Car rental insurance is something few people think about getting. Understanding car rental insurance is important so that you will not waste money buying coverage you do not need. You also want to be sure that you do not end up with no rental insurance when you do need it.
In most cases, your own insurance will already cover anything that rental insurance can cover. But if you do not carry your own theft or collision coverage, or if you do not own your own car, you may need to buy rental insurance from the rental car company.
Before buying rental insurance from the rental company, check with your own insurance and with the credit card company for the card you will use to rent the vehicle. Some credit companies offer car rental insurance as a free benefit to card users. Be sure to find out exactly what kind of coverage you have by calling the toll-free number that is on the back of the card.
Make sure the credit card company gives you rental insurance coverage for damage to the vehicle you rent and towing charges, if you do not have your own towing coverage. When you have more than one card, call each to find out which offers the best rental insurance.
When you rent your car, the rental agent will ask you if you want Loss Damage Waiver car rental insurance coverage. This does more than waive a deductible should someone else hit your rental car, or if it is stolen. It also may cover administrative fees, loss of use for the rental company and towing charges. This coverage can be useful in a bad accident, but generally is not necessary. If you already have collision coverage, most of these charges will be covered by that policy.
Hopefully, you have ample liability coverage on your personal auto policy. Rental companies are required to carry liability insurance, but only to certain state minimums. This car rental insurance is rarely enough to cover damage to another car in a severe accident. Be sure you have adequate limits on your own policy.
In most cases, medical bills will be covered by your own car insurance. If not, this is an important rental insurance coverage to purchase. In some states you are required to carry coverage for medical bills at a certain minimum on your personal policy. Check with your agent to be sure this coverage is in place. If so, you will not need to purchase car rental insurance from the rental agent.
There are many ways to obtain coverage for certain losses that may happen while you're renting. Make sure you know what your insurance covers prior to buying car rental insurance from the rental counter.