Rental cars can be the perfect solution for someone who needs to travel out of town or to areas that public transportation cannot reach. As a consumer, you are faced with a few important decisions before purchasing a rental from one of the major companies that offer services nationally. One of the biggest decisions is whether or not you would like to dish out the few extra dollars to purchase rental car insurance.
You May Already Have Coverage
It’s possible that you may already be covered by your current insurance policy or by your credit card company. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, personal auto car coverage generally covers rental car liabilities (U.S. News). If you already have collision coverage with your policy, purchasing rental insurance could be a waste of money. Collision coverage pays for the damages to your vehicle involving other cars or objects. Auto Insurance companies that provide coverage for rental cars usually have conditions that must be met in order to file a claim. In some situations, insurance companies may not cover rentals on business trips and may only have limited coverage for long-term rentals. Some personal policies may not cover rental cars in foreign countries.
There are more options for those who do not have collision insurance. Some major credit card companies offer collision and theft protection. The benefits are usually secondary to personal auto insurance policies or the rental company’s insurance coverage. Those who use their credit card company for collision protection should be proactive about filing a claim. Most companies will not accept a reimbursement claim if the incident occurred more than 45 days ago.
Know Your Policies
Some travelers choose to purchase rental insurance just for the peace of mind and to avoid the hassle of filing a claim or getting reimbursed. If that is the case, consider purchasing partial coverage, which is offered by some rental car companies for a reduced price. By purchasing a limited liability policy through the rental company, you could potentially save around $14 a day. It is still very beneficial to become familiar with all of the benefits of your insurance policy along with the secondary coverage provided by your credit card company. Most rental companies meet their desired profit margins by issuing full rental insurance to travelers who are not familiar with the benefits of their policies. Although not all policies and credit card companies provide coverage for accidents that involve rental cars, it is definitely worth taking a look at your policies. It could potentially save a large amount of money if you are a frequent traveler.
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