Should I Get Car Rental Insurance?
It’s the age old question: should I get car rental insurance? Is it worth it? Do I really need it?
The short answer? Yes. Of course, you need to make sure you’re covered in the event of an accident. Accidents are exactly that – accidents – and we can’t predict if and when they’ll happen, so we must always prepare for the worst case scenario.
Here’s the catch (and the long answer). More often than not, your rental car is already covered, either by your personal car insurance policy, or your credit card. That’s right, your credit card. That’s why the decision can be a tricky one.
If your personal auto car coverage policy includes collision coverage, you’re all set. “For people who already have collision coverage on the rental car, getting the rental car insurance policy is a waste of money,” says Neil Abrams, an auto rental consultant of Abrams Consulting Group based in Purchase, N.Y. according to a recent U.S. News article.
If you’re not covered by your auto insurance policy, you can pay for the rental with a credit card that has rental car insurance built in. Many major credit card providers, such as Visa and American Express, offer rental auto insurance to cardholders. Some cards only offer it to elite members, so be sure to check with your credit card company. As an example, Visa’s auto rental collision-damage waiver provides reimbursement for damage due to collision or theft up to the actual cash value of most rental vehicles.
So when should you say “yes” when the rental car agent asks if you want their insurance? In the event you don’t have adequate collision coverage and you won’t be paying with a credit card that offers rental car coverage.
It’s worth making a couple of phone calls to your insurance company and credit card provider to see what coverage you already have. You might be able to save some serious cash by opting out, but you also may find that you need additional coverage.