Will Your Car Insurance Cover Your Rental Car?

Anytime you rent a car, the rental company will ask if you want rental insurance. If you ask them whether you need it or not, they'll answer with a resounding yes. However, if you ask your insurance agent, you'll likely get an unconvincing "maybe."

Here's what you can do.

Check Your Car Insurance Policy

The only way to be certain whether you need rental insurance or not is to review your policy. Confirm if the policy covers rental cars. If you're unsure, contact your insurance agent for more details. 

Also, check whether your policy covers other drivers. Typically, most insurance policies will require you to add other legal drivers in your household to your policy. The policy may also allow permissive use, which covers legal drivers who you grant permission to use your vehicle. 

Check If Your Credit Card Will Cover the Rental 

If you don't have car insurance, you can check if your credit card offers coverage for rental cars. Credit cards typically have limits; thus, check your credit card's policy before getting a rental. Most credit card policies will cover domestic rentals for about 15 to 30 days.

Also, credit cards don't offer comprehensive coverage. If you damage property and injure people with the rental car, the credit card may cover collision damages but exclude injuries. In others cases, the coverage will kick in to pay whatever is left after your car insurance settles the bills. Your credit card serves as the backup to fill gaps in your car insurance policy. 

Check the Exclusions

Before you rent a vehicle, be mindful of the exclusions. Your car insurance might cover rental cars, but it doesn't mean that the coverage extends to everything. If you rent luxury cars, trucks, or even vans, your car insurance might not cover them. 

Also, your personal auto insurance can only cover your rental car for so long. Once it exceeds the written period, your car insurance stops applying to your rental. 

How Long Does Car Insurance Cover Rental Cars?

The period varies depending on the insurance provider. For example, most auto insurance policies cover up to a month. If you intend to use the rental car for more than a month, contact your insurance agent. You can get rental reimbursement insurance. 

Do You Need Rental Insurance? 

Confirm if your personal car insurance offers sufficient coverage before you make a reservation. If it's not enough, consider getting rental insurance. 

For more information, contact your local car insurance agency.