The next time you rent a car, you will be faced with a question that is asked of everyone who rents cars have to answer: do you want rental car insurance? Even if you decline their coverage, they will oftentimes try to convince you to buy their insurance. You may see this as a waste of money, but it may not necessarily be. However, if you waive the insurance, you will be responsible for damages to the rental car.
If you were involved in an accident with the rental car, you will have to make sure it gets repaired or replaced. If you opt out of the rental company insurance, you may or may not be covered by your auto insurance policy. If you maintain full coverage on your own vehicle, the chances are pretty good that your insurance company will also cover a rental vehicle. However, they may have different coverages and deductibles, so you will have to contact your insurance company or check their terms and conditions.
When choosing to use your own insurance, be aware that there are pros and cons to using them. The advantages are that you will be able to deal with your own agents which may be less of a hassle for you. On the downside, using your own company means that your premium will probably increase. Also, in most cases the rental car company will charge your credit card for repairs and you will be accountable for coordinating reimbursement from your auto insurance company.
To avoid some of these problems, you can use the rental car insurance. Your auto insurance premium will not be impacted. Also, you will not have to pay a deductible. Using the rental insurance, the rental company will take care of everything for you.
On the other hand, rental car insurance is usually quite costly. It can sometimes cost more than the actual rental. Your insurance company bases its rates on your records and statistics of drivers with similar profiles to you. This is not the case with rental companies, who give daily flat rates based on the probability that every driver may have an accident. Renting a car for an extended period of times means that you could spend a large amount of money on insurance. For some, paying the daily rates would be substantially lower than paying a deductible through their company.
It will be important for you to determine if rental car insurance is what you really want. If you are traveling to an unfamiliar area with different laws, weather, and more traffic, you are statistically at a higher risk of having an accident. You may be more likely to accept rental insurance in a case like this. Additionally, a majority of personal insurance companies will not provide coverage in foreign countries.
One last option that you may be able to consider is the use of your credit card company for insurance. Some major credit card companies provide limited protection on rental car losses. On the contrary, they will not cover property damage or injuries sustained in the accident. Be sure to thoroughly be familiar with the terms and conditions of your credit card company before choosing this option.
Regardless of what option you choose, they each have their advantages and disadvantages. Based on your individual circumstances you will have to choose which option is best for you: rental car insurance, personal insurance coverage, or using your credit card. Whichever you choose, it should not be a decision that you make lightly.