Rental Car Coverage

If you are a typical business traveler, then you probably have to rent cars frequently. There’s probably that little voice in your head about what happens if you’re driving someone else’s vehicle and you are involved in an accident.

It’s good to know ahead of time whether your insurance policy covers rental cars or whether you may have to consider buying the insurance the rental agency offers, which tends to be somewhat pricey. Keep in mind, your existing car insurance may already cover rental but you can easily check your policy to confirm or simply call your agent or insurance company.

One thing to remember is that basic liability insurance only covers damage you inflict upon others and their property. It doesn’t cover rental vehicles so if you are in an accident and are only carrying liability insurance, you will have to pay for damage to that vehicle.

It is possible to have insurance through you credit card provider. This is typically offered as an incentive to you to use their credit card but you should call and check to confirm. Be sure to verify how much it covers and if it is not sufficient, consider seeking extra coverage.

If you do decide to accept the rental companies insurance, it may also cover the belongings in the car though they may be covered by homeowner’s insurance policy. In any event, it’s wise to check your policy ahead of time.

Some states allow you to sign a Collision Damage Waiver (CDW). CDW is not insurance but if anything happens to your rental car such as a scratch or accident, you will not be liable. CDW only offers a few dollars to the cost of your rental each day. CDW is also nice because even if you have collision coverage, if the rental company has to have the car repaired, they can charge you for those days that it is in the shop. CDW exempts you from these charges.