Navigating The World of Rental Car Insurance Coverage

Navigating The World of Rental Car Insurance Coverage

Traveling should be a time to relax and explore. However, it can be increasingly difficult to navigate travel insurance if you’re not prepared. For this blog, we’ll take a look at the world of rental car insurance.

Perhaps the first and most important step is to understand your own personal auto insurance. Most plans include coverage of your rental car, but if you’re not sure, ask your insurer or agent.

Other points to be aware of: First, your insurance only covers personal (non-business) use of cars. If you’re traveling for business, you’ll want to check with your employer. Second, even if you are covered by your personal insurance, you’re still responsible for paying the deductible on your plan for any accident damage. Third, if you reserve and pay with a credit card, check the card’s benefits. Most of the major credit card companies include collision insurance when you use the card.

So what does buying the car insurance offered by rental companies offer? Here’s a list of what’s typically offered:

  • Rental car liability insurance: Covers damage to other vehicles, property and people as a result of accidents you cause. It’s important to note this coverage doesn’t cover you, your passengers, or the vehicle itself.
  • Personal accident insurance: Covers medical costs for injuries to anyone in your vehicle.
  • Collision damage waiver: Covers repairs if you cause damage to your car.
  • Personal effects coverage: Items, such as luggage and clothing, that is stolen from the vehicle, are covered. However, some expensive items (electronics, jewelry) may be subject to either limits or exclusions.

Again, you’ll want to review what your personal car insurance covers. So, should you buy the extra rental car insurance? Here’s a few reasons to consider buying the extra insurance at the counter:

  • If you don’t have car insurance of your own.
  • You want to avoid paying the deductible from the car insurance you do have.
  • Potential costs, like towing fees, or “loss of use” costs while a rental car is being prepared, are not typically covered by your own personal insurance.
  • Traveling outside of your coverage area. The majority of policies do not cover car rentals outside of the US.
  • Traveling for business. If your employer doesn’t provide additional coverage, they may have you buy insurance at the counter.

We encourage you to talk with your Ansay & Associates advisor while you plan your trip to discuss insurance needs. Learn more by visiting us at

Kashif Motlani

Director of Personal Lines Sales

Port Washington - Corporate Headquarters