Important Things to Know About Rental Car Insurance Policies
The first question that people normally ask is if it is absolutely necessary to have insurance when you are renting a car. The simple answer is YES. Most states will require that you take up at least a 3rd party car insurance before you are allowed to rent a car.
What you can do is vary the level of insurance to the point that the costs will be negligible. The very first thing that you should do is to contact your own car insurance company. Often times your policy will also cover the use of a rental car providing that you are the driver and you are using the vehicle for pleasure and not business. If that doesn’t work out you can then call your credit card company. Many credit card companies have rental car insurance bonuses which you can use free of charge. Again, the coverage varies so you need to check the details.
If none of these two options are available to you then you are forced to buy rental car insurance. There are generally 4 types of insurance products which you can consider:
1) Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)
This coverage basically relieves you of any financial liability if your rental car is damaged or stolen. It can however be voided if you are found to be negligent (e.g. intoxicated, speeding etc.)
2) Liability Insurance
This type of cover is generally more comprehensive as it covers your car, you and any 3rd party that might be involved in a claim. The level of cover can be adjusted to a low level but if done so will often be inadequate to cover most of the costs if an accident does occur.
3) Personal Accident Insurance
This insurance type basically covers you and the passengers of your rental vehicle. It should be noted that these types of insurance might not be needed if you already have an existing health insurance cover.
4) Personal Effects Coverage Insurance
This coverage extends to all the personal effects you have in the rental car. This is particularly good if you want to cover from theft or vehicle break-ins. Most of the time this type of cover isn’t necessary if you already have homeowners or renters insurance.
When looking for rental car insurance, generally you will be given a combination of these covers and it is up to you to decide which ones you can do with or without.