September 2, 2010

How To Apply Existing Auto Insurance Coverage For Car Rentals

If you are planning on renting a car and are not sure if your car insurance policy covers car rentals, you should check with the insurance agent or your insurance company. In case of an accident while driving a rental car, the auto insurance coverage for rental cars will take care of all the expenses.

For you to be covered by rental car insurance, your existing auto insurance coverage must include collision, comprehensive and liability coverage. If you are not sure if the coverage applies only to the car that you are currently driving or to any car that you might drive, you should confirm your coverage with your insurance company. For example, let’s say that you have comprehensive and collision coverage, but the coverage is specific to the car that you are currently using. Now, if your rental car is involved in an accident, all the expenses for damages and injuries will be your responsibility. On the other hand, if you have collision coverage on your rental car and you happen to damage the rental car, the collision coverage will cover you. However, you may have to pay extra deductible for the extra coverage.

The comprehensive coverage will take care of fire, theft, animal collisions or vandalism. Again, because the comprehensive coverage is an extra coverage, you will need to pay the deductible for that as well.

In the event of an accident, any damages or injuries that you cause to someone else and all medical expenses that may arise will be taken care of by your liability insurance. You will be covered by the liability coverage up to the limit of your policy. However, you must remember that if you have only liability insurance, it only covers the driver and not the car itself. Just like the collision and comprehensive coverage, the liability insurance will also be an excess coverage.

Some insurance companies also offer a special coverage or endorsement policy that covers non-owned cars. However, this policy comes with a catch. If you damage your rental car, the premium on your regular car insurance will increase.

It does not matter whether you have your own auto insurance coverage that covers car rentals or you buy coverage from the rental agency. You just need to make sure that you have sufficient coverage to take care of costly repairs if you happen to be in an accident in a rental car. If you are not sure if your insurance policy covers rental cars, you can speak to your insurance agent to find out. Whether you are planning a business trip or a long drive with your family, make it a safe one by applying for rental car coverage.