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Does Your Current Insurance Cover Rental Car Accidents?

The last thing you want is to be involved in a car accident with a rental car. If you are, however, the choice you have made in accepting or rejecting the insurance offered by the rental car company becomes critical.

Many people who rent cars decline the additional insurance offered believing their personal policies will cover them in the event of a car crash. The reality is that the comprehensive and collision coverage on a personal policy may not be enough in the event of a major accident involving serious damage, loss or disabling injuries. Car renters should not assume that their health insurance will cover all medical bills, or that their homeowner’s policies will cover the theft of personal items from the vehicle.

Consider the following when deciding whether to obtain the rental car company insurance policy offered:

  • Understand your own auto, homeowner or renters insurances and the limits to your protection in the event of damage to a rental car. For example, if your own car is older, you may no longer carry collision coverage.
  • Ask about “loss of use,” which is what the rental car company could charge for the money lost since the car could not be rented if you have not purchased their insurance.
  • Check with your credit card issuer and ask if it provides extra insurance – but be careful to read the fine print such as how long you have to report an accident.

It is important to consider more than just the cost of the rental car insurance. Purchasing rental car insurance may be the best decision to ensure comprehensive financial protection in the event of a car accident.

Source: US News, “Should You Purchase Rental Car insurance?” Daniel Bortz, June 4, 2012.

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