Rental Cars! Do I Decline Insurance?
There is nothing like renting a car at an airport. You get off the plane in sunny California, hop on a bus from the terminal with terrible music playing and wind up at the rental car counter. When you are at the counter trying to just get your vacation started, they bombard you with questions most of which have to do with some optional insurance coverage.
Typically you will be offered four policies:
Loss Damage Waiver or Collision Damage Waiver covers any damage to the vehicle or theft of your rental vehicle. This waiver is not technically an insurance policy, but rather a waiver stating that the rental car company will not come after you for damages.
Supplemental Liability Protection will pay for damages done to other peoples property or vehicles.
Personal Accident Insurance covers medical costs for you and your passengers if you are involved in an accident.
Personal Effects Coverage will pay for your property if it is stolen from your rental vehicle.
Do I Need These Protections?
Loss Damage Waiver
If you currently have collision and comprehensive insurance on your policy, it will generally extend to your rental vehicle with the same coverage you would have at home. If something were to happen and you filed a claim, you would still be on the hook for the deductible.
Supplementary Liability Protection
The liability coverage you have on your own policy will cover you. If you do not own a car and are renting a vehicle, you should purchase the liability protection. If you have really low liability protection you may consider the added protection at the counter, but you would be best to increase your coverage on your own policy as it will probably end up being cheaper than the added daily cost to your rental and will extend onto your owned vehicles.
Personal Accident Insurance
If you have health insurance, your medical bills incurred from your accident will be covered by your health insurance. In addition your health insurance, if you have Medical Payments coverage on your car insurance at home, that will also cover you in a rented vehicle.
Personal Effects Coverage
Your home insurance or renters insurance policy covers your personal property if it is stolen, even if it is not in your home. If something is stolen out of your rental car, file a police report immediately and submit the report to your insurance company. You will be on the hook for your deductible however.
I heard my credit card provides insurance for my rental vehicle as well, is that true?
If you pay for a car rental on your credit card and the rental is in your name, your credit card may provide secondary insurance for your rental vehicle. Meaning that the card's insurance would pay out after your own insurance pays out.
If you don't have insurance, you will want to call your rental car company to confirm what the card's coverage will cover. It is a good idea to understand the benefits of your card anyways as credit card companies often times will also provide coverage for lost and stolen baggage as well if your bags don't make it to your destination!
As with all of our blog posts, this is general advice and the specifics of each policy is different depending on the insurance company and your specific policy. It is always best to call your agent and determine if you have the right coverage for your specific situation. RG Insurance Group is your community Castle Rock Insurance and Highlands Ranch Insurance Agency who will provide friendly, personable service! Your insurance agent shouldn't just be whoever picks up the phone in a call center. We pride ourselves on phenomenal customer service, and you will always know the name of your agent! Give RG Insurance Group a call at 303-779-4200, we provide insurance throughout the state of Colorado and would love to review your policies for free.