If you already own a car, your insurance policy extends to rentals. Or, depending on the credit card that you have, one of the benefits could include rental car insurance. That means if you are offered insurance at a car rental location, you can decline it and save some money. Let’s break down the different nuances of rental car insurance and some way you can save.
Review your existing car insurance policy
You might already be covered under your everyday driver’s policy. Review your car insurance policy coverage types and limits to see if it includes any loss damage waiver or collision damage waiver for rental cars.
- Do you have adequate liability insurance? Most basic policies include liability coverage (usually required by state law). This helps pay for others’ medical costs and property damage when you’re at fault in an accident. This liability insurance typically carries over when you’re driving a rental car. Some personal car insurance policies may have additional liability coverage to cover any damage caused by you while driving a rental car.
- Do you have comprehensive and collision coverage? Not too many people have comprehensive and collision coverage. Full coverage insures your vehicle against non-driving-related calamities such as theft, fire, or vandalism. Collision coverage helps pay for damage to your car from an accident.
- Do you have personal injury protection? Confirm if your car insurance policy includes personal injury protection. That would cover medical expenses for you and your passengers in a car accident where you’re at fault.
Check your homeowners’ insurance or renters insurance policy
It’s always worth double-checking, but your homeowners’ insurance or renters’ insurance policy typically covers your belongings wherever you take them, even if they’re stolen from a rental car. So, you can safely decline the rental company’s personal effects coverage. Just be sure to note the limits of your own coverage, which may require extra riders for certain valuables such as expensive jewelry.
Credit card benefits with auto perks
Many credit card companies offer some level of rental car insurance as long as you pay the rental with your card. You can probably find a guide to your card benefits online or by calling them. The details about the car rental insurance benefits vary by company and card. For example, some offer coverage for a specified period (15 or 30 consecutive days). Commonly covered costs typically include theft and towing costs, while personal property and medical benefits are less common. Some companies will cover loss of use charges, whereas others will not.
It’s important to remember that most card benefits offer only secondary rental car insurance coverage. Similar to some travel insurance, these benefits only fill in the gaps for costs not covered by your personal auto insurance. To take advantage of these benefits, you typically have to decline the rental car company’s coverage.
When purchasing a car insurance policy, it’s important to properly evaluate your risks and select adequate coverage—both the type and the amount. Freedom Insurance Agency can help you find ways to save money on car insurance premiums without sacrificing the needed protection.
Call us or contact us online for a free quote on car insurance.