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10 Things to Know About Car Rental Insurance

You have just arrived at the airport and are now in line at the car rental agency. You want to hurry up and get on with your vacation. Before you can do that, however, you need to figure out what type of car rental insurance you want to sign up for. This can be very confusing. However, if you know the following ten things that it can be a lot easier to figure out what car insurance to get.

  1. Your personal car insurance usually covers rental cars. If this is the case then you do not need to purchase other car rental insurance because you are already covered. Check your policy before you make a decision about getting rental car insurance.
  2. Your credit card may or may not come with automatic car insurance. If it does, it is usually loss damage waiver insurance and you typically have to decline other coverage for it to kick in. The credit card may not insure certain types of vehicles such as luxury SUVs. Read the details about this carefully before you go on a trip so that you can decide whether or not you want to take advantage of this option.
  3. International car rental may not be covered by existing coverage. In other words, if you typically rely on the protections from your own auto insurance policy and / or your credit card you want to make sure that this coverage applies to international travel.
  4. Existing coverage may not cover certain types of trips. Long term car rental and car rental for business travel sometimes also aren’t covered by personal car insurance and / or credit cards. Again, check carefully.
  5. The two most common options are loss damage and liability. If you do decide to purchase car rental insurance from the rental car company then you will likely choose between two core types of options: loss damage (also known as collision) coverage and liability. Loss damage protects damage done to the rental car vehicle because of various accidents and emergencies. Liability covers the damage done to people in the car (or the other car) in the event of an accident.
  6. You can save a lot of money by not getting insurance but it’s risky. USA Today reports that there are people who always decline to get car rental insurance and save themselves thousands of dollars over their years of travel as a result. However, as with many other types of insurance, you’re taking the risk of incurring huge costs if you do get into an accident and don’t have the rental car insurance.
  7. The cost you pay without insurance may include lost revenue. If you opt not to get car rental insurance and the car is in an accident then you won’t just pay for the cost of the repairs. You may also be obligated to pay for the revenue that the car rental company loses when the car is in the repair shop.
  8. You can add personal effects coverage. You pay only a small fee for this and it protects the items that you have in the car in case they get stolen. If you’re traveling with a laptop or other expensive items then this protection can be well worth the cost. Make sure that you don’t already have this coverage under your personal property or home insurance policy in order to avoid wasting money.
  9. Fees vary dramatically from one car rental agency to another. Consider this when shopping around for the best rental car rates. A company may appear to have a great rate but if the insurance is twice as expensive as other places then the total cost may be more than it seems at first glance.
  10. It’s worth it to decide in advance what type of car rental insurance you want. Typically you don’t make this decision until you’re at the rental car counter but then it’s easy to get sucked into sales pitches. Decide in advance to save money.

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October 11, 2010 um 5:54 am
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