If you’re renting a car for a family vacation, make sure you check with us before you purchase any rental insurance.
This summer, more Americans will be taking to the skies and roadways for vacations. If your plans involve renting a vehicle, it’s important to understand the insurance implications for your trip. So before you sign up for car rental insurance coverage, it makes sense to check with us to see if you might already have this protection.
Avoid double coverage
As we mentioned, sometimes purchasing rental insurance ends up giving you double coverage. One quick phone call or text to us can help determine whether your policy extends to rental vehicles. You might also check with your credit card company to see what protection it offers. Many cards, such as American Express, offer automatic insurance coverage when you pay for a rental using that card. Also, if you have a homeowner’s insurance policy, it likely covers your belongings in the rental car. And, if you have sufficient life insurance, you likely don’t need accidental insurance coverage.
Primary types of coverage offered by rental companies
So when would you need insurance from a rental company? If you currently have nothing but liability coverage on your car insurance policy and your credit card company provides no coverage, here are two options to consider. Most car rental companies offer loss damage waivers (LDW) and collision damage waivers (CDW). For most rental car companies, LDW coverage protects you if someone steals or vandalizes the car while you are renting, a tree limb falls on it, or some other non-collision damage occurs. Some companies also include damage from hitting an animal in LDW coverage. CDW coverage pays for damage to the car if you have a collision with another vehicle.
In addition to the primary coverage types, most rental companies also offer additional liability insurance supplements, which step in if your car insurance has low liability limits and you cause an accident that exceeds these limits. If you’re in that low liability category, this is worth considering.
Many companies also offer accidental death and personal property insurance. Personal property insurance pays a small amount to cover loss or damage to your belongings in the car, while accidental death pays your beneficiaries if you die in a crash while in the vehicle.
Know your needs
Keep in mind that car rental insurance coverage provides significant profit for the rental agency. Because of this, car rental companies train their workers on making a winning sales presentation. While these products may help you, purchasing coverage that you already have simply wastes your money.
So our best tip is to check with us long before you sign any rental agreement. We’ll make sure you’ve got the coverage you need based on your circumstances.