If you’ve ever had to rent or lease a car while away on vacation, on an out of town business convention or while your own car was in the garage for repairs, then you’ve faced the million dollar question? What question is that? The question of whether or not you really need to sign on the dotted line to accept the optional Car Rental Insurance at the car rental agency. You might think it a given but in reality it may not be necessary. In fact, most of the time all you’re doing by accepting the additional coverage is adding unnecessary fees on to the final bill for coverage you may already have. Yup, you read that right – more often than not, rental insurance coverage is completely redundant.
Why you May Not Need Additional Car Rental Insurance
To get the low down on whether or not to lay out the extra money that most car rental agencies tack on for the additional insurance coverage, you first need to find out exactly what type of coverage is already included with your own personal automobile insurance policy. In most cases, your own policy will provide more than enough coverage should something happen to the rental car while it is in your care, custody and control. Owning and registering a car in your own name means you must have an active auto insurance policy in effect to meet the legal requirements of whatever state you reside in. Your insurance policy is designed to offer you some level of financial protection in the event of an accident, theft, act of vandalism or some other mishap. It can vary from policy to policy dependent upon which insurance company you’re with but usually this same coverage will also extend to a vehicle rented in the policy holder’s name. What this means is if you have an active policy in force on your own auto, you’re also covered if you borrow a neighbor’s car or rent a car while on vacation.
Check to Make Sure your own Car Insurance Policy is Sufficient
On the flipside, be sure to read through your auto policy to make sure this non-owned auto clause is indeed a part of your policy. To take it a step further, make it a point to speak with your insurance company or local broker to confirm 100% that your coverage does in fact extend to a rented automobile. If for some strange reason, your policy excludes Car Rental Insurance, you could be left singing the blues and holding a bill for damages in the tens of thousands of dollars. A costly error such as this can be avoided very easily simply by taking the time to review your policy in detail and dialing the number of your insurance agent or broker. Not planning a vacation in the near future? It still is recommended to double check your policy to make sure you will be covered in the event something unexpected pops up. You never know when you may get rear-ended in rush hour traffic and find yourself needing to rent a car to get back and forth to work while yours is in the body shop.
What about a Non-Owner Auto Liability Policy?
In the event you do find that your regular car insurance policy doesn’t extend coverage for rental vehicles, you still may not have to resort to paying the exorbitant fees the rental agency is likely to charge. There are other options available to you to make your adequately covered in the event that you have an accident while driving a rental car. In fact, you can even obtain a significantly cheaper rate elsewhere than the rate the rental agency is likely to tack on to your bill. Even if you don’t own a car and subsequently don’t have a personal auto insurance policy, there are numerous insurance companies that can help you out. Did you know you can have an automobile insurance policy without even owning a car? Yes indeed, there are specific insurance policies for people in your shoes known as non-owner auto liability policies. These types of policies provide affordable and comprehensive protection to drivers who frequently rent autos for business or otherwise. The rates on these types of policies are usually significantly cheaper than the rates offer at the rental desk of your car rental agency of choice. Even if you don’t have your own car or your own policy, these supplemental insurance policies can both protect your financial interests in the event of an accident while saving you money at the rental agency. Keep your money in your pocket where it belongs instead of spending it on unecessary car rental insurance.
If you have your own policy that extends coverage to rental vehicles or you find yourself in need of a non-owner auto liability policy, make sure to know exactly where you stand. After all, who wants to spend money that they don’t need to? Read you policy and talk to your insurance agent or broker today.