Explaining Rental Car Insurance Types

Automotive Blog

One of the most confusing parts about renting a car is navigating the insurance options and requirements. It doesn't help that there's no one "right way" to get insurance for a rental car—a lot depends on the insurance coverage you already have. Knowing a little about your current insurance is important, and so is knowing the common kinds of coverage that rental companies offer.

Collision/Loss Damage Waiver

Collision insurance covers automobile accidents, while loss insurance covers things like car theft or vandalism. A rental company may bundle these waivers together or offer them separately. Without this waiver, most rental agreements consider the renter liable for the full value of a vehicle if it is damaged. In that case, your own car insurance may still cover the damage, but remember that you will pay your regular deductible.

Supplemental Liability Protection

If you have car insurance, you already have some liability protection; in most states, the rental company is also required to provide a minimal level. This add-on gives you additional liability coverage over the minimum, so it's key that you check your existing coverage to determine whether you want more. Extra liability coverage makes the most sense if you don't have car insurance already.

Personal Accident Insurance

In the case of an accident, this insurance covers medical expenses and death benefits. Compare this coverage with any existing health insurance or car insurance that you have to determine whether the extra coverage makes sense for you.

Personal Effects Coverage

As its name implies, this type of insurance covers the theft or loss of the items you keep in your rental car. It may be useful if you're traveling with a lot of stuff—or expensive stuff. Check into whether the policy covers replacement cost, which would give you enough money to buy a new version of a stolen item, or actual cash value, which will be lower since it is based on what you could sell your item for used. Your personal auto insurance may already give you this coverage, so again, be sure to check for it before you buy it from the rental company.

What Else To Know

If you want to know what coverage is right for you, you'll need to find out a few things. First of all, it's important that you know what your regular car insurance covers. Most primary car insurance policies also contain rental car coverage, so you may not need to purchase additional coverage. On the other hand, if you have no insurance, you must purchase liability coverage for a rental car and might benefit from additional coverage as well. And if your regular car insurance is minimal, getting some add-ons for a rental car makes a lot of sense.

Some credit cards also provide insurance coverage when they are used to rent a car. However, credit card policies will have their own limitations and many won't cover luxury cars. They may require you to first use up any rental or auto insurance and only cover the remainder, and some may have a deductible. Since these policies vary so much, it's crucial to ask your credit card company for a copy of their policy if you're planning to use this coverage. 

If you need to rent a car, consider speaking with a representative fromXpress Auto Rental Inc.


17 June 2015

Winter Tires: Everything You Need to Know

When you live in the coldest parts of the United States, you need to learn how to adapt your car to the prevailing weather conditions. Winter tires will improve traction, and can significantly lower the risk of a dangerous accident. Unfortunately, a lot of drivers don’t really understand how to choose the right winter tires, but, with fifteen years as a skilled mechanic, I hope I can use this blog to give you all the information you need. Whatever car you choose to drive, I will help you winterize your vehicle effectively, and I will also tell you about some of the problems that unsuspecting drivers face in the depths of winter. I hope you find the content interesting and informative!