So, you’re heading out of town and want to rent a vehicle. There are some key things you need about renting a vehicle and your insurance before you go.
Your auto policy is designed to provide the broadest coverage that you have on your policy to the rental vehicle but no more than that. This means that if you have 2 vehicles on your own auto policy and both are liability only, then your policy will only provide liability coverage to the rental car. However, if you have 2 vehicles and one is liability only, but one includes comprehensive and collision coverage then your auto policy will extend liability coverage, comprehensive coverage, and collision coverage to the rented vehicle.
But it might still be in your best interest to purchase the rental insurance.
Your auto policy may or may not include loss of use coverage or rental car reimbursement. This coverage comes into play when your vehicle is out of use due to a covered claim. If you have this coverage, then your auto policy will reimburse you for at least a portion of the fees you incur to rent a vehicle until your vehicle is repaired. This coverage is not designed to be transferred to a rental vehicle for any other reason and also does not protect you from the rental car company. If you damage a rented vehicle then the rental car company could charge you for their loss of rental income while their vehicle is being repaired. Your auto policy has no provision to cover this expense.
Additionally, the rental car company could place a hold on your credit card in the event you damage one of their vehicles. This hold would be released as soon as they received their payment from your insurance company; however, it could be extremely inconvenient for you as people often rely heavily on their credit cards when traveling.
It is always a good idea to check with your agent if you are unsure what coverage your policy will provide.
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