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Rental Car Coverage

The time is finally here. You’ve had a count down for months now. You have everything ready, bags are packed, plane tickets ready, you saved up and have all your spending money ready to go. You have everything checked off your list, or so you thought. Until you land and the rental car company is trying to tell you that you need special rental insurance and you don’t know if that’s something you even need.

How do you know if this is a scam to get more money or a legitimate need? You are left wondering what to do, and all you know is that you didn’t budget for this extra expense.

Most people have no idea how they would be covered in the case of an accident while driving a rental car. Does yourinsurance cover it? Does the rental car company take care of it? Is your personal auto insurance enough to cover this rental?

These are all really important questions to have answered, before you embark on your adventure.

If you have a personal auto insurance policy in the state of California with what most people call “full coverage” meaning you have collision and comprehensive on at least one vehicle, then typically you would have that same coverage in a rental car. However, this is conditional to the rental car being driven for personal use. If the rental car is being used for business or commercial use then your personal auto insurance may not apply.

Make sure you know what your coverage’s are before going into the rental car shop, they will try to sell you their insurance even if you already have the coverage on your personal auto policy. It is always a good idea to stay well informed no matter what, even more so when it comes to spending your hard earned money. Know before you go.

There are times however, that it is a good idea to buy the extra insurance. For example, if you are renting a car and don’t have a current auto insurance policy then you will want to get their insurance to protect not only the rental car but also you as a liable individual driving a vehicle. Another more common reason is if you are renting a car and your personal auto insurance only covers you for liability, meaning that if you are in an accident and it is your fault you are covered if the other people involved sue you for damages, but you are not covered for damages done to the car you were driving. So if the rental car company sues you for damages done to the rental car you would not have coverage. It is a good rule of thumb to buy the extra insurance in this case if you don’t already have that coverage on your current auto policy.

It is important to note that not all coverage’s on your personal auto insurance policy will carry over to a rental car. So be sure to read your policy or call your agent to check how your specific auto insurance would cover you, if at all, in a rental car.

Don’t forget to bring your proof of auto insurance cards with you to the rental car company and if you use your credit card to pay for the rental car, some credit card companies have some additional protection there. So don’t forget to call your credit card company before you leave to find out if you have any coverage there.

Lindsay Garcia

Sales Associate | Woodland