On Vacation - Do You Need Rental Car Insurance?
By: Jeff Neilan
If you re in the planning stages of your next vacation and they
include a rental car, you may want to talk with your insurance agent
about the rental car insurance options that you may have.
When it comes to traveling and more specifically rental car insurance,
the market is extremely competitive for your dollar. This is because
not only do the insurance companies compete for your dollar, but
so too do the rental car agencies, and your credit card companies
as well. And while all this competition may sound as though it works
to your advantage as a consumer, all the marketing hype may change
if you have an accident.
Start by contacting your insurance agent and see if your policy
includes rental car insurance. Most auto insurance policies do including
covering you in a rental car as well. Of course, verify this with
your agent. Make sure it includes collision and liability insurance
(damage to your car and to the other vehicle). Make sure your current
coverage doesn t fall short of the type of car you may be planning
on renting. For instance, if you drive an older car with minimal
coverage, you may be putting yourself at risk if you re going to
rent a top level newer car. So, check on any limitations that your
policy may have. Find out what the conditionals are ahead of time
so you don t get caught short.
If you are considering getting your rental car insurance through
one of your credits cards, then you should shop carefully. Call
your credit car company and ask them to fax or mail the details
to you. Either way get their coverage in writing. Again, ask specifically
about collision and liability coverage and if there are any limitations
or stipulations or complete exclusions. Don t assume that just because
they offer you insurance that you will have the coverage completely
Thinking about getting your coverage directly from the rental car
company? You ve got some more investigating to do. Insurance coverages
from rental car companies are all over the place and generally can
be fraught with all kinds of stipulations and exclusions and certainly
not all rental car companies are not on equal ground.
Don t base parts of your decision to go with insurance from the
rental car company thinking that if you are at fault in an accident
that you can avoid a potential rate hike from your home insurance
company. Your regular insurance company can raise your rates no
matter who cuts the check. If you are involved in an accident make
sure that you report this to your insurance company back home because
if the credit card insurance or the rental car company insurance
doesn t pay and you haven t reported it to your insurance company,
you could paying out of your own pocket.
Make sure you ask a lot of questions and get them answered well
before you go on vacation. And as a side note, you may want ask
your agent with whom you have your homeowner s policy about what
is the coverage in the event you have personal belongings stolen
from a rental car. It may sound like a bunch to get done before
you go on vacation, but getting yourself the proper insurance can
literally save you financially.
Jeff Neilan's years as a salesman, finance
manager, new & used car manager, will provide you with insightful
tips and car buying advice that will help you save money and frustration
on your next car buying experience. Go to getting
your best car deal for more of Jeff's articles.
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