When renting a car for business or personal purposes one of the questions that may come up is do you need rental car insurance. Auto insurance protects you from unforeseen circumstances. When renting a car most car rental agencies will try and sell you auto insurance coverage.
Auto insurance sold by car rental firms will include:
o Collision Damage Waiver or Loss Damage Waiver which will protect you against damage or theft of rental car. The coverage is however void if you drive under intoxication, have an accident due to speeding, or drive on unpaved roads.
o Liability Insurance as required by the law of your state. This gives excess liability coverage but will not suffice in case of a serious accident.
o Personal Accident Insurance covering you and the passengers for medical and ambulance bills.
o Personal Effects Coverage that protects personal items from theft.
But before you buy any coverage you must consider:
a. If you rent cars very often then it will be cheaper for you to purchase a non-owner insurance coverage that will protect you and your spouse and will most probably include uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, personal injury protection or PIP, and medical coverage. However, you may need to buy a collision damage waiver from the rental company to protect the rental vehicle.
b. You need to check with your own auto insurance policy whether it covers rental cars. More often than not the liability coverage limits that exist on the auto insurance policy owned by you will be effective for rental cars too. Just check with your policy whether it covers rental cars.
c. Many credit cards offer coverage. So check whether your card offers this facility and what the specific terms and conditions are. Find out if you need to be enrolled to get coverage.
d. The latest in car rentals is being responsible for damaged caused by “acts of nature.” Ensure that you understand what each phrase in the car rental contract means and always dig in your heels and demand a clear explanation for any clauses you don’t understand. Check if your personal auto insurance policy covers “acts of nature” for rental cars.
e. Auto insurance coverage for rental vehicles differs from company to company so find out clearly who and what is covered by the auto insurance in case of a rental car. Many policies may cover only you or you and your spouse.
f. If you are renting a car outside the US your auto insurance policy may not cover loss and damage to the rented vehicle or liability injury. When traveling abroad you may need additional coverage.
g. Find out before you rent a vehicle if the auto rental company includes basic automobile liability and standard comprehensive insurance protection as well as theft insurance as part of the service at no additional charge.
Before you decide on rental car insurance surf the World Wide Web and read up on rental car advice as well as auto insurance needs written by experts in the travel and insurance business. This will update you on the latest requirements and introduce you to auto insurance necessities. This knowledge will enable you to take the right decisions.