INSURANCE INFORMATION INSTITUTE
New York Press Office: (212) 346-5500; firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington Press Office: (202) 833-1580
NEW YORK, November 24, 2009 — This Thanksgiving, over 33 million auto travelers are expected to hit the roads—an increase of 2.1 percent over last year, according to AAA projections. However, many of those who decide to rent a car may not consider the need for rental car insurance until they get to the counter, resulting in costly mistakes, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).
To help consumers understand rental car insurance, the I.I.I. has created a podcast that outlines the coverages offered in most policies. Knowing more about these coverages can consumers make smart choices and save money when they rent a car.
The podcast is available on iTunes and the I.I.I. Web site at Podcast: Rental Car Insurance. It can be downloaded onto a PDA or laptop so it can be referred to as often as necessary, including right at the rental car counter.
“Whether or not to buy rental car insurance or any other insurance product should not be a snap decision,” said Jeanne M. Salvatore, senior vice president and consumer spokesperson for the I.I.I. “Faced with a number of choices, some renters either purchase all of the coverage or they decline the insurance without knowing if they are covered by other policies. This can result in either wasting money by purchasing unnecessary coverage or having gaps in coverage, making the driver dangerously uninsured.”
Many car rental companies now impose various fees after an accident that you may not be aware of and will be held responsible for. These fees can include: towing, storage, impound fees, loss of use, diminished value and administrative services.
“Administrative and diminished value fees vary widely, costing anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars if you are involved in an auto accident,” noted Salvatore.
Before renting a car, the I.I.I. suggests that you make two phone calls—one to your insurance agent or company representative and another to the credit card company you will be using to pay for the rental car.
Rental car insurance offers four important coverages:
The I.I.I. is a nonprofit, communications organization supported by the insurance industry.