Should I Get Car Rental Insurance?
When renting a car, you’ll almost always get asked if you want to add insurance (for an extra cost, of course). But should you actually go for the car rental insurance? Is it worth it? Do you even need it? The short answer: Yes, you should have insurance for a rental car. The long answer contains a few variables you’ll need to consider.
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No matter what, you’ll want to have some sort of insurance for a rental car, in case you get into an accident. Even if you’re not at fault, insurance is a must and you need to prepare for the worst case scenario. Not to mention, driving a new-to-you car can sometimes be confusing, so you may actually get into an accident that is your fault. If that’s the case, you’ll definitely want to have insurance.
But here’s the catch. More often than not, your rental car is likely already covered by your personal car insurance policy or even your credit card. That’s why the decision can be a tricky one. If your personal car insurance policy includes collision coverage, you’re all set and don’t need to waste any money on additional coverage from the rental car company.
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 before making your decision. 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.
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So when should you say “yes” when the rental car agent asks if you want their insurance? If you don’t have adequate collision coverage and you won’t be paying with a credit card that offers rental car coverage, go with the extra security offered by the rental company. But it’s still worth making a couple of phone calls to your insurance company and credit card provider to see what coverage you have or if you can add coverage for a small fee.