Rental car insurance is a simple concept, but subject to a wide range of traveler feelings. Some people ignore it as much as possible, some think it is a scam, and others pay for it gladly for the peace of mind that it brings. The goal is to protect you from liability if your rental car is damaged, and there are several important facts you should know about it before taking a lengthy trip.
Facts About Rental Car Insurance
- It Will Cost You About $30 Per Day: Rental car insurance costs do vary, based on a whole number of factors that are typically in flux. However, as a general rule of thumb you should consider the cost to equal about $30 per day of using the rental car. This is a little on the high side in most areas, but it will allow you to budget insurance in your trip plans.
- It Isn’t Exactly Insurance: Think of this insurance as a sort of warranty or waiver. It does not act much like typical insurance, just as general protection against liability for damages. Some kinds include coverage for items that may be stolen from the car, but this is less usual. Depending on where you are, the agreement may not even be subject to insurance laws. If you think of it as more of a contract, the language may be easier to understand.
- Policies Vary Based on Laws and Locations: There are multiple types of rental care insurance. Some cover collisions, removing liability and perhaps even offering payment for any damaged goods or medical costs. Some cover the cost of repairs as well. Some include supplementals that also cover the theft of the vehicles. It depends on the rental car company and what they want to charge you for to help reduce their risk, so take a close look at the coverage and do not assume all policies are the same.
- Rental Car Insurance and Travel Insurance are Not the Same: Car rental insurance is not usually part of travel insurance. Do not purchase a travel insurance package and assume it will cover something like rental cars – and vice-versa, do not assume that rental care insurance will cover health and emergency costs the way that travel insurance can.
- Car Insurance May Cover Similar Damages: Check your car insurance policy carefully before you buy rental care insurance. Some policies offer coverage when you are driving a rented vehicle…at least, a certain amount of coverage. It may not offer the same benefits you would get driving your own car, but you could still receive insurance for repairs and damages. You may still need to pay fees to the rental car company if you are in an accident, but you would not need to purchase extra insurance. Of course, a rental car accident could also cause your insurance rates to rise using this strategy.
- Rental Car Insurance May be Required: Depending on where you are traveling, you may need to buy rental care insurance no matter what. In the United States it is a choice, but some countries require it. In places like Australia, car rental insurance is part of the general rental cost and you will have to pay it no matter what.
written by: Sara Wells
image courtesy of Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net