Should I Purchase insurance for car rentals?

Does it make sense to purchase additional insurance when you rent a car, or are you already covered? With so many options at the car rental counter, it might be tempting to buy whatever insurance protection is available to safeguard your trip. But many travelers don’t realize they’re more than likely duplicating coverage they already have.

An easy way to remember if you are covered is this: if you are insured for that type of coverage on your Personal Auto Policy, then you are covered for it as well on your rental car. If you’re not insured through you insurance policy, the long list of available options can seem intimidating, with dozens of plans that can add as much as $40 per day.

Here are a few of the coverages they will offer you:

  • Liability insurance which provides protection for up to $1 Million, costs between $7 and $14 per day. A driver should already have this coverage under their own personal auto insurance.
  • Personal accident insurance covers medical and ambulance bills for the driver and passengers in the event of an accident. Opting for this would cost an additional $1 to $5 daily, but health insurance or personal injury protection under a personal auto policy would already pay for these types of bills.
  • Physical damage to the vehicle can cost up to $10 per day at a rental counter. However, if you have comp and collision coverage for any of your vehicles on your Personal Auto Policy, this damage will already be covered as well.

When you are standing at the counter, with a line behind you, and you feel pressured to buy all of the coverages because you don’t have a sense of what kind of coverage you need and what you don’t. That’s when you make bad decisions.

Please bear in mind that if you rent the vehicle in your business’ name, you must have Hired Liability as well as Hired physical damage coverage on your Commercial auto policy in order to be protected as well. If all of your vehicles are owned by your business and you have no personally owned vehicles, you must have Drive-other-Car coverage on your Commercial Auto policy to have this protection.