Car rental insurance can dramatically increase the cost of renting a car while on vacation or for downtime during minor auto repairs on your primary vehicle. Many people overpay for these services as their auto insurance, motorcycle insurance or truck insurance policies may already cover the areas provided by these additional policies. Leaving yourself unprotected, however, can come at much higher costs if your vehicle insurance does not cover rental cars.
The most common policies issued by rental car companies are collision damage waivers, liability insurance, personal accident insurance and personal effects coverage. Most standard auto insurance policies cover liability insurance, though typically at a higher deductible than the policies offered by the car rental company.
Collision damage waivers allow you to walk away from an accident without having to pay for damage to the rental car. These are normally only included on personal insurance policies that also have collision or comprehensive coverage as part of the policy. Personal accident insurance and personal effects coverage are typically not included as part of a personal insurance policy, and are only regularly found on some RV insurance or trailer insurance packages.
Check with your insurance company or authorized agent to verify your level of protection prior to renting a car. Many personal policies will cover the bulk of the protections offered by the rental company; if you are taking the vehicle a high risk area for personal accidents or theft, such as a festival or other event where people are likely to be drinking heavily and not watching for cars or theft may be an issue, some of the rental company’s additional policies may save you from costly fees or replacement costs.