When renting a car, one question will probably be weighing on your mind: "Do I need rental car insurance?" At the rental car counter, you will be offered several different types of rental car insurance which will add money on to your base rental rate.
While you’re standing at the rental car counter pondering whether or not to buy the extra rental car insurance, keep this in mind: Most of what the rental car insurance offers is already covered under your personal auto insurance policy.
Before you take off on your trip, check with your car insurance provider to see if your rental car is covered under your personal auto insurance. It is also a good idea to research rental car insurance from the company that you are renting from to see what their insurance covers.
The one rental car insurance option you might consider buying is a collision damage waiver (CDW). While this is an extra daily charge, it covers both damages to the rental car as well as loss of use coverage. Loss of use coverage will cover any fees the rental car company charges you as compensation for the car not being available to rent while it is getting repaired.
Some credit cards offer renters insurance coverage. The amount of insurance will vary from card to card as well as what bank is backing the card and your spending limit. To find out if your credit card offers rental car insurance, contact the card’s customer service center. Make sure you ask about how much rental car insurance is available through your credit card.
However, most credit cards that offer rental car insurance only cover basic models of rental cars, and do not include upgrades such as SUVs and luxury cars. Check with your credit card company to see if they offer rental car insurance and, if so, exactly what (and how much) is covered
Aren't sure whether or not your auto insurance policy covers rental cars? Buy the additional coverage from the rental car company anyway. Even if you already have coverage, you don't want to take the risk of not having any coverage at all. With something as valuable as a vehicle, it's always better to be safe than sorry.
Before you take off on your trip, check with your car insurance agent to see if your personal car insurance policy covers rental cars. You may be surprised as to learn that a lot of what’s covered by rental car insurance is already covered in your car insurance policy. Checking your policy can help avoid purchasing unnecessary insurance coverage for your rental car.