Maybe you’re taking a long trip, and don’t want to put miles on your car for the multiple-hour commute. Or perhaps your vehicle is out of commission, and you need temporary transportation to replace it. Regardless of why you need one, a rental car can give you the means to get from A to B.
On the surface, many rental cars seem affordable. Their daily rates may even seem downright cheap. But as you look closer and it comes time to reserve one, that daily fee can increase in a second. Why? Blame it on car insurance.
Purchasing car insurance for your own automobile seems like a sound move. You do want to protect your investment should you get in an accident, after all. Buying insurance for a car that isn’t yours, however, could seem like money wasted, which brings up this question: Do you really need it?
The truth is, buying coverage for a rental car is up to you. There’s no right or wrong answer, as it depends on your situation, budget, and personal preference.
Does Your Personal Policy Cover Rental Cars?
If you have a car, your personal auto insurance policy may cover the rental. You’ll have to check with your provider to see if this is the case.
If so, you can save money by declining the rental car company’s insurance and sticking with your own.
What’s the downside to this? The fact that your policy’s deductible is likely to carry over. In other words, if you get in an accident while driving the rental car, you’ll have to pay the deductible for property that isn’t even yours.
As an example, let’s say you have a fender bender that results in $5,000 in damage. Since you used your personal policy on the rental, a deductible of $1,000 applies. You’ll have to pay this amount before the coverage kicks in, causing a substantial dent to your wallet.
The Main Benefit of Rental Car Insurance
Purchasing car insurance from the rental company avoids the issue of costly deductibles from your existing policy. It will add to your current expenses, though, and could be considered a waste of money if no incidents occur while driving.
What’s the benefit of purchasing rental car insurance? The peace of mind you get knowing you’re protected. To some, that may be worth the extra cost.
How to Get Your Credit Card to Pay for Rental Insurance
If you have a credit card, using it to pay for your rental car may give you coverage. You’ll have to check with your credit card company, but many do offer this bonus.
Before breathing a sigh of relief, know that rental car insurance coverage from a credit card may not be comprehensive. It could cover things like damage to the car, theft, or towing, but it may not cover liability.
When renting a car, your best bet is to check the fine print. Whether it’s from your auto insurance agency, the rental company, or your credit card, ask for all the details before making your final choice.