Do I Need Rental Car Insurance?

Your flight was on time and smooth. Your bags were at baggage claim right as you walked up. You find the rental car counter with no problem. You can almost see the beach. And then the rental car counter person asks if you need insurance for your rental car, and everything stops for a second. Don’t worry, the good news is that your personal auto policy does provide coverage for a short term rental car equal to that of a car on your policy when rented in the United States, its Territories and Puerto Rico. For instance, if you carry $300,000 of liability insurance and $500 deductibles for comprehensive and collision, those same coverages apply to the car you rent while vacationing in Florida.

However, gaps can still exist. If your rental car is in an accident, rental car companies may charge for administrative fees, loss of use while the car is being repaired and towing charges. These costs are typically not covered by a personal automobile policy.

Rental car companies sell loss damage waivers, or collision damage waivers, which relieve the renter of responsibility if the car is damaged or stolen. In most cases, the waiver will provide coverage for loss of use, if the rental car company charges for the time the car is out of service.

There may also be some coverage available on the credit card used to rent the vehicle. This coverage is usually secondary to any other coverage and may have restrictions. It is best to contact your credit card company before traveling to get a better understanding of what your card offers.

If traveling outside of the United States, it’s Territories, or Puerto Rico, The Russell Agency highly recommends you purchase the maximum insurance offered by the rental car company.

If you have any questions on rental car insurance, please contact us at 888-926-3564. Oh, and have a great trip!

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