Rental Car Insurance

Renting a car is often times a needed expense whenever you go traveling.   The cost of renting a car is often times relatively inexpensive, insurance coverage for your rental, on the other hand, is usually where the rental companies profit.  Continue reading below to find out if you actually need rental car insurance, who you should buy it from, if your credit card company offers it, and also where to get rental car insurance quotes.

auto insurance for rental cars

Do You Need Rental Car Insurance When You Rent-A-Car?

Whether you’re traveling on business or simply for recreation, the question of “Do I need rental car insurance?” is likely to arise. Or at least it should.

Rental Car Insurance

When you rent a car, you should always think about whether or not you need to purchase rental car insurance coverage.

It’s a common misconception that all auto insurance policies and packages include rental coverage. Although some insurance policies will cover rental car insurance, not all of them include it, at least not without a hefty addition to your premium. Even if some rental car coverage is included with your regular car insurance policy, the terms of your rental coverage aren’t as easy to grasp as your standard collision and comprehensive coverage terms.

Should You Get Insurance From The Rental Company Or The Insurance Company?

Any reputable car rental company will include insurance or they may offer the insurance for a nominal fee. If they require you to pay an additional fee for coverage and you’re trying to save money, you better be sure your insurance company has you covered.

A surefire way to find out if you have rental coverage is to give your car insurance provider a call and ask. In most cases you’re insurance company will give your rental car insurance quotes or even provide you with the same coverage you have on your daily-use vehicle.

Say, for example, that your auto insurance includes collision coverage with a $500 deductible. If your rental vehicle were involved in a fender bender, the rental company would cover what was laid out in the terms of the rental. Then your car insurance provider would pick up the remainder minus your deductible.

Though if you don’t have comprehensive coverage on your daily driver, it unlikely you’ll have any comprehensive coverage on your rental car either.

Again, this varies from company to company, so to be absolutely sure it is best to give them a call personally, and find out exactly what rental car coverage your policy includes.

Can You Get Coverage From Your Credit Card Company?

Often times if you use your credit card to rent a car, the credit card company will offer complimentary insurance.  Renters should check with their credit card company to check whether it provides sufficient coverage without buying additional insurance.  Many credit cards include some collision and theft protection.  This protection, however, is usually very minimal and is secondary to personal auto insurance for insurance sold to you by the rental car company. Check with your credit card company before renting a car to see if you qualify.

For more information on whether or not your credit card company includes rental coverage, view our guide on the subject here.

Getting Auto Insurance Quotes For A Rental

If it seems like you’re renting a car nearly as often as you travel, it makes a lot of sense to extend your coverage well beyond the basic features provided by the rental car company. If your current auto insurance provider won’t cover you regardless of which car you may be driving, in this case a rental car, it may be time to find one that does.

Luckily for you, finding an auto insurance policy that matches your unique needs is easier today than it’s ever been before. Scroll to the top of the page and enter your zip code in the provided field to begin getting rental car insurance quotes. Within a couple minutes you’ll be shopping some of the best deals in auto insurance available today.

Additional Rental Car Insurance Resources

  • USA Today – Should you say yes to rental car insurance? It depends
  • US News – Should you purchase rental car insurance?
  • – The basics of rental car insurance


  Comments: 5

  1. Hi,
    I want to purchase non-owner liability insurance because i will be traveling and renting cars. What is the average quote for about 1 month car insurance.

    Thank you


  2. was wondering how to get a quote for non owner car insurance…? the site only lets me get info is i own or lease a car ?
    will i be able to see different offers and companies and their prices :-)

  3. Take pictures with your cellphone! A few years ago my family vacationed in Hawaii. We rented cars on 3 islands. Upon returning the first rental, the agent reported the she’d spotted “damage” to the car and wrote it up. Upon renting on island #2, I took extensive pictures of the car. Nevertheless, the rental agent again claimed it was damaged. Same thing on island #3. When we got home there was a notification from the rental company that required that I hook them up with my insurance carrier. I refused, wrote to the carrier and to the NY Attorney General. Guess what! Never heard another word… until I read an article in the paper about this scam and about the legal action taken against the rental company.

  4. Where I was informed of the appalling cost of rental insurance one a one week trip, I called my own insurance company (Geico). They solde a rider on my existing policy to cover the rental. Cost: $9.50. Insurance rates are calculated on probability, and the odds of something happening to your car within a few days are astronomically lower than that probability over a long period, like a year. That’s why rental insurance is so profitable.

  5. Always remember, in the case of auto insurance and otherwise: Insurance companies are not in the business of protecting their insureds. They are in the business of taking as much money as possible from the insureds, and paying out as little as possible. It’s called the profit motive. The insurance company is not your friend! (I’m a former insurance attorney, having worked for various insurance companies and against others.)

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