Whether you are traveling for work or pleasure, renting a car is often a part of your trip. Often, you are traveling on unfamiliar roads in an unfamiliar vehicle. Accidents on the road can happen. It is important to limit your financial exposure if in fact a car accident does occur.
So a key decision to make when renting a vehicle is whether to purchase car rental insurance. It is essential to have rental car insurance to cover liability and collision damage. This decision should be made based on what coverage you may already have.
First, it is important to check your own auto insurance policy to see what it says about rental cars. If you can’t find it in the policy, call your insurance agent to find out. Many car insurance policies will include both liability coverage and collision coverage for rental cars.
However, make you check for exclusions. Some auto insurance policies only cover certain vehicle models. In addition, coverage may not include international trips or rentals over a certain amount of time.
Another thing to consider is what your current credit card company covers. Most people rent a car using a credit card. Many credit cards include insurance coverage for rental vehicles. To find out the coverage your credit card company may extend, it is essential to read the fine print.
For example, your Visa card may cover collision damage. The same card may cover theft. Some credit card companies even provide coverage beyond the limits of your car insurance policy.
If you can’t determine what your credit card covers, call the customer service department of the credit card company and ask. The representative should be able to clearly explain what the credit card insurance does and does not cover in case a car accident occurs while renting a vehicle. Make sure you ask about exclusions and any limits to coverage.
Optional insurance coverage for a rental vehicle is expensive. While it is very important to have coverage in case an accident happens, there is no need to pay for this expensive coverage if you are already covered. Check with your car insurance company, insurance agent, credit card company and other insurance carriers before booking a trip and renting a vehicle.