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Car Insurance and Rental Cars, am I covered?

Does your car insurance policy cover a rental car?

Flying to a summer vacation destination then renting a car? You might find yourself wondering “will my personal car insurance policy cover a rental car?”

You are not alone. Many people find themselves confused or uncertain about car insurance coverage when renting a car.

If you wait until you are at the car rental counter to ask this question, the rental agent will gladly add optional insurance to your contract, with additional daily charges for insurance running as high as $40 per day, depending on the options you choose. This can add a whopping $280 to a weekly car rental!

Collision damage waiver (CDW) is optional rental car insurance coverage offered by rental car agencies when you rent a car. Purchasing CDW means the rental car company waives its rights to charge you if the rental car is returned to them in a damaged condition, or if the rental car is stolen.

Some renters choose to buy optional rental car insurance to avoid making a claim on their own car insurance policy. There are a few other points to consider:

  • A personal auto insurance policy with “liability only” coverage will not extend coverage for damage to the rental vehicle.
  • Additional coverage(s) may be needed to fully cover a rental vehicle.
  • Car rentals in foreign countries might not be covered.
  • Rental car company loss of revenue while a damaged rental car is out of service for repairs may not be covered under a standard personal auto insurance policy.
  • Some credit card companies offer benefits which may reimburse you for some types of damage or losses if you paid for the rental car using their card.

So am I covered, or not?

Most standard California car insurance policies extend coverage to rental cars when they have been rented by an Insured. This includes liability protection and comprehensive and collision coverage, subject to the coverages, provisions and exclusions of the insurance policy and applicable deductibles.

Most California car insurance policies do not cover personal items stolen from a rental vehicle. Losses might be covered under homeowner or renter’s insurance policy “off-premises” coverage, subject to policy provisions. Check with your insurance agent to determine if this coverage is available to you.

Don’t wait until you are standing at the rental counter to ask about car insurance coverage for a rental car!

Make an informed decision about rental car insurance. Contact your car insurance agent before renting a car and ask them to confirm whether or not your car insurance policy extends to a rental vehicle, what coverage(s) are available, and what types of exclusions may apply.

A knowledgeable independent insurance agent, such as Armor Insurance, can answer questions about car insurance and rental cars, and provide guidance on car insurance coverage to help you make sure you are fully protected when renting a car.

Choose an experienced car insurance agent who uses technology, such as Armor Insurance Agency, to find the best rates for the car insurance coverage you need.

Contact Armor Insurance to get a car insurance quote, discuss your insurance needs, or learn about car insurance options and discounts. Armor’s expert car insurance guidance can give you the peace of mind you’ve been missing!