Sometimes, you might need to rent a car. Perhaps your regular vehicle is in a shop, or you need a specific vehicle for a specific reason, such as to move furniture or take an extended trip. When you arrive at the rental company to pick the car up, the rental agent will likely offer you insurance coverage. Do you need to buy this benefit?
In many cases, you will find that you have coverage for your rental car already. However, if never hurts to check with your existing car insurance agent first. Therefore, you’ll know where you have benefits provided and where you might need additional coverage.
Auto Insurance for Rental Vehicles
Most rental car companies offer customers insurance coverage while they have the vehicle in question. This is a great benefit for someone who doesn’t drive regularly and might have little to no auto coverage. However, it might not be the best solution for someone who already has car insurance.
Your standard car insurance will usually cover rental vehicles in the following ways:
- Your existing liability coverage will continue to cover you if you are at fault for an accident. This coverage will pay for the injuries or property damage you cause to others who are not passengers in your vehicle.
- If you have comprehensive and collision insurance on your plan, then it will cover the rental vehicle for any damage it sustains in a wreck or other hazard.
- Many plans also offer a rental car reimbursement benefit. If your regular car is damaged in a covered event and must have repairs, then this coverage can help you pay for some or all of the costs of a rental car for a certain number of days.
Additionally, some major credit card companies also offer rental car insurance on certain cards. To tap into this benefit, check with your card provider and make sure to book the car using that card.
Keep in mind, there are costs that the rental car company might impose on you even if your existing car insurance pays for the rental car. For example, they might charge you certain administrative fees or loss-of-use charges because you did not bring the car back to them in one piece. Still, this will vary from insurer to insurer.
To make sure you receive optimized auto insurance benefits for your rental car, just call your insurance agent. They can tell you what benefits your existing plan offers, and even recommend a preferred rental company that will honor their plans. By coordinating your benefits appropriately, you will be able to take to the road in this temporary vehicle knowing you have lasting coverage.
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