Many people who reserve a rental car show up to the counter with little thought given to the “what if’s” that could result from them driving a car that is not their own. You wouldn’t think of driving your own car without coverage, so take a few moments to consider how you will make sure that your rental car is covered.
Here are 3 steps to take to ensure you have adequate coverage.
1. When you’re calling the rental car company for a quote, find out how much the coverage costs and what it covers. Their rates for insurance/coverage may be higher but they also offer the least hassle, since you may not have to file a claim on your own insurance. Many car rental companies have a couple of options, including buying down the deductible to a hundred dollars (or so, depending on where you live) or even to zero.
2. Contact your car insurance company. They may already cover you for rental cars in certain situations. For example, if your car is in the shop, they may automatically transfer your coverage and deductible to a rental car. This is a replacement-only type of coverage because they are covering you on a different car. For an additional cost, you may be able to purchase either a temporary or ongoing rider (depending on the insurance company) to cover your rental car even if your car is not in the shop. This is considered a non-replacement-type of coverage since you will need coverage on both cars because they potentially could both be driven.
3. Contact your credit card company or check out the Card holder’s Agreement. Your credit card may cover you for rental car insurance. Check to see that they cover you in your specific situation. For example, there are certain cars they cover (some don’t cover trucks or SUVs) or they may not cover you depending on where you drive or how long you have the car.
Armed with this knowledge, you can make an educated estimate of what the costs are to ensure that you are fully covered on your rental car. After all, you want to have peace-of-mind when you’re on your next trip.