You’re ready to pay for your rental car when they want to include insurance with your purchase. Worst-case-scenarios flash before your eyes while you look at the total, calculating how it may cut into your vacation budget. You don’t want to make a decision you will regret, but you’re not sure if you need the insurance. What do you do?
Before purchasing insurance from the rental car company, let’s demystify what these companies offer.
First of all, the insurance you’re buying is simply a waiver which states that in case of an accident or damage, the company will file their own claim for damages rather than coming to you for money. The policies usually cover four areas: loss or collision damage, liability insurance, personal accident and personal effects. Each coverage is different, from damage to the vehicle to medical bills for you and your passengers, and can be explained in more detail on your potential policy.
If you already have car insurance, purchasing through the rental company may be unnecessary. Let’s get a little more specific.
You have minimum liability coverage on your current auto insurance
Depending on your state, the minimum liability coverage on your current auto insurance may not cover you in case of collision, and purchasing the Loss/Collision Damage Waiver through the rental company may be beneficial. In these cases, you can contact your insurance company about increasing your liability coverage long-term.
You have auto insurance, but are unsure if it covers rentals
Call your insurance agent. He or she will be able to help you figure out exactly what your policy covers.
You have auto insurance, but you’re traveling outside the U.S.
Most auto insurance policies do not cover accidents outside the country, but you should always check with your provider. If you’ve purchased travel insurance, many policies provide coverage.
Your credit card company or homeowner’s/renter’s says they’ll cover you
These days, many credit card companies say they offer complimentary insurance. Read the fine details on these promises — usually they are secondary policies, which mean they only kick in after the claim goes to your primary insurance. Some cover you for a certain number of days consecutively and may not cover you for lost and stolen items.
Homeowner’s and renter’s policies, on the other hand, will usually cover you for lost and stolen items no matter where you are, but double check to make sure that all of your belongings you plan to bring with you are covered.
The extra money at the rental counter may be worth it depending on your standard policies, but you’ll never know until you do a little research. Contact one of the licensed insurance agents at SFM Insurance today for a free, no-obligation consultation about protecting your assets, at home and away. For more tips and our latest updates, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn!