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Should I Purchase Rental Car Insurance?

By June 9, 2017October 2nd, 2018Uncategorized

I will be traveling for business in Florida but have decided to bring my family along for a summer vacation. Should we purchase the rental car insurance?- Liz L.

Dear Liz,

Great question! With the summer upon us, vacations are in full swing. Because this is a work business trip combined with a family vacation, there are several things to take in to account when making your final decision:

  1. In most cases, if you have the right personal auto insurance, you may have the coverage you need without buying rental coverage. For example, if you damage the rental car in a collision, you must have “collision” coverage on at least one vehicle covered by your personal auto policy. But if the rental car is stolen, vandalized, or damaged in any way not resulting from a collision, you must have “comprehensive” coverage on at least one vehicle covered by your personal auto policy.
  2. If you do not have auto insurance, you should definitely consider purchasing the rental coverage.
  3. If you have personal auto insurance but do not have Comprehensive/Collision coverage, you may want to pay for the rental insurance. If something happens to the rental car, purchasing the damage waiver gives the rental agency management of the process. This will allow you to avoid filing a claim and possibly help keep the cost of your insurance from going up. It also will keep your deductible in your pocket.
  4. As a perk of membership, many credit card companies offer coverage if you use their card to pay for the car rental. Generally speaking, they do not cover things such as personal injury or personal liability, although you may have that coverage through your auto insurance and health insurance. But they do typically cover collision damage and theft protection. For most cards, the coverage is secondary, meaning that if you have car insurance, you have to file a claim there first (and your premium may go up). But your credit card should step in and pick up where your auto insurer leaves off, paying the tab for your deductible, towing charges and other fees.
  5. Your employer may provide the coverage for you if you are traveling for business.

It is also critical to be aware of what the Damage Waiver actually covers. Perhaps the most important fact to remember is that the damage waiver only applies to damage to the rented vehicle. It is not a substitute for liability, medical payments, uninsured motorist, personal injury protection, and any other personal auto insurance coverage.

I hope this helps, Liz! Enjoy your family vacation.


Your McCartin Insurance Expert