Does Car Insurance Cover Rental Cars?

Kim Law
by Kim Law, General Counsel and Secretary, Main Street America Insurance •

Should I Get Rental Car Insurance?

There’s nothing like renting a car to remind you about the details of your own insurance policy. Does my car insurance cover rental cars? If not, should you get rental car insurance? What does rental car insurance cover anyway?

We’re here to help. Before you get behind the wheel, review the coverage already have and the coverage you may need. If you’re still uncertain, an independent insurance agent can help you navigate it all.

Does My Car Insurance Cover Rental Cars?

Rental car insurance is an optional coverage offered to you by your insurance carrier or by the car rental company any time you agree to rent a car. Unless you know your auto policy inside and out, it can be difficult to know exactly what’s covered. In some cases, your personal car insurance policy may include coverage on rental cars, but that’s not always the case. Whether or not your own policy covers a rental, there can be benefits to purchasing the coverage directly from the rental car company, including a faster and streamlined claims process. If you can swing it, this could save a lot of headaches in the long run.

However, if you don’t want to duplicate any coverage you already have, if your current policy includes comprehensive and collision coverage, there’s a good chance you’ll also be protected in a rental car. In most cases, that will extend to liability coverage as well. The best way to know before you pick up your rental is to have an insurance agent review your policy.

Find an insurance agent to help you better understand your current policy or adjust your coverages to include rentals.

What Does Rental Car Insurance Cover?

To better understand if your current auto insurance coverage will protect you in a rental, it’s important to know what coverage is available with a rental policy. Fortunately, most rental car companies use the same standard coverages, including:

  • Liability covering the cost of damages or injuries to others in the event of an accident.
  • Personal Accident Insurance covering injuries you or your passengers receive in an accident.
  • Loss/Collision Damage Waiver protecting you from responsibility for any damage, theft or vandalism of the rental car.
  • Personal Effects Coverage providing reimbursement for personal items stolen from your rental car.

If you’re considering signing up for rental car insurance, ask the provider exactly what’s included in the policy and compare it to the coverage in your personal auto policy. What many people don’t know is that oftentimes you have the option to purchase some coverage without having to purchase all the offered coverages.

Is It Necessary to Buy Rental Car Insurance?

Road trips are fun, but they can open you up to a lot of risks you need to be ready for. If there are gaps in your coverage, it’s always a good idea to sign up for rental car insurance.

When is rental car insurance worth it?

When you want to avoid claims on your personal policy

Having rental car coverage can be a great way to avoid adding a claim, and possible rate increases, to your auto insurance policy if you’re in an accident.

When you have high deductibles

The low deductibles associated with rental car coverage make it a great choice for people whose personal policies come with high deductibles that can make a pricey road trip even more expensive.

When you only have basic coverage

If your auto policy doesn’t include comprehensive and collision coverage, there’s a possibility that rental coverage isn’t included. And if it is, you may have less coverage than a rental car policy can provide.

So, does car insurance cover rental cars? Talk to an agent today to see if your policy has the rental coverage you need and is working for you.