A rental vehicle is just like any other car or truck on the road in the US that requires auto insurance. You may use your own insurance or supplement it to insure a rental car. Before you consider renting a vehicle, you will need to understand the types of coverage available, how it works, and if having your insurance is indeed necessary.
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Types of Supplemental Coverage by Car Rental Companies
You must be wondering what kind of insurance do you need to rent a car? Each rental company has their types of supplemental coverage, but most of them fall into the following four categories.
Basic Liability: This boosts the amount of liability present for the coverage available, sometimes up to $1 million. While liability is required in almost all states, the minimums are often not enough to cover the damage caused in most accidents.
Collision Damage Waiver: Sometimes called a Loss Damage Waiver, this covers you in case the vehicle is damaged or stolen if you obeyed the law.
Personal Effects Coverage: This applies to the theft of your personal items stored in the vehicle. It’s cheap, but if you already have homeowners or renters’ insurance, this policy is not necessary.
Personal Accident Insurance: This is medical coverage for ambulances, treatment, and hospital stays. If you have good health insurance, this is probably not necessary.
When you get multiple quotes and compare them, you will come to know how much it actually costs.
How Does Insurance Work On A Rental Car?
It works the same for rental vehicles as it does on your own. The principles are all the same if you are involved in an accident, if the car is stolen, damaged, or vandalized. What is not covered comes out of your pocket.
Here’s the answer:
The question of can I rent a car without personal insurance is answered with a “yes” if you have other types of auto insurance. A non-owner auto insurance provides you with good coverage at low rates and covers rental vehicles. So, while renting a car without insurance Enterprise, Hertz, Budget, Avis, and more will not allow you to do, you can have your non-owners’ policy or purchase additional insurance from the company if yours is inadequate.
Do You Have to Have Insurance to Rent A Car?
The answer is yes; you cannot rent a car with no insurance. In fact, many rental companies will not rent you a vehicle unless you have adequate insurance on your car or truck. You will need proof of insurance to rent a car. It also means that having the minimum amount of insurance as required by your state may not be enough if it lacks either comprehensive or collision.
This is important…
Your insurance will not be sufficient if your rental vehicle is stolen or damaged in an accident that you caused. In that case, you will need to purchase rental car insurance that provides adequate coverage for the vehicle. Quite often, it is sold as part of the rates you pay to rent the vehicle or truck.
Since driving a rental car without insurance is not only prohibited, it is against the law, you will need to consider insurance policies before going to the rental counter.
A Car Rental Checklist To Follow
When you are looking to rent a car, you should understand a variety of things in order to find the right one and to have the best experience possible. Below, we will be going over a car rental checklist that you will want to follow.
#1 Tip: Prior To Renting.
Figure Out What Type Of Vehicle You Need: One of the most important things that you will be doing when you are looking to rent a car is to figure out what type of vehicle you need. This will primarily be determined by the size and space needed for your trip. By figuring this out beforehand, you will know exactly what type of vehicle to look for when you are looking to rent a car.
#2 Tip: Coupons & Promo Codes Help
If you are looking to save money on your car rental, you will want to be sure to check for coupons and promo codes prior to renting one. There are a lot of different discounts and promo codes that you could find simply browsing the Internet that will offer you hundreds of dollars of potential savings. You can even use shopping comparison websites to ensure that you are getting the absolute best price for the car rental service.
#3 Tip: Saving Money.
Another great way to save money on your car rental would be to utilize credit card rewards points for your rental service. A lot of credit cards offer reward redemptions that you might be able to use to cut down on the total cost of the rental service. If you have enough points, you might even be able to rent a car without spending any money out of pocket with a sufficient point redemption.
Common Mistake To Avoid:
- Paying For Unnecessary Supplemental Insurance.
When you are renting a car, one of the most important things that you will want to understand prior to driving off of the lot would be the coverage that you have. A lot of rental agencies will provide extra insurance that you can purchase as an add-on expense.
However, for most, these extra services are not going to be required. A lot of people will be using a credit card for their rental car needs. Prior to renting a car, always check your credit card benefits and coverage details in order to ensure that you are not paying extra for a service already provided by your credit card provider.
In order to actually receive the benefits from your credit card provider, you must flat-out refuse coverage from the rental car agency. All of the major credit card providers offer rental insurance but the benefits and coverage will vary from card to card. That is why it is so important to figure out what type of coverage you get prior to renting a car.
- Not Refilling The Gas After Your Trip.
After your trip prior to turning your car back into the rental service, you should fill the gas tank up. You are required to turn the car in with a full gas tank as required in the terms of the rental agreement that you signed. If you bring in the rental car with anything less than a full tank of gas, they will charge you for a full tank which means you will be paying significantly more than it would have cost to simply fill it up yourself.
There is a lot that you are going to want to consider when you are looking to rent a car. Follow the car rental checklist above with the tips and mistakes to avoid and you should be able to rent a car without much issue and save money while you’re at it.