Rental car coverage…. is it necessary?

The summer vacation season is quickly approaching, complete with family vacations and potential car rentals. The last thing most people want to face when renting a car, is the salesperson at the counter asking if you want to buy “their” insurance (also called the damage waiver. When you rent a car, it can be hard to know if you need rental insurance coverage. For some drivers it’s a necessity, and for others it’s a redundant expense.

Are you renting a car for spring break or a summer trip? I’ve found the rental car experience is seldom an enjoyable one. Everyone is in a hurry to get their cars and go. In addition, the rental car staff always makes me question whether I’m doing the right thing by declining their coverage.

Today’s blog will share some information from the Insurance Information Institute on the coverages offered by a rental car company and things to consider before renting a car. If you understand what coverage you already have on your own auto policy, as well as what the rental car company offers, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about choosing their coverage. This will make the rental process easier and hopefully lead to a more enjoyable start to your vacation.

Before renting a car:

  1. Talk to your agent.Be sure to let your agent know where you’re going and what your plans are. Your agent can review your auto policy to determine if you’re adequately covered, and if not, make recommendations.
  2. Understand what your credit card offers.Credit card companies may offer some coverages but only if you meet certain criteria. On the other hand, they may only offer coverage if it’s secondary to your insurance. If you don’t have the proper coverage on your policy, theirs may not help you out.

Here are some scenarios in which it’s a good idea to buy rental car insurance:

  1. You have liability coverage only.
  2. Your policy has a high deductible.
  3. An accident could lead to an increase in your insurance rates or cancellation based on your claim history.
  4. You’re renting a car in a foreign country.

Make sure to speak with your insurance agent on how your policy would respond, call your credit card company to see what, if any, coverage they would provide, and by all means READ THE RENTAL AGREEMENT! The worst time to know what you’re responsible for is after something happens.

The Agent Insurance Services | (330) 758.3339

blog information compliments of West Bend.

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