Car Rental Insurance: When You May or May Not Need It

Whether it’s a vacation you seek, or your car’s going into the shop for repairs, a rental car is a great way for you to obtain affordable and flexible transportation. When shopping around for the cheapest car rental rates, it’s said that it’s important for drivers to also ensure that they’re properly insured before they drive that rental car off the lot. But do you really need rental insurance? And if so, where should you buy that insurance?

Why You May Already Be Covered

When a lot of drivers shop around for lowest car rental rates, they often then are given a pitch from the car rental agency that they need to buy car insurance from them. While this may be true in several instances, there are also some cases when you may not need to purchase additional car insurance, such as:

If You Rented Your Car with a Credit Card:

If you’ve rented your car with a credit card, then there’s a good chance that you may have coverage for any damage or theft to the rental car. This is the cheapest car rental rates option for insurance. Make sure that you read all of the fine print so that you fully understand what’s covered, and what’s not.

If You Have Comprehensive Car Insurance:

Some—but not all—comprehensive car insurance policies will cover any damage to a rented vehicle.

If You Have a Bundled Vacation Package:

A lot of bundled vacation packages which include things like hotel and car rentals will already have insurance coverage for the rental vehicle included in the price that you pay.

Make sure that you fully understand what sort of coverage you have though, because once you pass up on a car rental company’s coverage, you’re on the hook for any and all damages to the vehicle if you aren’t otherwise covered.

Buying Insurance from the Car Rental Company

If you don’t have any sort of car rental insurance, then purchasing insurance for the time that you’ll have the rented vehicle is your best bet. You’ll be presented with a number of different coverage levels that will protect yourself, any passengers, and the car itself. Though this is typically the most expensive of the insurance options for car rentals, remember that if you ever do happen to get into an accident, then you would be out significantly more money paying damages and medical bills than the small price tag for insurance.