What Is Rental Car Coverage And Do You Need It?
If you’ve ever rented a car then you’ve probably experienced the awkward hard-sell of the “rental insurance policy” at the counter. Put on the spot, it can be hard to assess if you need this extra insurance or not so many people just opt to take it out and pay extra. But what is this policy and do you really need it?
What Is Rental Car Coverage?
The policy being offered to you for purchase at the time you rent a car is usually a loss and collision damage waiver (LDW). This will clear you from being held liable for any damages if the car is damaged in a crash, vandalized or stolen. Sometimes you may also be offered extra liability insurance that includes property and medical care for the other party if you cause an accident, personal accident insurance that covers your own medical bills after a crash, and personal effects coverage for any property you have in the car that gets damaged or stolen.
The LDW, if cheap enough, might be a good idea just to completely clear you of all financial charges in the event of loss or damage. The other add-ons are probably redundant depending on the type of car insurance you already carry.
Do You Need Additional Rental Car Insurance?
Knowing that you’ll be hit with this question when you check-in at the rental place, make sure to check your personal policies beforehand so you know what coverage you already have.
Car Insurance - If you have adequate liability, collision and comprehensive coverage then you are probably already covered. Most of the time full coverage includes rental cars. If you have a minimum policy then you might want to call your company to see if they recommend rental insurance.
Health Insurance - Check your health insurance policy to see if it covers you and your passengers in a car accident. If you have personal accident insurance then you might be covered already.
Homeowner’s Or Rental Insurance - For personal items, check your existing homeowner’s policy for coverage of lost or stolen items.
Stand Alone Rental Car Policies - If you travel a lot and rent cars often then it might benefit you to have a stand-alone rental care policy. Check to see if this policy is cheaper or more expensive than the coverage offered by the car rental place you choose.