October 27, 2011

How Auto Insurance Works For Rental Vehicles

With automobile insurance, both vehicles and their drivers are protected at least partially from the costs associated with a collision, including medical costs. But some consumers choose to rent their cars, and may not be protected from the cost of vehicle damage for these vehicles, or the medical costs associated with a rental car collision. As rental cars cost just as much to repair as driver-owned vehicles, and can lead to just as many injuries, consumers can protect their finances substantially with rental car insurance. Some auto insurance plans cover the cost of rental car damage, and a frequent renter should verify whether a plan does before committing to any auto insurance quote. Otherwise, one's credit card may offer this form of coverage, or one can purchase it from their rental car provider.

If one already has an auto insurance policy, they should call up their insurance agent to determine whether or not their plan includes insurance for rental cars. Some auto insurance providers offer rental car insurance for pleasure-based rentals, such as vacations and family visits, while denying coverage for business trips. For those who are in the process of shopping for auto insurance, they may want to choose an auto insurance quote that includes rental car insurance, especially if they are a frequent traveler.

As an enticement for cardholders, many credit card companies offer consumers automatic auto insurance for any vehicle rented with one of the company's credit cards. This type of auto insurance is usually limited to damage done to a rental vehicle, and includes no personal injury, theft of personal belongings, or liability protection. For credit card users, it is a wise practice to verify whether this automatic auto insurance is available, and how much it covers, before renting a vehicle.

Car rental agencies also offer their customers a number of auto insurance options to choose from. A collision damage waiver, for example, is an insurance charge that covers the cost of any rental car damage, but nothing else. To protect oneself against the medical costs that can arise from an accident, a consumer can purchase personal accident coverage, which generally runs about three dollars per day. To protect the personal belongings that an individual carries in their rental vehicle from theft or damage, personal effects coverage can be purchased. Additional rental car insurance options offered by these agencies include loss damage waiver, supplemental liability insurance and personal accident insurance.

When renting a car, it is a good idea to ensure that one has some form of car insurance covering their vehicle. If not offered by one's current insurance plan or credit card provider, this insurance should be purchased from the rental agency.