Whenever you rent a car, you know the inevitable pitch for prepaid gas followed by “Do you want to buy our insurance” sales pitches are coming. These additional coverages can add up pretty fast since it could end up costing you an extra $10 – $30 extra per day. You may have wondered whether you need to buy this coverage. Here’s how your personal auto policy works with a rental car.
Your personal coverage extends to your rental vehicle
When you rent a car, the coverage available under your personal auto policy will usually extend to your rental car.
It would also add coverage you don’t already have if required by state law. For instance – let’s say you were to visit Maine. Maine requires a minimum of $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident uninsured motorist coverage. Even though Florida doesn’t require this coverage, while you are temporarily driving in Maine, your policy automatically includes this coverage while you are in temporarily in that state.
If you don’t have collision or comprehensive coverage on your own vehicle, you would need to add the rental car company’s damage waiver coverage.
Your credit card may also provide coverage
Many credit card companies will provide limited coverage if you pay for your rental car with their credit card and don’t take the rental car company’s coverage. Before leaving home, you may want to check to see if your card provides any protection.
Other coverages you may be offered
Supplemental liability coverage: This coverage provides additional liability coverage above your own policy’s limits. If your policy limits are already adequate, you wouldn’t need this coverage. If you currently don’t have enough coverage, your need for additional coverage isn’t limited to while on vacation – you would also need additional coverage here at home. Contact us to discuss your needs if you are unsure if you have enough coverage.
Personal effects coverage: This coverage protects your personal property while in your rental car. If you have homeowners or renters coverage, your policy protects your personal property worldwide. If you’re planning to take property with you that has limitations such as expensive jewelry or guns, we should talk about making sure that property is properly insured at home, too. The biggest advantage to the coverage offered by the rental car company is there is no deductible. It may not be worth the extra cost, though.
Personal accident protection: This coverage would pay for medical treatment if you or your passengers are injured in an accident. If you have medical payments coverage and/or health insurance, you may not need this coverage.
We’ve found a lot of our clients have paid for coverage offered by rental car companies that they really didn’t need to. Rental car companies will often try to twist your arm into getting their coverage. We’re here to help – Call us at 561-732-9305 with any questions you may have about how your coverage would apply to your rental car before you go.
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Rob Macoviak is the President of Oyer, Macoviak and Associates. Oyer, Macoviak and Associates is the oldest independent insurance agency in Boynton Beach and has been in business since 1953.