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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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If you need to rent a car, you may not need to purchase the auto insurance coverage that is offered by the rental car company. However, it is a good idea to know your options should you find yourself needing to rent a car. Find cheap car insurance on your personal and rental cars using the internet. Get a FREE car insurance comparison list by putting in your ZIP code!In some cases, if you need to rent a car due to an accident that is being repaired by your auto insurance company, a rental car may be provided at no additional cost to you and your own auto insurance coverage is extended to the rental car. In other cases, you may want to purchase additional auto insurance coverage to protect you if you get in an accident while renting a car.
Do You Already Have Coverage?
If you already have auto insurance, you may not need to purchase additional rental car insurance. In many cases, if you are traveling for pleasure, such as on a vacation or holiday trip, your personal car insurance may automatically cover any car you drive.
However, if you are traveling on business, your personal auto insurance will probably not cover rental cars. Before taking a trip in which you will need to rent a car, talk to your insurance agent to find out what will be covered.
You may also have rental car insurance coverage through your credit card. Many VISA and MasterCard credit cards include rental insurance coverage as part of their member benefits.
Before planning a trip, be sure to call your credit card company to find out of if they offer this kind of insurance coverage and if there are additional costs involved. If they do provide rental car coverage, ask for a written copy of the coverage provisions to have as proof of coverage if needed.
Keep in mind that even if you already have auto insurance coverage that will cover a rental car, you will be responsible for any gaps in coverage. If you are renting a car that is much more valuable than your own personal car, you may elect to purchase additional coverage to protect you if you get in an accident.
Purchasing Rental Car Coverage from the Rental Company
Another option is to purchase coverage from the rental car company directly. Rental car companies are required by law to offer liability and collision coverage to customers.
However, this is not actual insurance. It is a waiver that provides that any damages that occur while renting the car will be covered up to certain limits.
In some states, rental car companies are required by law to provide mandatory minimum coverage at not cost to consumers. The cost for LDW (loss damage waiver) and CDW (collision damage waiver) coverage ranges from $9 per day to more than $30 per day in addition to the daily rental fee.
MetLife Auto Advantage
MetLife offers their Auto Advantage plan that includes rental car coverage. This is considered “enhanced” coverage and provides insurance if you have an accident and need a rental car.
It includes paying for any loss in the market value of the car resulting from your accident, expenses to the rental car agency resulting from the unavailability of the care while it is being repaired and related expenses, such as towing fees and storage fees. MetLife Auto Advantage rental car coverage is not available in North Carolina.
MetLife also has a full range of other benefits that are included in their Auto Advantage plan. These include liability protection, collision and comprehensive coverage. Additionally, MetLife offers discounts for safe driving, young driver and bundled coverage discounts if you also have policies for home, life or other types of insurance.
Additional benefits included with MetLife’s Auto Advantage plans include roadside assistance and towing cost coverage; legal defense costs; direct billing for rental cars; and lease or loan gap coverage.
Nationwide Auto Insurance
Nationwide is another insurance company that provides rental car coverage if you need to rent a car due to an accident. With Nationwide’s coverage, you will be reimbursed after you have rented a car if it is necessary because of an at-fault accident or is covered under a comprehensive auto insurance claim. In addition to rental car costs, their rental car coverage also covers alternative transportation, such as bus and subway fares.
Nationwide also provides other types of coverage, including comprehensive, collision and gap insurance coverage. Additional benefits include towing and roadside assistance. They also offer auto insurance coverage for teen drivers. They have family plan discounts and an accident forgiveness program and a vanishing deductible program that lowers your policy premium costs over time.
State Farm Auto Insurance
Rental car insurance from State Farm Auto Insurance is similar to that offered by Nationwide. It is a reimbursement program that is applied if you need to rent a car because your car is damage in an accident. There is a daily allowance or limit to the rental fee they will cover, which varies from state to state and is based on individuals policy provisions.
State Farm also offers liability, comprehensive, collision, personal injury protection (PIP) and uninsured motorist coverage. Additionally, they provide roadside assistance as part of their policy benefits.
Farmers Insurance provides optional coverage for car rental. With this auto insurance addition, you are allowed to immediately rent a car through one of the rental agencies that is pre-screened through Farmers. These companies provide direct billing to Farmers Insurance, so you do not need to apply for reimbursement for rental costs.
Additionally, they provide pick-up and delivery services for your convenience and a deposit may be waived in many cases. Farmers has a HelpPoint phone number for policy holders to call if they have an accident and allows them to set up a car rental immediately.
Farmers also offers several optional types of coverage. These include Accident Forgiveness and a New Car Pledge. If you have not had an accident in more than three years and have one, Farmers will forgive the accident and it will not result in an increase in your policy premium. One accident is allowed very three years.
The New Car Pledge option applies to new cars and provides full replacement of your new car within the first two years of purchase without depreciation penalties. Additionally, if your new car requires minor repairs, original manufacturer parts are used if they are available.
Other types of coverage that are available from Farmers include liability, collision, comprehensive, uninsured/underinsured motorist, fault/no fault and medical payment coverage. Optional coverages include personal umbrella policies, windshield breakage protection and roadside assistance.
Know Your Current Policy
Rental car insurance is extremely important. If you already have personal auto insurance, you may not need to purchase additional insurance for a rental car. Also, you may have coverage if you use a credit card to pay for your rental. Putting in your ZIP code will give you a great car insurance comparison for FREE!
Before taking a trip, ask your insurance agent or credit card company if you are covered.
If you need to rent a car because your car is damaged in an accident, you may have coverage for as part of your policy.
Be sure to call your insurance company immediately to find out if there are limits on daily rental charges or if there are preferred rental companies to avoid finding yourself stuck with a huge rental bill. Get started now by putting in your ZIP code!