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Do You Need Liability Insurance for Your Rental?

When you rent a vehicle, the person at the rental counter will ask if you want to purchase rental car insurance. There usually are four types of insurance available, and you might need all four or none, depending on your circumstances.

Rental Car Insurance Options

Most car rental companies offer:

  • Collision damage waiver: Protects you if the rental car is stolen or damaged and covers towing and loss-of-use charges when the vehicle is being repaired.
  • Liability coverage: Protects you from lawsuits if you’re in an accident.
  • Personal accident insurance: Pays for medical costs due to an accident.
  • Personal effects coverage: Covers the items stored in the rental car.

While it seems like you would need this insurance for hire cars, that’s not always the case. It depends on your current coverage.

Check Your Car Insurance Policy

Before buying rental coverage insurance, check your auto insurance policy. If you have liability coverage, see how much you carry. Is it enough to pay for property damage and medical costs if you’re in an accident? If so, you likely won’t need liability insurance for a rental. However, make sure your policy protects you when driving a rental car.

You should also check your comprehensive and collision coverage. You likely only have this coverage if you’re still paying on your vehicle. If you do have this coverage, make sure it will still work when you drive a rental car.

Finally, see if your policy includes personal injury protection. This coverage kicks in when you’re in an accident that’s your fault and will cover your medical bills.

Review Your Health Insurance

Some policies don’t have personal injury protection, but that doesn’t mean you’ll need medical protection when on the road. Your health insurance policy might cover the medical bills if you’re injured in a car crash.

Review Your Homeowners Insurance Policy

Your homeowner’s insurance policy can also protect you when you drive a rental car. Your policy might cover your belongings even when they aren’t in the home. If so, you don’t need personal effects coverage.

Don’t Forget Your Traveler’s Insurance

Your traveler’s insurance policy can also substitute for rental car insurance. It might include collision coverage for rental cars, and it’s typically cheaper than what you’ll pay a rental company.

Check Your Credit Card Benefits

Before you purchase liability insurance for a rental vehicle, review your credit card. Many cards provide rental insurance when you use the card to secure the rental. Also, your card might cover towing and theft costs.

woman in rental car signing insurance form

Should You Get Additional Coverage?

You still want to know, “Should I insure my rental car?” If you don’t have comprehensive and collision coverage, you should consider getting the collision damage waiver. Also, if you don’t have personal injury protection or health insurance, you’ll need personal accident insurance. You can also consider personal effects coverage if you don’t have protection.

Average Cost for Rental Insurance

Rental car insurance can be expensive. The rates are charged by the day and can add up for long-term rentals.

Rental insurance costs:

  • $9-$19 for a collision damage waiver.
  • $7-$15 a day for liability insurance for a rental.
  • $1-$7 a day for personal accident insurance.
  • $1-$5 a day for personal effects coverage.

Make a Wise Decision Regarding Rental Coverage Insurance

Review your insurance policies before buying car rental insurance. You likely won’t need it. If you do, purchase the type of policy you need to protect your financial interests when on the road.

Still not sure if your rental car will be covered? Our insurance experts at Freeway Insurance can help! Get a free car insurance quote today online, over the phone or at one of our offices near you.

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