Rental Cars: How Much Insurance You Really Need

Rental car insurance is car insurance specifically designed to protect you car from large expenses should your rental car be damaged or involved in an accident.  There are three main ways to attain rental car insurance: from the rental car company, from your normal auto insurance company, or through your credit card company. It is important to know your facts before deciding how you will cover yourself in a rental car and how much insurance you really need.

Rental Car Company Coverage

It is a simple yet somewhat costly option - attaining rental car insurance from the rental car company.  This is simple because you only need to deal with the rental company and you can sign all of the insurance forms at the same time that you pick up the car.  The other options require a bit more planning in advance. There are two popular types of rental car insurance sold by rental companies: loss damage waiver and supplemental liability insurance.  The combined cost of these two products can be as much as nearly $50 per day.  That can cost you as much as nearly $350 for a week long rental.

Coverage Through Regular Auto Insurance

For many auto insurance holders, your normal policy covers rental cars and for those without such an inclusion, it is often possible to add rental car insurance onto their normal policy typically for a nominal fee.  It is important to know the details of your rental car insurance.  Will your insurance company only cover as much as your regular car is worth?  Will they cover theft? If you want to use rental car insurance from your normal car insurance provider, you need to do some research beforehand.  Do not just assume that your policy will cover you; be sure of it and know the parameters of that coverage before declining coverage from a different source.

Credit Card Rental Car Coverage

Some credit cards actually provide rental car insurance.  But, again, it is important to know what this coverage means and what it actually covers.  If you pay for the car rental with one of these credit cards, you will be protected against damage or theft for a certain number of days.  Some credit cards will also cover any deductibles you must pay from your regular car insurance policy.  If you choose coverage from your credit card company, be aware that there are certain procedures you will need to follow if you are involved in an accident.  Not following these procedures can result in the loss of your credit card.

Rental Car Insurance: The Bottom Line

Rental car insurance is available to you when you rent a car and there are many options in coverage.  If you decide to go with insurance from your auto insurance provider or your credit card company, remember to do your research well in advance of renting the car so that you are clear on what is covered and what procedures you need to follow should you be in an accident.

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