At the best of times, most of us do not fully comprehend the ‘ins and outs’ of car insurance. When adding rental car insurance into the mix, it may seem like an added expense that you can avoid, or, should you be cautious and jump at the chance of making sure that you are fully covered in the event of a car accident?
Before leaving home on your next family vacation or business trip, it may be a wise decision to find out what your personal vehicle insurance and credit card cover. There are basically two types of insurance: Liability and Collision. Liability covers your personal injury and injury to others. Collision covers the actual vehicle damages.
Some credit cards cover you if you have an accident; however, not all of them provide the necessary coverage. As well, there may be insurance loop holes to look out for. It is easy to call your credit card company to request a copy of the insurance they provide for car rentals so that you can have it in hand when you go to rent your vehicle. When you receive your copy of the insurance and feel that you have a good grasp of the coverage and are secure with it, then use that credit card to cover your rental insurance.
A fee of between $10 and $15 per day is charged by most car rental companies. If you decline the optional insurance, many rental companies will then charge a substantial fee as a deposit to feel secure with the rental. The fee, which is charged to your credit card, can be as much as the value of the rental car itself. This can wreak havoc on your credit limit while traveling so make sure you have an additional card for use on the trip. Depending on your personal car insurance, you may be able to waive this fee when traveling, but again, check before you rent the car. In some cases, you will be okay, but often collision and comprehensive will cover only your rented vehicle.
If you make a trip to the rental car pick-up location, you may be able to get a much better deal than if you called the toll-free number. Many times the cost of rental and rental car insurance depends on other things such as the season, travel distance, and the travel destination, particularly if it is a densely populated urban area.
To keep the cost of rental expense low, check your own personal vehicle insurance and the insurance that your credit card offers when you use the card for a rental purchase. Sometimes the coverage the rental company offers is a secondary coverage and only kicks in after the coverage of your own personal policy reaches its limit. It is important to check to see if that is a condition of the rental insurance policy. There could possibly be a large number of exclusions and a high deductible, making the policy a poor investment.
If you do not have collision and comprehensive insurance and you are acquiring a rental car, you should purchase the Loss Damage Waivers (LDW) or Collision Damage Waivers (CDW,) whichever your rental company offers. It will protect you if the rental is vandalized or stolen.
When packing for your vacation or trip, pack a copy of your vehicle and credit card insurance. Take the insurance papers with you when you go to the rental car company so that there will be no issue concerning your coverage. You can then start your trip on the right foot by saving money and making sure that you and your family are protected.