Like many of us, it’s probably in the back of your mind if you decline the car rental insurance when renting a vehicle. If you’ve ever opted for full coverage, you’ve likely noticed the cost of your rental increased by more than 50%.
There are two reasons you may want to forgo agreeing to purchase insurance at the rental counter:
Your existing insurance
The insurance policy for your personal car or truck will usually cover you for a variety of risks:
Liability – The liability coverage you have on your personal auto will extend to damage to other cars or property caused while driving a rental car.
Collision – If you have collision coverage as part of your policy, it may cover accident-related damage to the rental vehicle as well.
Comprehensive – If you have comprehensive coverage on your personal vehicle, it can even cover vandalism or theft of your rental car.
Coverage varies from policy to policy, so check with us before you decide.
Your credit card
Some credit cards – particularly gold or platinum ones – include rental car insurance. This applies only if you use the same card to pay for your rental car.
Terms and conditions vary, but generally:
Cards offer primary coverage that won’t require you to make a claim under your regular insurance policy.
Cards offer secondary coverage that will help you out with the deductible and other costs. Typically, you must decline the supplemental insurance offered by the car rental company in order to obtain the credit card company’s insurance coverage.
Be sure to read up on this in the terms and conditions of your credit card. You want to understand exactly what the card covers in terms of rental car insurance. For example, you may not be able to rent certain types of vehicles, or it may not cover certain damage.
Card issuers frequently cap rental periods as well. Make sure you know what your credit card company offers before you rent a vehicle.
But wait… there’s more
If your personal insurance policy doesn’t include comprehensive or collision coverage. You may want to purchase these coverages from the rental company.
It may also be wise to do so if you already have a high deductible on your personal auto insurance policy. Also, if you’re renting a car on a business trip, or intend to drive it into another country (other than Canada), you will likely need additional coverage.
It’s always good idea to discuss this with your agent before signing the rental agreement.