Do I Need Separate Rental Car Insurance?
Rental cars are a part of life. Whether used for vacation or temporary replacement, at some point, you are bound to rent an automobile. When you step to the counter and sign those last papers, your will be asked (sold) additional rental car insurance. Rental car salespeople are just that. Salespeople. They are trained to sell you a product that you think you need. But do you really need this extra protection?
(1) Check your auto insurance policy.
Ask your insurance agent if your auto policy covers “pleasure” rental cars. Do the math to find out how much additional coverage you would need to cover the cost of replacing a rental car.
(2) Check your credit card coverage.
Many credit cards offer rental insurance benefits when using their card. Be sure to read the fine print before relying on any insurance. Some credit card benefits will not cover SUV’s, sports cars or other exotic rentals.
(3) Weigh your risks.
If you are driving in unknown or unfamiliar territory, purchasing extra “peace of mind” may be beneficial.
As if deciding on your rental insurance needs wasn’t difficult enough, there are also numerous options to choose from.
Collision/Loss Damage Waiver
CDW and LDW will ensure that the renter is not liable for damage caused by collisions, vandalism or theft. This coverage will run an average of $15 a day.
Personal Accident Insurance
PAI will cover medical bills of the driver and passengers in a vehicle. For those who already have medical insurance or travel insurance that covers medical bills, this option is not needed. PAI costs an average of $4 a day.
Personal Effects Coverage
PEC covers your personal belongings that are inside of a rental car from theft or damage. Check your current auto policy which likely covers your personal belongings for rentals. PEC costs on average $3 a day.
The key to getting your money’s worth is being informed of what your current auto policy already covers. Call you insurance agent and ask before being forced into deciding on the spot at a rental car company.