Your car policy or credit card may protect you when renting a car. Find out if rental insurance is a must-have or a nice-to-have before getting behind the steering wheel. You ‘re at the car rental desk about to get a cable car for travel, or possibly you need one because your cable car ‘s being repaired. The agent asks that “ do you want policy ? ” doubt. If you ‘re like a bunch of people, the question hits you like a brick of anxiety. If you do n’t get it and something happens, you could be in big fuss. But if you pay all that extra money and nothing happens, you may feel like you ‘ve been duped .
And like many, you credibly wo n’t spend the time reading the policy document to try and understand everything that is and is n’t covered. You just want your car. so, what is actually covered, and do you already have coverage ? unfortunately, you may not find out until something does go faulty .
Some folks believe it ‘s better to be safe than deplorable, and that ‘s all right. But if you ‘ve already got car policy on your everyday vehicle, you might wonder whether you need the extra coverage — or if you ‘d just pay extra for coverage you may already have through your regular car policy.

rather of waiting until you ‘re at the lease means desk ( or on the side of the road waiting for a tow hand truck ), it ‘s smart to figure out the details of your existing coverage and options before you decide on rental car indemnity. here are a few things to consider .

Options for rental car coverage

When you rent a car, the rental means may offer a few different types of coverage for you to choose from. Some of these options can include :

  • Loss or collision damage waiver (LDW/CDW): A collision or loss wrong waiver protects you from paying for your rental cable car if it ‘s damaged or stolen. Did you know rental companies can charge customers for a car that ca n’t be used because it ‘s in the shop class ? It ‘s called a “ loss of function ” fee .
    It ‘s important to note that an LDW/CDW may become void if the customer is speeding or intoxicated, or if driving on unpaved roads caused the wrong or accident. Hopefully you ‘re not driving while intoxicated, but speeding can happen plainly because you missed that one bantam sign noting the dribble in speed limit .
  • Liability insurance: Liability coverage can help protect you financially by helping with the costs if you injure someone or cause property damage while driving a rental car. You’re probably aware that liability insurance is the minimum coverage required in most states, so you know it’s important.
  • Personal accident insurance: Rental car companies often offer insurance for medical expenses related to an auto accident. For many drivers, these needs are already covered by their health insurance or a personal injury protection (PIP) policy.
  • Personal effects coverage: If your stuff is stolen from a lease car, personal effects coverage can help pay to replace them. Some things that may be covered include jewelry, musical instruments, smartwatches, guns and cameras. Be sure to review any coverage limits that the policy has .
    note : if you have valuable property that ‘s worth more than your underlie coverage limits on your car or homeowners or renters indemnity, it may be smart to get valuable Personal Property Insurance .

These are all valuable protections, and many drivers feel the peace of judgment is worth the expense. The veridical doubt is, are you already paying for those protections through your existing policy coverage ?

Does my car insurance cover a rental car?

Whether you ‘re covered — and for what and how much — depends on what types of personal car insurance you carry and where you ‘re renting the car .
Before you rent, call your car indemnity supplier so you know what terms apply to a rental fomite. This can help you get the protection you want without paying for twin coverage.

generally speaking, coverage from your primary car indemnity will besides extend to a lease vehicle. For model :

  • If you cause an accident while driving a rental car, your liability insurance would pay up to your policy limits for the damages to other cars or property. Depending on how much liability insurance you carry, you may choose to skip the extra liability coverage from the rental car agency. But you may want to purchase a smaller amount of coverage to supplement what you already have.
  • Likewise, collision coverage on your regular policy would pay for accident-related damages to the rental car. With collision coverage, you may not need to purchase a CDW.
  • Finally, your comprehensive coverage would take care of damages to the rental vehicle not related to a traffic accident, such as theft or vandalism. If you have sufficient comprehensive coverage, you may not need an LDW.
  • If you have a homeowners or renters policy, you may also have coverage for your personal belongings if they’re stolen from a rental vehicle. That means you wouldn’t have to pay for personal effects coverage.

That said, having collision and comprehensive coverage on your even vehicle may not protect you from every bang the rental company could impose. It ‘s up to you to read the fine print of your rental agreement and understand the risks before you drive the car off the lot. It can feel like a harass, but it ‘s better to know what you ‘re getting upfront .
Keep in take care that some car policies wo n’t cover a rental car if you ‘re traveling on business. In that case, you or your employer may need commercial coverage .

Should I get rental car insurance if my credit card offers coverage?

Another coverage choice you may not be mindful of is from your recognition menu. Believe it or not, many credit cards come with rental car insurance as a benefit, which can supplement — or even serve in position of — your regular car indemnity policy .
For case, when you use a USAA credit menu to reserve and pay for a lease car, you can get built-in car rental coverage for physical damage or larceny. flush towing and loss-of-use charges are covered. And that coverage is good for up to 31 days, around the world .

Primary vs. secondary coverage

Some credit cards offer primary coil coverage, which means you do n’t have to make a claim on your even car policy. Since making a call can lead to increased premiums, it may help save you money in the farseeing run if you do get in an accident .
other cards offer secondary coverage. In that event, you ‘d still have to make a claim with your car insurance company, and the coverage from your credit tease could help pay your deductible or other likely claim costs .
coverage will vary from card to card. Check with your provider to learn more about what benefits are available to you .

Get exclusive discounts and better protection with USAA

Speaking of benefits, you may be able to save even more when renting a car as a USAA extremity.

If you rent a vehicle using USAA Perks, you ‘ll get single discounts on car rentals and early services. besides, lease company fees for administrative, loss-of-use and loss-of-value that are n’t covered by your insurance may be waived .
If you do n’t book your car through the USAA rental program, you can silent get extra protection through your USAA car policy and credit card. however, you ‘ll need to decline the cable car rental coverage offered by the lease party to be covered by your credit tease benefits. Your circuit board would then offer junior-grade coverage to your car policy .

Decline or not to decline? That is the question.

ultimately, the decision to purchase or decline extra coverage is up to you. But when you know what you already have working for you through your exist car policy or credit wag, you ‘ll be able to better avoid unnecessary charges .

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