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You Will Thank Us: 10 Things to Know About Rental Car Insurance Coverage

Renting a car isn’t always as simple and straightforward as most people would prefer. Specifically, the issue of car insurance tends to complicate matters. Rental car insurance coverage usually isn’t mandatory.

However, customers of enterprise car rental and other companies must wrap their head around potential policies and decide whether or not it’s worthwhile to get an insurance policy. Typically, there’s not much time in which to decide. This makes it important to learn as much as possible about rental car insurance ahead of time. Here are 10 things that every potential car renter should know about insurance coverage on rental cars.


Collision Damage Waiver for Car Insurance

A collision damage waiver is the most common type of rental car insurance. It can also be called a loss damage waiver. This waiver provides protection for the car renter in the event that the car is damaged or stolen. Of course, the caveat is that the renter hasn’t violated the terms of service for their rental car. Barring a liability claim, the renter won’t be responsible for the cost of a stolen or damaged car if they have a collision damage waiver. Rental car companies usually encourage customers to get a collision damage waiver.


Personal Accident Insurance Coverage

As its name implies, personal accident insurance covers both the drivers and passengers of a rental car. In the event of an accident, this will help to cover the cost of an ambulance, medical bills, and even death benefits for anyone driving or riding inside the rental car. However, for most people, this kind of coverage is unnecessary. In most cases, a person’s health insurance will cover ambulance rides and medical costs regardless of the cause. In most instances, this type of insurance is unnecessary when renting a car.


Rental Car Supplemental Liability Insurance

Supplemental liability insurance covers damage to other people or vehicles while driving a rental car. This can include damage to other vehicles. It will also help cover medical bills for other people injured in a car accident. However, as the word supplementary implies, it’s usually an add-on to existing insurance policies. Every state has different requirements for how much liability insurance a driver needs. Some drivers may have enough liability insurance without needing extra coverage. However, those who have limited liability coverage may consider a supplemental policy when renting a car.


Personal Effects Insurance Coverage

Personal effects coverage deals with any personal possessions that are stolen from a rental car. With such a policy, there will be a maximum dollar amount that may be reimbursed. If the stolen items cost more than that, the car renter is on their own. However, this type of policy is often unnecessary. Homeowners insurance can sometimes apply to items stolen from a vehicle, even a rental car. The same is true for anyone with travelers insurance who experiences any lost or damaged luggage during their travels. In most cases, people can go without this type of rental car insurance.


Personal Policy on Rental Cars

It’s illegal in all 50 states and parts of Canada to drive without auto insurance. Thus, almost every licensed driver in North America has personal car insurance. In many cases, this insurance will extend to rental cars. However, it’s important to double check the policy ahead of time. Renters should always know beforehand if their personal policy will cover a rental car. Of course, having a personal policy extend to rental cars still requires paying a deductible in the event of an accident. It could also lead to an increase in car insurance rates.


10 Things to Know About Rental Car Insurance Coverage - Rental Car Desk

10 Things to Know About Rental Car Insurance Coverage – Rental Car Desk
Image credits: Pic 1


Rental Car Insurance on Credit Card

Some credit card companies will automatically provide customers with collision damage protection when they use their credit card to pay for a rental car. Often times, this coverage is merely secondary to a person’s primary auto insurance. However, some companies do offer primary insurance. This takes away any need to purchase additional rental car insurance. Of course, car renters will want to check with their credit card company beforehand to find out whether the coverage is primary or secondary. Those who aren’t aware that they’re receiving rental car insurance coverage from their credit card could end up buying a policy at the rental counter that they don’t need.


Third-Party Rental Car Insurance

Buying rental car insurance coverage from a third-party source is an alternative to buying it from the rental company. Some companies specialize in third-party rental car insurance. In many cases, these policies are cheaper than the ones offered by the car company itself. However, any damage to the rental car will have to be paid out of pocket right away. After that, the renter can file a claim with the third-party company and the cost of the damages can be reimbursed.


Take Before and After Pictures of the Rental Car

Smartphones make it easy to take pictures of anything and everything nowadays. They tend to come in handy when renting a car. Any kind of damage done to a rental car should documented with photographs as soon as possible. Doing this will be helpful later on when filing a claim. It also doesn’t hurt to snap a few pictures of a rental car before it leaves the lot. This will make it easy to compare before and after pictures.


Get Copies of Insurance Coverage

Getting copies of any insurance policy or car servicing is critical in the event that something unexpected happens while driving a rental car. This includes any personal auto insurance, credit card insurance, third-party insurance, and any policy from the rental car company. It’s also important to have a paper copy of any work done on the car. Even something as basic as tow-truck servicing should have a paper record. Making an insurance claim on a rental car can be a complicated process. It’s vital to have records of everything to ensure the claim is properly filed. Doing this can make the process as painless as possible.


The Uncertainty Principle of Rental Car Insurance

When it comes to all kinds of insurance, the phrase “You never know” is the best way to sum things up. One can never be 100% certain of what will happen or if something might go wrong. It’s the reason why insurance exists in the first place. A majority of the time, most people are going to be just fine going without insurance on a rental car. Meanwhile, others will simply buy a cheap policy. Many people will be fine doing this, but there will always be some risk involved. In the end, the only way to be absolved of any risk with a rental car from an insurance standpoint is to have some form of insurance.

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