April 6, 2024

Do I Need Rental Car Insurance

Insurance Anaheim

Is rental car coverage needed while on vacation?

With vacation season in full swing, you may be in the process of planning an annual getaway. While most people spend lots of time looking for ways to maximize their budget, one costly decision is often left to the last minute—whether to buy the optional insurance offered by a rental car company. 

It can be tempting to decline the rental car coverage, especially when you're already forking out money for airfare and accommodations. But before you make a decision, it's important to understand what this insurance actually covers and whether or not you really need it.

Rental car coverage typically includes three types of protection: collision damage waiver (CDW), liability coverage, and personal accident insurance. CDW protects against damage to the rental vehicle in case of an accident, while liability coverage protects you if you injure someone else or damage their property with the car. Personal accident insurance provides medical coverage for injuries sustained in a car crash.

So do you really need these coverages?

The answer depends on your individual circumstances. If you have comprehensive and collision coverage on your personal car insurance policy, you may not need to purchase CDW from the rental company. Your own policy may also provide liability coverage for rental cars.

However, if you do not have comprehensive or collision coverage on your personal policy, it may be wise to purchase CDW from the rental company. This will protect you in case of an accident while driving the rental car.

As for liability coverage, it's important to check with your own insurance provider about whether they extend this coverage to rental cars. If they do not, then purchasing it from the rental company is highly recommended as it can protect you from being held personally responsible for any damages or injuries caused by the rental car.

How much does rental car coverage cost?

“Deciding whether to buy ‘damage waivers’ or insurance at the rental car counter can be a confusing experience—especially if you don’t know if you’re already covered by your personal auto insurance policy,” said Rick Crawley of the Progressive Group of Insurance Companies. Optional rental car insurance can cost between $17 and $45 per day, depending on the rental car company, vehicle make and model and type of waiver.

Those daily charges can significantly add to the cost of your rental. However, if you are involved in an accident or the car is damaged while in your possession, rental car coverage can save you from having to pay hefty fees and potentially damaging your personal insurance policy.

It's important to note that most personal auto insurance policies do not cover rental cars. And even if they do provide some coverage, it may be limited and have high deductibles. This is why it's crucial to consider purchasing rental car insurance when renting a vehicle.

There are typically two types of rental car coverage: Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) and Collision Damage Waiver (CDW). LDW covers any damage to the rental car, while CDW specifically covers collision damages. Both types of coverage usually have exclusions, such as reckless driving, driving under the influence, and off-roading. It's important to read the terms and conditions carefully before purchasing rental car insurance.

Another factor to consider is the cost of the rental car insurance. While it may seem like an unnecessary expense, it can actually save you money in the long run. In the event of an accident or damage to the rental car, having insurance coverage can prevent you from paying out-of-pocket for expensive repairs or replacement costs.

Full coverage car insurance

Additionally, some credit card companies offer rental car insurance as a perk for using their cards to pay for rentals. However, it's important to check with your credit card company about their specific coverage and any limitations that may apply.

In conclusion, while it may be tempting to decline rental car insurance in order to save money, it's important to weigh the potential risks and costs before making a decision. Taking the time to research your options and understanding your coverage can help ensure a stress-free rental car experience. At Insurance Brokers Group, we are dedicated to providing our clients with comprehensive insurance solutions that meet their individual needs. Contact us today for more information on rental car insurance and other types of coverage that can protect you and your assets.

Who can I ask about rental car coverage?

 Follow these three tips, courtesy of Insurance Brokers Group, to help you decide whether you should buy the coverage:

 1. Consult with an independent insurance agency – like Insurance Brokers Group. As licensed insurance professionals, independent insurance agents and brokers can review and evaluate your policies to find out if the coverage you have on your personal vehicle provides protection for you in a rental car.

2. Check with your credit card company. Some credit card companies provide coverage at no charge if you use their card to charge the cost of the rental. However, some restrictions may apply, so be sure to ask for a description of the exact coverages provided.

 3. Take your personal auto insurance policy and details of your coverages with you to the rental car counter. You may be asked a question that these papers can help answer—or, if you’re in doubt, you’ll have your agent’s name and phone number readily available. “We want people to have the information they need to make more informed decisions about car insurance,” said Crawley.

 “Knowing whether you need to buy additional coverage can save you money and give you peace of mind so you can enjoy your vacation. Don’t start off your trip questioning your decisions—take control by talking with your independent agent or broker and knowing the answers to those inevitable questions.”

 To learn more about all your independent agency can offer you, contact Insurance Brokers Group 

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John Espenschied is a long-time veteran of the insurance industry. He's worked with thousands of clients over the years, helping to protect their personal and business needs. John's goal is to provide the best advice possible to assist customers in saving money while protecting their property and securing their financial future.
He truly enjoys helping others and takes great satisfaction in providing top-notch customer service. When he's not working, John has fun spending time with his family, golfing, bike riding, and blogging on insurance topics.