If you’re traveling, you might find the best way to get around is to fly somewhere and rent a car once you get there. You also might have a trip you need to take, so you rent a car near your home, and you drive the rental car to and from wherever you need to go.
These are common scenarios, and some individuals are used to driving rental cars often. They also probably know what types of insurance rental car companies offer and which ones they might need.
If you don’t often rent cars, though, you might not know what insurance types are on the table and which ones it’s worth it for you to get. Let’s talk about the different insurance possibilities now.
Your Personal Car Insurance Policy
Before you go looking into things like rental car liability insurance or any other varieties, you should first scrutinize your personal vehicle’s insurance policy, assuming you have one. This will only apply to vehicle owners.
Your personal vehicle’s insurance policy might extend to a rental car you’re driving. Some insurance policies have that stipulation.
If that’s the case, some of the insurance types the rental agency offers might be redundant. If your personal vehicle’s insurance policy extends to a rental car, that can save you money.
Your Credit Card’s Insurance Policy
You also might not be a car owner, so you know you don’t have a policy that extends to rental vehicles. That’s okay. The credit card you utilize to pay for your rental car might come with an automatic insurance policy.
If you’re traveling, it makes sense to pay with certain credit cards anyway. That’s because you can get double and triple points with some of them for travel-based purchases like car rentals.
Your card might also provide rental car insurance, so make sure and scrutinize whatever perks you get with that card to see how extensive that policy is. If you feel like your credit card covers your rental car enough, that might save you from having to pay for any additional policy.
Let’s say that your personal car insurance does not extend to rental cars, and your credit card doesn’t provide a policy either. Now, you’ll have to look at what the rental car agency offers.
You can always go without a policy, but that’s dangerous. You always want a policy whenever you drive, but if you’re going on a trip, you could argue that it’s even more vital for you to have one.
That’s because you’ll be in unfamiliar territory. You might be halfway across the country from your home, dealing with rush hour traffic in an unknown city.
That’s why you’ll want liability coverage. This coverage variety protects you if you damage property or injure someone while you’re driving your rental car.
Collision coverage is another policy your rental car agency will probably offer. If you damage your rental vehicle, this will help with the repair costs. It does not cover some particular situations, though, such as unpaved road damage or damage you incur from speeding.
You might add this to your bill at the rental car agency, but it won’t protect you from a loss of use fee. The rental agency will charge you a loss of use fee if you damage their vehicle and it is out of action in a shop being repaired for a few days.
Personal Effects Insurance
Some rental car agencies will also offer you a personal effects policy. That covers things like your clothing, a laptop you’re bringing in the car, etc.
If you’re going on a trip, you might want this insurance, just in case someone breaks into the car and steals a laptop, your luggage, and so forth. You might visit a resort or some other location where there are always thieves lurking nearby, ready to rob travelers. When you think about how often that kind of thing happens, it makes sense that you might tack this insurance variety onto your bill.
If you’re traveling somewhere and you don’t know very much about it, it’s probably best for you to get as much rental car insurance as you possibly can. Whether the agency provides you the policy, you use your credit card, or your personal vehicle coverage extends to the rental vehicle, any of those will work nicely. The point is that you need coverage, or you might bitterly regret it later.