Another question I get quite often is whether you should accept or reject the insurance offered when renting a car. Depending on the insurance company it might be a good idea to accept the coverage offered. Below are a few things to consider before making the decision.
1.) Does your personal auto insurance policy have comprehensive and collision coverage? These coverages will allow coverage to kick in on the rental car if it is damaged due to collision or “Acts of God”. Even if you have a personal auto policy, but you only carry liability, you will need to accept the physical damage coverage offered by the rental car company. Comprehensive and collision coverage should transfer to the rental car within the United States, but if you are renting in another country make sure to check with your insurance company.
2.) Does your personal auto insurance policy cover loss of use for the rental car company? Depending on the insurance company, some do not provide loss of use. This can leave a fairly substantial bill you would be responsible for. For example, you run off the road while in a rental car and collide with a tree. If you have collision coverage then the repair of the vehicle would be covered. However, if it takes 4 weeks for that repair to occur, the rental car company is going to expect to be compensated for not being able to rent that particular vehicle out while it is in the shop. Make sure to clarify this with your agent because it can get pricey quickly.
3.) Don’t depend on your credit card to offer rental car coverage. You hear customers throw this option out from time to time, but don’t count on this coverage being primary. Also, if you don’t use that particular card to rent the vehicle, you might be out of luck.
4) Lastly, if you are on a business trip and you rent a car, then your personal auto insurance isn’t going to help you. Make sure to elect coverage or check with your business to see what coverage is available.
If you can answer yes to 1 and 2 while keeping mind of 3 and 4 then you more than likely will be in good shape if you chose to decline the insurance offered at the counter. As always, remember that each policy is different so make sure you check with your agent.