Should I Purchase Rental Car Insurance?

Posted on Aug 24, 2016

Should-I-Purchase Rental Car Insurance

Renting a car can be confusing. When you are standing at the rental car counter and are in the process of filling out your paperwork to rent the car, oftentimes you will experience a high-pressure pitch to purchase rental car insurance. But is this something you really need to buy?

There are a few reasons to consider making the investment in auto insurance from the rental car company, but there are others to forego it. In many cases, your current auto insurance policy provides good coverage for rental cars, but many consumers end up purchasing supplemental insurance protection that they don’t need and end up wasting money.

Making that decision involves learning about if you have current rental car coverage and how much?  Keep these things in mind when making your choice.

Are You Already Insured?

The odds are good that if you have auto insurance for your personal vehicle, you also have auto insurance that will cover your rental car. The key is to make sure you have full coverage before considering using your current auto coverage for a rental vehicle.

Keep in mind your own liability coverage when making this decision. If you do not have excess liability coverage, it may be worth considering the rental car insurance policy as a safety net.

You may also receive some coverage for rental car insurance through your credit card company – provided that you use that particular credit card to rent the vehicle and that you’ve rented the vehicle in your name.

The thing to understand about your credit card’s coverage is that it offers secondary coverage that only kicks in after you primary insurers pays out. In addition, if you sign up for the supplemental collision damage coverage that your rental car company offers you, you won’t be covered by the credit card company. You must decline that supplemental collision coverage in order for your credit card company to provide coverage.

It’s important to learn about your current coverage through your auto insurance policy and credit card company before purchasing supplemental collision damage coverage at the rental car counter.

So, why do so many people elect to purchase rental car insurance if it isn’t absolutely necessary?

Possible Benefits of Buying Rental Car Insurance?

There are certain times when it might be beneficial to get insurance from the rental company. First, the rental car insurance you purchase from your insurance company is a waiver that says they won’t go after you for damages (within the limits of the waiver) to the car – or for loss of use. Second, check to see if your rental car coverage through your insurance company covers the loss of use while the rental car company has the repairs being made to their vehicle. That could leave you on the hook for several weeks of rental fees.

Personal property is another concern to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to purchase auto rental insurance. Your auto insurance does not provide coverage for personal items, such as GPS devices, laptops, and other personal effects left in the car. However, these items may have deductibles, often between $500 and $1,000 with your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance company. There may be no deductibles with the rental policy, so it might be worth considering if this is the case with your policy.

Lastly, find out if accidents covered by the rental car waiver are not filed against your insurance company. This means you won’t experience the increased premium the next time your policy renewal comes around.

Of course these are all in addition to the liability protection that may go above and beyond what your current auto insurance coverage provides.

The Otterstedt Insurance Agency Difference

Otterstedt Insurance Agency has been serving the insurance needs of New Jersey residents and beyond for nearly one hundred years. We are here to help you make important decisions, like whether or not rental car insurance is a worthwhile investment for you to make. Call us today with all your rental car coverage questions and needs.

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