How to Make Sure You Are Covered in a Rental Car
There are many reasons that a person may need a rent a car, but regardless of the reason, it is crucial that you understand what your auto insurance covers and what insurance options the car rental car company offers. Whether you were in an accident or if you’re renting a car while traveling, here are our tips on making sure you are covered when driving a rental car.
Car Rental Coverage is Optional
If you require a rental car as the result of an accident, there are a few things you need to know before getting your rental. First, car rental insurance coverage is optional. If you are at fault for the accident or if the damage is non-collision related, your insurance company will only cover your rental if you have opted to include rental car reimbursement in your policy. If you are covered, then you’d handle the rental car process directly with your insurance company. All rental insurance policies have a dollar limit that they will pay associated with your policy. Typically, there are various options to choose from, but you’ll want to be sure you understand your coverage when renting.
The Other Driver’s Insurance Company Might Cover Your Rental
If the accident was due to the other driver’s negligence, their insurance company might pay for your rental car for the amount of time it will take to repair your vehicle. Once you’ve obtained the other driver’s insurance information, reach out to their provider directly to file a claim. Ideally, they will claim liability and then quickly work with you to secure a rental car.
Unfortunately, this process can sometimes take more time than you have, for example, if you need your rental right away to get to work the next morning. In this case, you might have to cover the rental cost yourself or go through your insurance provider then seek reimbursement from the other driver. If you do end up having to go this route, be sure you keep a detailed record of the expenses regarding your rental car so that the process is easy once you connect with the insurance agent for reimbursement.
You Can Use Your Auto Insurance for a Rental Car
We have all been there, you are picking up your rental car when the agent asks you if you’d like to pay for additional car insurance and you think to yourself, wait, does my car insurance cover rental cars too? The good news is, usually, it does. If you have a personal car insurance policy that includes collision, comprehensive, and liability coverage, then it’s likely that the coverage you’ve opted for extends to your rental car. Since this is not always the case, you should always review your policy with your provider before assuming you are covered.
You may also receive additional coverage from your credit card company if you purchase the rental on that card. We recommend contacting your credit card company directly to get the full details regarding what type of coverage the card provides before renting the vehicle.
Lastly, if you do not already have car insurance or if you would like to add additional coverage, all car rental companies offer similar insurance options. Here is a quick breakdown of what those options are.
- Liability insurance covers medical expenses or damages to another person’s property caused by the driver. As mentioned above, if your personal policy already includes this, then you likely do not need to purchase additional coverage.
- Collision coverage or loss damage waiver may help you cover the cost of any damage to the rental car. Still, again, if you already have collision insurance on your personal policy, this is likely not needed.
- Personal effects coverage may protect stolen personal items if the car is broken into. In some cases, your homeowner’s insurance or renters insurance provides similar coverage, but as always, there are limitations, so we recommend you review your policy in detail. After reviewing, you may find you want to purchase additional coverage depending on your situation.
- Personal accident coverage helps pay the renters and passengers medical bills if they are injured in a car accident. If you have health insurance or have personal injury protection through your car insurance, often, this coverage is not needed.
In the end, the most important thing when it comes to renting a car is making sure you have the coverage that you need to feel safe while driving. If you have questions regarding your current coverage or are thinking of making some changes to your policy, reach out to our team to get started.