Think You're Covered When Renting a Car?
If you've had an accident or a fender bender, you'll probably need a rental car to get around while your car is being repaired. But before you sign the rental car contract and drive away in that Toyota Camry with the kids in tow, make sure you have proper insurance coverage. Never assume that your auto insurance policy automatically covers you for rental vehicles.
Here's What You Need to Know About Rental Car Insurance:
- Check to see if your current auto insurance policy covers you for damage, theft, loss of use, liability for injury to others while in the rental car and coverage if your personal items are stolen or damaged. These are considered optional coverages available for purchase from your auto insurance company.
- Some credit card companies may offer coverage, but coverage is subject to certain conditions, so make sure you read the documents carefully. For example, some credit card companies may not cover personal liability and will only provide coverage if you pay for the entire rental on the credit card.
- Most rental companies offer "collision damage waiver" that covers some loss of, or damage to, the rental vehicle. But, there may be exclusions to the coverage and the level of protection varies among rental companies. Usually, there is an additional daily charge, which is often more expensive to purchase than to add it as an option on your regular auto insurance policy.
- Most auto insurance companies offer "damage to a non-owned vehicle" coverage which covers damage to a vehicle that you don’t own such a rental vehicle. This coverage usually applies to vehicles you don't own that are driven in Canada and the United States. Also, the auto rental agreement must be in the insured's name.
- Check with your insurer about how an accident in a rental car would affect your auto insurance rates if you make a rental car claim.
So, before you sign on the dotted line, check with your auto insurance company to see which options are right for you.