Do you want need the extra insurance when renting a car on vacation?
We have all been there – standing at the rental counter – wondering what exactly our personal insurance already covers and questioning the necessity of purchasing additional rental insurance.
So what should we do? The answer is as simple as taking steps to understand what type of insurance you may already have prior to planning a vacation.
Know what your insurance already covers.
It is possible that the coverage you already have car will extend to include a rental car, but it is important that you review the details with a Cronk Insurance specialist first.
Liability Coverage: Depending upon the amount of liability coverage you already have, this insurance could protect you if you damage property or injure someone else while driving.
Collision/loss damage waiver (LDW or CDW): This waiver, although technically not insurance, may help cover the cost of repairing a rental car if you damage it. (It is important to note that LDW and CDWs typically exclude damage if it is caused by speeding or driving on roads that are not paved.)
Personal Effects Coverage: If you have renters or homeowner’s insurance, it may already cover personal effects such as a computer, clothing or other items that could be stolen from a rental car or damaged in an accident.
Know your credit card company’s coverage.
If you plan to pay for your rental with a credit card, be sure to contact your credit card company prior to leaving for vacation. Some credit card companies offer insurance coverage for purchases that may include rental car coverage.
Understand what the Rental Car Agreement says before you sign it.
If the agreement says it will charge you for Loss of Use or lost rental income if the car is damaged and requires time in a repair shop, or Diminution of Value due the fact that the car’s value is decreased following an accident, you may want to seek additional coverage as most auto insurance policies do not cover this type of loss. While reading the agreement keep an eye out for these type of charges as well as others that you could be charged if the vehicle is damaged.
Everyone has a cell phone right? Then when you do your initial walk around of the rental car, take lots of pictures. Take them from angles where you will see existing dents. Any existing scuffs or damage get close ups and also pictures far enough away to show where they are located on the vehicle. Then, when you return the car, do the exact same thing. Don’t leave it up to a rental car employee who’s in a hurry to do this for you. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words and this simple step could save you some big headaches down the road.
Don’t find yourself standing at the rental counter next vacation without all the answers.