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Rental Car Insurance: Do you need it?

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by Kcitsme, Jul 23, 2017.

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  1. Kcitsme

    Kcitsme Low-Roller

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    I came across this article from State Farm. It was written for State Farm policy holders but it is good information for others as well. I found it helpful and maybe you will too.

    https://www.statefarm.com/simple-insights/auto-and-vehicles/rental-car-insurance-do-you-need-it?cmpid=enews-jul17

    It's a standard question at a rental car company counter: "Do you need rental car insurance?" The answer can be muddy, which is why preparation is key. Here's how to sort out the specifics.

    Step 1: Talk to your State Farm agent

    Most vehicle insurance policies already include some sort of rental car insurance coverage—so if you purchase a rental car policy, you're paying extra when you may not have to. Ask your agent these key questions:

    • Do liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage and any deductibles extend to rental car agreements? Coverage may not apply if a rental car is stolen or damaged; in that case, you may need supplemental insurance from the rental car company.
    • Are administrative or towing fees for rental cars covered?
    • Does homeowners or renters insurance extend to personal items in a rented car? This is sometimes referred to as off-premises coverage.
    • Does your auto policy offer loss of income coverage? The rental car company may charge you for what they could have earned had a damaged car not needed repair.
    Step 2: Call your credit card company

    If you pay for a rental car with a major credit card, there's a good chance that the card issuer offers secondary car rental insurance at no charge. This typically helps only with additional expenses and the deductible beyond your existing auto policy.

    Step 3: Review your rental coverage options

    Never sign anything or agree to coverage without reading the policy thoroughly, and know that insurance requirements and rules vary from state to state.

    • Unless you have full auto insurance coverage, including liability, comprehensive, and collision, you may need to get some kind of insurance coverage from the rental organization. In place of collision or comprehensive, you may be able to obtain a rental car company loss damage waiver, or LDW, which can help cover damage-repair costs, administrative fees, and towing. However, a rental car company generally limits how and when the LDW can be used — for example, if you were speeding, coverage may be negated.
    • If you don't have health or medical coverage on an existing policy, you may be able to purchase personal accident coverage.
    • If you're renting from a nontraditional car sharing company, review the agreement. While insurance is often included in the fee, there may be restrictions or extra costs, particularly if the car is stolen.
    For work or play?

    Coverage extensions from your existing policy or your credit card may not apply if you’re renting a car for business. In that case, review the coverage options through your employer.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  2. fischer

    fischer Low-Roller

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    This is the age old question. The rental agent has a way to scare the SH*T out of you. Or, simply refuse to rent you the car if you won't take the insurance (this just happened to us in Orlando at an off site car rental company). I always refuse (if I can) but Use an Amex to Rent and my insurance agent said in New York your car insurance rolls over to the rental car that you drive. They claim you will be sued for the amount of lost revenue while the rental car is being repaired if you have an accident. What could that fee run?
     
  3. Golfer

    Golfer Low-Roller

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    Dimunition of value, and lost income are the two thing to look out for. Not covered by insurance that I know of. Insuremyrentalcar.com is the route I took. I buy an annual policy for about a hundy.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. fischer

    fischer Low-Roller

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    Wow, cool thanks for the tip.
     
  5. fischer

    fischer Low-Roller

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    I wonder how legit they are when you try to file a claim?
     
  6. abraxis

    abraxis Low-Roller

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    There are many good midrange and premium credit cards that offer primary rental insurance. I personally use only these types of cards to rent and always decline whatever nonsense the rental agency wants to sell me.
     
  7. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    After all that.

    1) Your basic insurance coverage, if decent probably covers stuff.
    2) Your credit card might even cover more.
    3) You can buy insurance to CYA and allow the rental agency to make lots of money

    Since I have never purchased insurance, I have probably save a many thousands of dollars over years. So, even if somehow my decent insurance and credit card did not cover a damn thing, I might still be fine.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. fischer

    fischer Low-Roller

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    Golfer has a point, credit cards don't usually cover loss of income which means if you wack the car up and it is in the shop they charge you for their loss of income.
     
  9. Golfer

    Golfer Low-Roller

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    IIRC it's Chubb, so probably legit. I buy it for the two reasons stated above.
     
  10. abraxis

    abraxis Low-Roller

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  11. bjpcyclone

    bjpcyclone High-Roller

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    If I'm driving for work (i.e. getting reimbursed), I always take the Expedia (or third party booking agent I used) or the insurance offered at the rental car place. I know they make money on it but 1) I'm getting reimbursed so the extra $10-12 per day isn't a big deal and 2) if I did have a claim, it doesn't go on my insurance and I don't have to pay the deductible out of pocket.

    If I'm driving for vacation, I'll rely on my personal insurance and decline extra coverage.
     
  12. fischer

    fischer Low-Roller

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  13. C0usineddie

    C0usineddie VIP Whale

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    I have an old car so I only have liability on it. I always take the rental car insurance., my cc does not cover it. Just piece of mind.
     
  14. abraxis

    abraxis Low-Roller

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    It does if you click the tabs to expand

    "What's Covered
    Physical damage and/or theft of covered rental vehicle
    Reasonable and customary towing charges related to a covered loss to take the vehicle to the nearest qualified repair facility
    Valid loss-of-use charges incurred by the rental car agency"
     
  15. bnlphan

    bnlphan Degenerate In Training

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    If I'm taking a short trip. I will pay for full coverage from the rental place. If longer I go third party. They are much cheaper options. Just a personal preference to leave my personal insurance out of it while still making sure I'm covered if I hit a deer or something. We travel to West Virginia often and they are everywhere at nightfall certainly wouldn't make that trip without being covered.
     
  16. FullPay

    FullPay When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro

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    Depends on how good your car insurance is. Some credit cards offer additional insurance, but my brother got buried by the 'loss of use' clause. About eight years ago his rental got sideswiped while it was parked. He was charged a daily loss of use fee while 'cheapo' car rental used 'Premier Auto Repair' to bring the car back into service. Cost him about five grand. My advice, if you have to rent a car, is buy their highest level of insurance and drive the vehicle through their plate glass when you return it.
     
  17. BlacklabberMike

    BlacklabberMike VIP Whale

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    I was thinking more like that scene in Days Of Thunder

     
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