Do you need rental car insurance?
It's the most frequent question we hear in the summer. And that's OK. This is one of those insurance questions that doesn't have a black-and-white answer. It all depends on your situation and your current auto insurance policy. Because supplemental rental car insurance may double your costs, it's a big decision.
Here are a few facts and coverage options to consider:
1) Your current auto policy. Rental car insurance typically offers similar protection to your personal auto insurance policy, but the extent of coverage varies so check the fine print. With this option, drivers typically have the same amount of coverage as they would in their own car at home. So collision coverage on your vehicle at home translates to collision coverage on your rental car. Liability-only coverage translates to liability-only on your rental car, and so forth.
2) Credit card rental car coverage. Check if the credit card you are paying with includes coverage for car rentals. Be thorough and also read the terms of the credit agreement, which typically does not cover liability or personal injury protection.
3) Loss damage waiver (or collision damage waiver) through the car rental company, which frees drivers from responsibility for damage to the vehicle. It does not cover liability or personal injury.
Our take: Some of the insurance carriers we partner with suggest taking a form of rental car insurance coverage, especially the inexpensive loss damage waiver. It helps protect drivers who rent a particularly expensive vehicle, an excluded vehicle or drive in excluded territories. It protects against loss payment, such as an immediate charge on the credit card used. Consider unexpected circumstances, too. What if you were speeding? Do insurance requirements match those in my home state? What if the car is stolen and damaged?
Another point to consider? If you make a claim on the rental company's policy it generally won't raise your personal auto insurance premium.
So contact your Fortify agent.
We are here to help, so you can worry about "packing light", the maximum number of restroom breaks, the state of chaos from the back seat -- you know, the fun stuff!
(Sources for this article include Compare.com and Trusted Choice.)