Car rentals are a popular option among millennials. It saves them from the complex process of payments, maintenance, and depreciation. Even though cumulative costs end up being slightly higher than owning a car, the freedom rental cars offer is too real to overlook. Rental cars are also used by those on vacation, or who have to travel to other locations to attend personal or official reasons. Many who are not frequent travelers too use rental cars when there is a need for commuting. Whatever be the reason, there are similar risks for damage to a rental car as much as a car you own. But most rental car owners are always in a cat on the wall situation, before deciding if they should or should not purchase rental car insurance.
Well, the answer is it is better to be safe than sorry. Some of the points to know before you opt for car rental insurance are:
- Choose a policy that provides coverage against damages and vehicle repair costs. Some policies also cover emergency medical benefits and baggage protection.
- If you already own a car and have insurance, check if the policy allows coverage for a rental car. Some car insurance products provide coverage to personal use of a rental car. If you are renting a car for business purposes, you might need an additional policy to cover damages due to crash or collision.
- Accident insurance covers medical expenses for you or any of your passengers in the event of a mishap.
- You also have the option of opting for supplemental liability insurance (SLI). This provides coverage if you damage other’s property and also medical expenses in case you cause injury or death to others while driving your rental car.
- One of the most common insurance coverage for rental cars is CDW – the collision damage waiver. If your rental car suffers any damage due to crash, theft, or due to damage by miscreants, this CDW waiver protects you from paying for those repairs.
- The car is invariably covered, but you need to have a valid driver’s license for the state you are in and your policy should cover the rental company’s requirements. Some rental companies could insist on purchasing insurance from them if you have additional passengers traveling with you.
- If you are on a vacation with friends, and all of you could be taking turns to drive, the rental company is likely to check the validity of their driver’s license and will add their names to the insurance policy. Without this, they will not be covered and in case of a collision or damage when they are driving, the damages will not be reimbursed.
- In case of a collision or accident, while driving a rental car, you have to reach out to the rental car company immediately. They will assist you with required medical attention, inform the police and prepare required documentation.
CDW plans at an average cost between $10 and $30 a day depending on the model of the car and the usage. Deluxe plans could cost higher and provide more extensive coverage from damages arising out of collisions or accidents.