rental car policy protects you financially if you ‘re involved in an accident while driving a rental vehicle. Car rental firms will urge you to purchase their indemnity coverage and surfeit waivers when you pay for your lease vehicle. however, you may already be at least partially covered by your personal car insurance policy or credit tease .
You should determine if you ‘re already adequately covered by existing policies. If not, consider buying rental car indemnity at the rental desk or through a third gear party insurance company in order to protect yourself legally and financially if your lease vehicle is damaged or you cause an accident .

Types of car insurance offered by rental companies

rental companies, such as Avis, Enterprise or Hertz, offer respective types of insurance coverage you can purchase at the rental desk when you pick up your vehicle. by and large, this coverage falls into four categories, which coincide with the types of coverage you would normally have through your car and homeowners insurance policies .

Coverage Type



Basic Liability Coverage Pays for bodily and/or property damage to others that you’re responsible for, up to a basic amount (usually the legal minimum for the state you’re renting in Included in the cost of the rental
Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)/Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) Waives your responsibility for damage to or theft of the rental car $9 to $19/day
Supplemental Liability Coverage (SLC) Increases your liability coverage up to $1 million $7 to $15/day
Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) Provides medical and accidental death benefits if you or your passengers are injured or killed in an accident $1 to $7/day
Personal Effects Coverage Reimburses you for any personal property that is stolen from a rental vehicle $1 to $5/day

Do I already have rental car insurance through my insurer?

If you own a car or drive regularly, you probably already carry an car policy policy. If this is on-key, you may be able to decline some or all of the coverage offered by car lease firms. however, the types of security you should decline deviate based on the measure of your rental car and your own policy ‘s coverage, deductibles and limits .

Policies rental companies offer

You may choose to decline if you have…

Liability Insurance Supplement Adequate personal liability insurance
Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)/Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) Adequate personal comprehensive and collision insurance
Personal Accident Insurance Adequate personal injury protection and health insurance
Personal Effects Coverage Homeowners or renters insurance that extends to rentals

Should I buy a loss damage waiver (LDW)?

Despite providing security similar to comprehensive and collision coverage, an LDW is not indemnity. quite, it is a contractual agreement that waives the renter ‘s fiscal liability if their rental car is vandalized, stolen or damaged in an accident. An LDW may besides be called a collision damage release ( CDW ) or an excess damage release ( EDW ) .
You should purchase an LDW/CDW/EDW if:

  • You do not have collision and comprehensive coverage
  • Your collision and comprehensive insurance limits aren’t high enough to cover the actual cash value of your rental car. This may be true if your personal vehicle is less valuable than your rental vehicle.
  • You’ve already filed a claim under your collision or comprehensive coverage in the past year.
  • You did not pay for the rental with a credit card that offers an LDW.

You should decline an LDW if you already have collision and comprehensive coverage on a car of alike value to your rental vehicle, or if the citation menu you ‘re using to pay for your lease fomite already offers an LDW. however, if you ‘ve filed a call in the past year, a second claim may cause your policy rates to increase significantly. In this case, it may be worth paying the little tip for an LDW before driving a new cable car in an unfamiliar area .

Should I buy supplemental liability coverage (SLC)?

By police, every car on the road must meet the minimum sum of fiscal responsibility before the car can be driven on the road. Your lease representation is required to provide this coverage by law, but it is secondary coil to your own policy, if you have it .
State minimum liability coverage tends to be equitable that — the minimum. If you ‘re going to drive your rental a long ways, or you ‘re going to be driving at night, it may be worth supplementing that coverage with auxiliary protection .
It’s worth considering SLC if:

  • You don’t already carry liability insurance
  • Your liability insurance policy’s limit is under $50,000 per accident.

Should I buy personal accident insurance (PAI)?

personal accident indemnity covers the checkup costs of you or your passengers in the event you cause an accident. If you carry an car indemnity policy, you may already have personal injury protection ( PIP ) or MedPay policy. In addition, you probable have health policy .
Each of these forms of indemnity will provide coverage like to what you would obtain under your cable car rental ship’s company ‘s PAI. however, some health policy policies exclude vehicle-related accidents, so you should verify your coverage under your health insurance policy if you do n’t have PIP or MedPay insurance .
You may need to purchase PAI if:

  • You don’t have health, PIP or MedPay insurance
  • Your health insurance excludes vehicle-related injuries
  • You have very low limits on your health insurance and/or your PIP or MedPay coverage

Should I buy personal effects coverage (PEC)?

personal effects coverage insures your baggage and other personal belongings that you and your immediate family have brought with you on your stumble. however, if you carry homeowners or renters indemnity, your belongings are probably already covered, even in your rental fomite. Because of this, most renters should decline PEC .
You should purchase PEC if:

  • You do not have homeowners or renters insurance and plan on keeping valuable belongings, such as a laptop, in your rental vehicle.

It should be noted that some items are typically excluded from PEC. These may include :

  • Cash
  • Event Tickets
  • Valuable certificates (such as a deed)
  • Guns
  • Art
  • Additional vehicles being towed behind your rental car

Rental car insurance through your credit card

Certain credit rating cards issued by American Express, Visa and Mastercard offer exempt LDW coverage when you rent a vehicle. In holy order to qualify for the coverage, you must be the name cardmember, and you must pay for the integral rental using that card. additionally, you must decline the LDW/CDW offered by the car rental company. here are limits and stipulations each card declares :


American Express


Credit Cards All All Gold, Platinum, World and World Elite Cards
Limits $50,000 $50,000/$75,000 $50,000
Period 15/31 days 30 days 15 days
Deadline to submit claim 90 days 180 days 180 days
Contact info (800) 847-2911 (800) 338-1670 (domestic)

( 216 ) 617-2500 ( worldwide )

(800) 622-7747
Fine print More info More info Mastercard USA

note that the credit rating cards that do offer lease car benefits alone provide collision coverage. You ‘ll still need to purchase liability indemnity, adenine well as any extra desired coverage, individually. besides, some cards exclude coverage if your rental car is a commercial vehicle, such as a U-Haul, or if your rental is taking locate on a business trip.

Rental car insurance through an independent insurer

If you find your car rental caller ‘s policy prices excessively high, you may purchase rental insurance through a third-party insurance company. Companies such as Bonzah, Allianz Global Assistance and Insure My rental Car propose competitively priced stand-alone rental car insurance policies online that might be cheaper for long-run car rentals. Some services besides bundle lease car policy with full travel insurance packages that might be desirable if you ‘re traveling outside of the USA on vacation .

Rental car insurance vs. rental car reimbursement insurance

rental cable car policy covers a driver while they ‘re operating a lease vehicle. rental car reimbursement policy helps pay or subsidize the expense of a impermanent car while your vehicle is being repaired in the denounce after a cover accident. It ‘s an optional coverage on top of your existing car policy policy .
If you use lease car reimbursement to rent a vehicle while yours is in the shop class, it does not guarantee that the rental car is insured. Whether you use a rental car ship’s company that partners with your insurance company to pay for the rental car directly — such as Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Geico — or you choose your own car rental caller, refer to the guide above to decide what coverage to purchase .

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