Car rental companies offer such a wide variety of insurance policies it can be difficult to decide what coverage is really necessary from what is not. Some of the rental company’s insurance policy may be necessary while other coverage may be extended through your own auto insurance premium. It’s important to know what rental car charges you are responsible for before accepting your car.
Coverage Against Acts of Nature
According to Hertz, a leading provider of rental cars, most major rental companies are not paying for costs associated with acts of nature. It’s important for drivers to know that most major car rental companies no longer provide coverage for cars damaged by acts of nature like hail storms, earthquakes and floods.
Read Your Agreement Terms Carefully
It’s very important to thoroughly read your rental agreement before taking the keys to your rental car or you could end up paying dearly. However, acts of nature may be covered under your auto insurance policy’s comprehensive coverage. It’s important for anyone planning to rent a car to check with your own auto insurance policy to find out what it covers when you rent a car. You should also make sure that you have any protection that you are questioning written clearly into your car rental agreement.
Consider who else will be driving the car, and know who your policy covers. Will it extend to family, business associates or friends? You’ll probably want to tell you eager teen driver that the rental vehicle is off limits.
Making Sense of the Agreement
Car rental agreements can be very long and complicated documents. They do not contain very many layman terms. Still you should take the time to read through the contract thoroughly before signing. Ask the representative to explain any concepts, phrasing or terminology that you don’t understand.
Collision Damage Waiver
Car rental companies offer all types of coverage options to you before you receive your vehicle. These charges can really begin to add up, increasing your rental cost. But a lot of the coverage they sell is the same coverage you are already paying for under your auto insurance policy. This coverage automatically extends to your rental car.
One exception to this is a daily charge that covers the cost of damages to the rental car if you are involved in an accident. It also covers the “loss of use” charge the rental company will end up charging you. “Loss of use” refers to the time and money the rental car company has lost since they can no longer rent the vehicle. If you refuse this coverage, you should be aware that most car rental companies expect to be paid immediately. Deciding not to purchase the Collision Damage Waiver means you’ll be expected to pay for the rental on your own. If you rent a car in another country your insurance coverage will not likely extend to your rental.
Keep Asking Questions About Rental Car Insurance Policies
If you have a loss in your rental car that isn’t covered under your auto insurance policy, try checking your other insurance policies. For example, personal property that gets stolen from your rental car just may be covered by your rental or homeowners policy. Don’t assume that because no one has mentioned it that it doesn’t exist. The bottom line is that you are responsible for knowing what coverage you do and don’t have.