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Does A Person Need Auto Insurance To Rent A Car?

Does A Person Need Auto Insurance To Rent A Car?

Auto insurance is required whenever a person operates a motorized vehicle regardless of whether or not they own it, borrow it or are renting it. Fortunately there are multiple ways to obtain auto insurance either through existing coverage or what is offered through alternate means. Many rental companies offer limited temporary auto insurance coverage and credit cards have similar benefits for cardholders since most rentals are paid for in this manner. In deciding which auto insurance coverage to choose when renting a car you first understand what is offered by each alternative.

Personal Auto Insurance

When you're planning a trip and know that a rental car will be necessary for your stay the first thing you should do is call your current auto insurance company. Depending on the company and the type of auto insurance you currently have your coverage may include a rental vehicle. Keep in mind that the coverage you are paying for is what would transfer over to the rental vehicle. Many individuals only pay for the state required minimum liability insurance coverage for their personal vehicle. This is especially true if the vehicle is 15 years or older and the blue book is a few thousand dollars in value. This type of coverage may not be acceptable for a rental vehicle which is likely to be a few years old and cost $12,000 to $15,000 minimum. Full coverage will normally be required including comprehensive and collision and it would be foolhardy to rent a car without the appropriate level of auto insurance.

Credit Card Coverage

Many credit cards, as a value-added feature, offer various protections for consumer purchases including extended warranties and fraud protection. Since credit cards are often used for rental car transactions, many large national banks and credit unions will offer limited auto insurance coverage. Be sure to call the credit card company and verify what coverage is offered, if any, as it pertains to auto insurance for rental cars. Go online and print out any documentation available as credit card auto insurance coverage may be limited in scope and only to vehicle damage. Credit card auto insurance may not cover bodily injury or death, property damage or damage to other vehicles. It is also important to remember that this coverage is subject to change or can be discontinued at any time so verify the type of auto insurance provided immediately before any anticipated car rental.

Rental Company Insurance

If your personal auto insurance does not cover rental vehicles or does not provide adequate coverage and your credit card is in a similar situation then you may need to resort to the rental companies auto insurance offering. Rental car agencies will offer at least the minimum coverage required for the state you're renting in which will include liability coverage. Rental car companies will normally have a range of auto insurance coverage available including comprehensive and collision. Rental agency auto insurance normally ranges from $5 to $25 per day depending on the rental company, the type of vehicle and the selection of auto insurance.

Additional coverages which may be necessary include Personal Accident insurance if you do not currently have health insurance. This will cover ambulance costs and medical bills in the event you are injured in an auto accident. You may also be able to purchase Personal Affect insurance to cover the theft of property from the vehicle if it is broken into. You may also want to inquire about a Collision Damage waiver or Loss Damage waiver which will absolve you of the responsibility if the rental car is stolen or damaged while in your possession. Waivers however are not the same as insurance and will not protect you from damage resulting in use for anything other than what is considered normal and reasonable when renting a vehicle.

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