Most auto policies provide coverage for personal-use rental vehicles, but it's best to check with your insurer ahead of time. Verify coverages, limits, and deductibles. Ask about restrictions that may apply to rental cars.
The credit card company securing the rental car may provide secondary insurance. Contact the credit card company for coverage details.
There are also reasons to consider buying insurance from the rental car company even if coverage is provided elsewhere.
- The rental company's Loss Damage Waiver (also called Collision Damage Waiver) releases you from responsibility for rental car damages. It may also pay the rental company's administrative fees and lost income charges while the vehicle is being repaired after an accident. Buy the Loss Damage Waiver if you have a liability-only auto policy. The LDW is still worth considering even if your personal auto policy has physical damage insurance. Full coverage personal auto policies cover physical damage to the rental car (subject to a deductible), but may not pay the rental company's extra fees.
- Definitely buy liability insurance at the rental car counter if you do not own a personal vehicle. Liability insurance is required by law. It pays if you cause a crash and are legally responsible for the other person's damages.
- Personal accident insurance may be available from the rental car company. It covers crash-related medical bills for the driver and passengers in your car. You may not need this if you have health insurance or a primary auto policy with medical payments coverage.
- The rental car company may also offer personal effects coverage. This pays for theft of personal belongings from the rental car. You may not need this if you have homeowners or renters insurance.