar.com, Allianz and TravelGuard. This would possibly be a cost saving option, especially for those travelers who don’t own a car and therefore would not have insurance. If you will be renting cars outside of the United States, be sure that you mention this when you’re talking with your auto insurer, third party insurance provider and/or your credit card company as rules for international rentals may be different and more complex than those in the USA or Canada. We hope that you now have a better understanding of the various types of optional car rental coverage that will be offered to you when you pick up your rented vehicle. Be sure to do some investigating prior to leaving so that you can make an informed decision at the car rental counter.