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NEW YORK, Dec. 29, 2022—Travelers unable to secure a flight home and who choose to rent a car from an airport location should consider the decision’s insurance implications, according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I).
In a call to your insurance professional, you can get answers to the following questions about your current auto insurance and other policy coverages.
- How much coverage you have on your own car – In most cases, whatever auto insurance and deductibles you have on your own car would apply when you rent a car for personal use
- If you have collision and comprehensive – If you have neither of these optional coverages on your own car, you may not be covered if your rental car is either damaged or stolen
- Whether your homeowners or renters’ insurance covers the loss of possessions – These policies generally cover your belongings if they are damaged or stolen from a vehicle in your possession, not your auto insurance policy, under what’s known as off-premises coverage
The credit card you use to rent a car may also provide some insurance. Though coverage is likely to be limited—for example, it may only cover the deductible if you make a claim—it's worth knowing what protections it will provide.
- Contact the credit card issuer to find out what they cover – If you are depending on a credit card for insurance protection, ask the credit card issuer to email you their coverage information.
- Know that benefits differ – For example, a platinum credit card may offer more robust coverage than a green card. If you have more than one card, you may want to compare what insurance they offer for rental cars
- Credit card insurance benefits are usually secondary – That is, the benefits will kick in after your own insurance or the coverage offered by the rental car company are utilized.
Should you rent a car and choose to purchase insurance at the rental car counter, here are the main coverages often offered by rental car companies for an additional fee.
- Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) – While not an insurance product, a LDW is designed to relieve or “waive” renters of financial responsibility if their rental car is damaged or stolen. Waivers may also provide coverage for “loss of use,” in the event the rental car company charges the renter for the time a damaged car cannot be used because it is being repaired, as well as towing and administrative fees. The LDW may become void if the accident was caused by the renter’s speeding, driving on unpaved roads, or driving while intoxicated
- Liability insurance – This coverage provides protection should bodily injury and property damage claims be made against you by people injured in an accident
- Personal accident insurance – This covers the rental car driver and the vehicle’s passengers for medical and ambulance bills for injuries caused in a car crash
- Personal effects insurance – This provides protection for the theft of items from a rental car
Article: Rental Car Insurance
Video: 3 Things You Need to Know Before Renting a Car