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Rental Car Insurance: Is It Necesary?

You’re at the rental car counter and the agent recommends purchasing rental car insurance. Should you purchase the add on rental car insurance? It depends. Under certain circumstances you might need to. But, before you blindly sign your name to extra fees lets look at what types of rental car insurance are offered and why you may or may not need them.

Types of Rental Car Insurance

There are four main types of rental car insurance:

1) CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) and LDW (Loss Damage Waiver)
Basically, this option is not really insurance, but a relief of financial responsibility if the rental car is damaged in some way by an accident, vandalism or theft. Generally, the fees for this type of coverage run from about $9-$20 a day.

2) SLI ( Supplemental Liability Insurance)
Supplemental insurance provides an excess of up to 1 million dollars of liability coverage. The average cost of SLI is $7-$9 a day.

3) PAI (Personal Accident Insurance)
This type of rental car insurance will cover you and any passengers in your car for any medical expenses incurred in the case of an accident. The cost runs around $3-$5 a day.

4) PEC (Personal Effects Coverage) 
Personal effects coverage covers any theft or damage that may happen to your personal effects in the rental car. The cost is usually $2-$5 a day.

Do You Need Rental Car Insurance?

In most cases careful research into what your existing auto insurance policy already offers will show you that rental car insurance options oftentimes duplicate the coverage that you have already paid for with your regular auto insurance policy. For example, most health insurance or travel policies already cover any medical expenses incurred while in a rental car, nixing the need for a PAI policy. Sometimes even your homeowner’s policy will kick in, like in the example of your personal effects being stolen from the rental car.

There are also times where your credit card can offer rental car insurance. Just be careful to read the fine print because there are usually certain parameters. Some credit cards are selective in what type of rental agency they will offer insurance on and others have restrictions on what type or class of rental care they will insure. Luxury cars, SUV’s and sports cars are often not included in the rental insurance offered by most credit card companies. Other times credit card companies that advertise renters insurance will really only reimburse you for the deductible under your regular insurance or they will only cover collision and comprehensive coverage, leaving you responsible for any personal injury or property damage.

If you are on a business trip, look into your corporate travel policy. Often, the travel policy will provide full coverage to rental cars. In some cases, however, rental insurance may be appropriate. If you have already checked your regular insurance policy and credit card and their coverage appears to be skimpy, it may be in your best interest to supplement the lacking insurance with rental car insurance.

Rental Car Insurance In A Nutshell

Generally, if you have decent auto insurance you will probably already be covered for most of the options the rental car company may offer you. The key is to first determine if you need the additional rental car insurance, then see if you are already covered. If not, then that is the time to purchase rental car insurance.

Compare Cheap Car Insurance Quotes Now!

Whether you decide that you need rental car insurance or not; it is always important to keep adequate car insurance coverage for your regular vehicle.

Why not save yourself some time and money and use our free insurance quote finder at the top of the page or on our home page to comparison shop auto insurance quotes from multiple insurance companies side by side?

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