You’re on the brink of an exciting vacation. As you wrap up your car rental transaction, you eagerly await the keys to your new, albeit temporary, ride. Then, you may be asked a potentially puzzling question: Would you like to purchase rental car insurance?
If you’ve ever hesitated to respond, you’re not alone. It may be a good idea to learn exactly what this offer means – and what your regular auto insurance already covers.1
1. It’s not business – it’s personal.
If you’re already legally insured to drive the vehicle you own, your auto insurance policy should extend to a rental car for personal use within the United States, U.S. territories and Canada. Specifically, your personal liability coverage would make any rental car insurance’s supplementary liability insurance (SLI) policy – which can cost about $10 per day2 – a redundant purchase.
2. Don’t be at a loss – consider a loss and collision damage waiver if you don’t have physical damage coverage.
While the basic auto insurance policy includes liability coverage, collision and comprehensive coverage isn’t always mandatory or included on your personal auto policy. In this case, a rental company’s loss damage waiver (LDW) or collision damage waiver (CDW) might be a worthwhile investment to cover damages to the rental in the event of an accident.
3. Coming to your aid with personal accident insurance.
If you have personal injury protection (PIP) on your auto policy, you can confidently decline the rental company’s personal accident insurance (PAI).
4. Security for your belongings with personal effects coverage.
The fourth common rental car insurance offering is personal effects coverage (PEC). Unlike the other three, you don’t even need to turn to your regular auto insurance for peace of mind. In most cases, your homeowners or renters insurance can pay (after your deductible) for most possessions stolen from or damaged in your rented vehicle if such an unfortunate circumstance occurs.