Rental car insurance is the one type of insurance that so many people misunderstand.
Many of us will be in this scenario: you are on a holiday, and you’re in a rental car dealer. The rental car dealer offers you a car, and you gladly take it. Before handing the keys over to you, the dealer asks: “Are you properly insured?”
You reply “Yes!” without a moment’s hesitation – and to your horror, you realize you weren’t properly insured for your rental vehicle when a trooper stops you. Or worse, you learn about this through the hard way when you try to claim from your insurer after you get into a traffic accident with the rented vehicle.
Many of these poor souls assume that they are already covered by their current insurance policy. Little do they know that the dealer was asking about their rental car insurance coverage! Their personal auto insurance policy only covers the particular car that is registered under the policy. They do not have the type of insurance needed for rental cars.
So, what steps can you take to prevent this from happening?
Getting Rental Car Insurance From Your Rental Car Dealer
A respected, well-established car rental dealer will always offer you a short-term rental car insurance, just in case you’re not properly insured for the rental vehicle itself. Of course, you will be required to pay a fee for the rental car insurance provided by the rental car dealer.
The coverage of the rental car insurance policy usually comes pre-fixed, but you may be able to request for more coverage – this is useful especially if you are going to be driving the rental vehicle for a very long while. Of course, such additions will increase the fee that you will have to pay to the rental company.
How Do I Know I’m Not Already Covered For Rental Cars?
To be absolutely sure that your current insurance policy doesn’t encompass rental vehicles, there’s only one thing you can do: call your insurance company.
That’s right – this is the only way you can ascertain the fact that you are not insured for rental vehicles. You also need to understand the limitations of the policy when you are driving rental vehicles, or all vehicles that are not registered under your insurance policy in general.
Typically, however, if your policy includes coverage for rental vehicles, you can expect the rental vehicle to enjoy the same coverage as your daily vehicle. For example, if your insurance policy demands a $1,000 deductible, if your rental vehicle was involved in an accident, the rental company will first pay what was agreed in the contract, before picking up the rest of the tab (minus the deductible of $1,000, of course).
Where Can You Get Rental Car Coverage?
Of course, as stated above, you might be better off getting the rental car insurance coverage from your rental car dealer, especially if you are only renting the vehicle for a short while.
But if you are using the rental vehicle for a long while, perhaps because you are stationed at another state and do not wish to purchase your own vehicle there, you might want to look into getting an auto insurer that provides rental car insurance coverage.
And the first step is easy: you can start by keying in your zip code into the box at the top of this page, and just follow the instructions to compare rental car coverage quotes.