Taking a vacation this spring or summer? Do you need rental car insurance?
Every time you hit a rental-car counter, you’ll listen to the representative ask if you want to purchase the company’s rental car insurance. Have you ever asked yourself: Do I need rental car insurance from the rental car company? You’ve probably wondered: “Is this a rip-off? Does my regular auto policy cover me when I rent a car?”
Our trusted car and home insurance agents in Northern Idaho and Eastern Washington are here to help answer your questions and be prepared for your trip. Contact our offices with any questions you have about insurance needed for a rental car for your situation. Because every person's travel plans and policies are different, there are many unique factors that go into whether or not car-rental insurance is needed, but there are a few tips that can help you make a more informed decision. Before you hit the rental car counter – be prepared with these tips:
Know your personal auto policy.
Because insurance policies vary, it’s a good idea to give us a call — before you rent a car — to review your coverage and make sure you have the protection you need for a rental.
- In many instances, your personal auto policy will provide coverage for a rental car — but that coverage may be limited to the value of the car you own, rather than the one you’re renting.
- If you don’t have a personal auto policy, you’ll need to purchase coverage from the rental company.
- Keep in mind that in the event of an accident, many rental companies will charge fees beyond repair costs. They may assess a loss-of-use fee for each day the car is unusable, as well as charge you because the value of the car has decreased. Not all insurance policies cover these fees.
It’s best to go into a vacation, knowing what amount your rental will be covered for.
Know your homeowners or renters policy.
- If you’re traveling with expensive electronics or other valuable items, you probably want to consider what coverage you’ll have in the event they are stolen. Your personal auto policy likely won’t provide protection for this scenario. Taking a few minutes to review your coverage and discuss your rental needs for travel plans with your insurance agent can save you a lot of money and headaches in the long run.
Consider any unique circumstances.
- Are you renting a car in a foreign country, or for more than a week? You’ll definitely want to get confirmation of coverage from your insurance carrier because different rules might apply.
- Know the type of vehicle you’ll be renting. Often times, vehicles such as trucks, RVs or exotic sports cars aren’t covered under standard agreements.
- Are you traveling on a business trip and using a car for business purposes? If so, your personal coverage might not apply and you will need the extra coverage.
- If multiple people will be driving the car during your trip, make sure your coverages will apply to them.
Learn about the insurance offered by the rental car company.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, rental companies offer four main types of coverage.
- A Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) relieves you of responsibility if your rental car is damaged or stolen. This may also provide coverage for loss of use.
- Liability Protection provides protection from lawsuits if you are sued after an accident.
- Personal Accident Insurance covers you and passengers for medical bills after an accident. You may not need this if you have adequate health and auto coverage.
- Personal Effects Coverage protects you if items are stolen from your car. You generally are covered for this under your homeowners or renters policy, but keep in mind that the loss must exceed your deductible for you to receive payment. If you have a high deductible, it may make sense to purchase this coverage from the rental company.
When you go on vacation, you don’t want to stress out about insurance. So give us a call before you leave. Then, when you head over to the rental-car counter, you can stop worrying about your coverage — and start enjoying your trip!
To talk to one of our trusted, local auto insurance agents about your insurance coverage and needs when renting a car, contact our office by you, or call us today:
- Argonne Insurance – Spokane Valley, WA – 509-921-6809
- Kuespert Insurance – Moscow, ID – 208-882-0610
- Panhandle Insurance – Coeur d’Alene, ID – 208-664-9223