Auto Rental Insurance

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Do I have to get auto rental insurance?

Most rental car agencies offer insurance for the vehicle you're renting, but be sure that you are not already covered by your auto insurance policy or another agency. Read more to find out what your rental auto insurance options are.

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When renting an automobile, many rental agencies offer optional rental insurance for the automobile. This policy covers any accidental damage caused to the rental car by the person who signs the rental agreement. Whether or not you agree to the coverage depends on a number of factors. Most importantly, you want to be sure you are not already covered for auto rental insurance through other agencies. Many credit card companies, such as Visa, offer secondary insurance coverage. Auto insurance policies often cover rentals as well, providing secondary insurance to the main policy. In these cases, you may have to take additional steps to notify the company in the event of an accident, as they may only have limited windows of opportunity for reimbursement.

If you are renting an automobile from a rental agency such as Hertz, Avis, National, Enterprise, and others, you also want to consider that these companies derive a large percentage of profits from the sale of rental insurance, according to USA Today. In other words, these policies often go to waste and end up as money in the bank for rental agencies. Conversely, purchasing this rental insurance could save you lots of time and effort, as well as out of pocket expense, in the event of an accident with the rental car. When traveling overseas, it may be wise to purchase the rental insurance regardless of additional coverages you may already have, simply because of the hassle of dealing with companies overseas, particularly if you do not speak the language.

The most important aspect of auto rental insurance is to know your options. Your credit card may already offer rental insurance, so may your primary auto policy. If not, your credit card may offer a discount on rental insurance. Additionally, other discounts are available through agencies such as AAA. If you are a frequent renter, it may be prudent to purchase this insurance. There can be devastating consequences if you are uninsured in a rental accident, so you want to be as educated as possible on your options.

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