It's a question that the people behind the counter inevitably ask when renting a car to a customer: Do you want to take out additional insurance in case you get into an accident with your rental car? In most cases, and certainly when you're in Minnesota, your answers should be an emphatic "no." That's because motorists' regular car insurance will usually cover the vast majority of any damages their rental might suffer in an accident. This actually holds true in all states, and not just in Minnesota. It's a secret that the rental car agencies aren't too happy to share with often bleary-eyed motorists just coming off long airplane flights.
In Minnesota, insurance companies are required to cover $35,000 worth of damages if you are paying for a rental car, wrote John Ewoldt of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. That means you needn't take out any insurance from your car rental agency if you're renting a car in Minnesota. Of course, there is an exception: If you suffer damages higher than $35,000 you will be on the hook for them. It's something you'll need to consider: Should you go with the $10 to $15 a day that rental car companies generally charge for insurance or rely on your own insurance and hope that you don't get into an accident that results in more than $35,000 in damage? That's a question only individual motorists can answer.
Officials with the Insurance Information Institute say that most consumers who own car insurance are probably covered when they rent a car. Taking out the extra car insurance, then, would mostly be a waste of money - for everyone except the car rental company, of course. But you should still do a bit of research before your trip to be certain. Call your insurance company before you leave to make sure that your car insurance coverage does indeed provide protection in case you get into an accident with your rental car. This advance research will pay off most likely by helping you avoid paying for unnecessary rental car insurance.
Even if you don't own a car, you may not have to take out rental car insurance. Often, your credit card company offers its own car insurance coverage if you use its card to pay for your rental car. Again, though, consumers should exercise caution: Some car insurance coverage offered through credit card companies is skimpy, providing coverage only for damages done to the vehicle itself. This form of car insurance won't cover any medical costs that follow the accident. Still, car insurance provided by your credit card company may be a better choice than unnecessary rental car insurance.