August 27, 2011

What To Know About Auto Insurance And Rental Cars

Most drivers will need to use rental cars at least a few times in their lives, usually after a serious accident or other event that makes a driver's primary vehicle inoperable. When driving rental cars, it is important to know how auto insurance coverage can work to protect the vehicles and even to pay for rental vehicles' costs.

The first thing that all drivers should know about car rentals is that their car insurance companies could pay for rentals-but only if the right coverage is selected. Most auto insurance companies do not automatically cover the cost of a rental car during a car insurance claim. Costs can be covered by a special add-on, which is usually known as rental car reimbursement coverage. Rental car reimbursement coverage can be worthwhile, as rental car costs can quickly stack up after an accident. Inexpensive rental cars can cost as much as $30 per day, and if a driver has to wait several weeks for car repairs or before receiving a total loss car insurance payment, he or she could potentially pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Rental car reimbursement is an expensive coverage that rarely costs more than $5-10 per month, so it is something to consider. Some car insurance policies have rental car reimbursement built into their comprehensive coverage, but it is always a good idea to check on this when purchasing a new car insurance policy.

It is also important to know that a driver's auto insurance policy will automatically act as a rental car insurance policy. It can still be worthwhile to buy the low-cost insurance that rental car agencies offer with each rental, as these insurance programs usually provide total protection from dings, dents and all other types of damage. However, optional rental car insurance is not covered by most car insurance companies' rental car coverage–drivers must pay for this extra coverage on their own. Depending on the extent of a driver's coverage and his or her deductibles, extra rental car insurance could be well worth the cost, especially if the added coverage is only a few extra dollars. Rental car companies' insurance policies do not work through a driver's standard insurance coverage; it is a separate type of coverage that operates very differently from a traditional car insurance agreement.

All drivers should understand how auto insurance can provide protection while driving a rental car and how to get the right coverage for assistance in paying rental car bills. By understanding how car insurance companies work with rental car providers, it is easy to avoid nasty surprises and to get the most out of a car insurance policy.