Should I Get Car Rental Insurance if I Have Personal Auto Insurance Coverage?

Travel picks up over the Labor Day weekend and many who are renting a vehicle may wonder if they should consider getting rental car insurance. Before renting a car, it is always a good idea to review the coverage on your personal car insurance policy. Often times, your coverage extends to rental cars, which may mean that purchasing rental insurance is unnecessary.

However, depending on what personal insurance coverage you have and what the rental care company is offering, the extra costs of rental car insurance may be worthwhile. If you have personal car insurance,  note any coverage such as liability, comprehensive or collision coverage you have and, at what limits, and whether the coverage extends to your rental car.

  • Liability auto insurance pays for another person’s medical bills and property damages up to the stated limits if you are at fault in an accident
  • Comprehensive car insurance pays for damage to your vehicle caused by covered events such as theft, damage caused by weather related events such as hail, or even vandalism after your deductible.
  • Collision Insurance covers damage to your vehicle in the event of a covered accident involving a collision with another vehicle after your deductible.

You may also have extra insurance available to you when using certain credit cards which offer added protection if you pay for the car rental with the credit card. In this case, it is important to contact the card issuer before you reserve your car to see what is covered and not covered. Credit card insurance is typically secondary insurance and may only cover your deductible and some expenses above and beyond what your primary insurer pays so it does not take the place of needing primary personal or rental car insurance.

Once you have determined what coverage you have already, take a closer look at the rental car insurance options which may include liability, collision/loss damage waivers (LDW or CDW), personal effects coverage,  and personal accident coverage.

  • Although you likely have liability coverage through you own auto insurance company already,  make sure it extends to the rental car and that it is set at the limits you prefer. Again liability covers another’s medical bills and property damage if you are at fault.
  • A collision/loss damage waiver can help cover the costs of repairing your rental car, but may not cover damage resulting from reckless driving such as speeding. If you do not have personal collision or comprehensive insurance coverage that extends to rental cars, LDW or CDW will help pay for damage to the rental car.
  • Personal accident insurance is there to help cover medical expenses for you and your passengers’ injuries if you are involved in an injury accident while driving the rental rental car.
  • Personal effects coverage helps cover personal belongings, such as an item stolen from your rental car while you are on vacation.

Whether you obtained the additional car rental insurance or not, if you are involved in an injury car accident while driving a rental car, contact the Des Moines auto accident personal injury law offices of Stoltze & Stoltze PLC for answers and help at515.989.8529 .