There are many reasons why an increasing number of Americans are ditching their cars and opt instead to rent one whenever they need to. Car rental agencies many a time offer interesting discounts and deals for regular renters and drivers can easily access to vehicles that are larger, better and even more expensive than the ones they can afford. There are other Americans that embrace the idea of renting a car as part of their travel experience. Many a time it’s much more convenient to fly to your destination and then explore it at your own pace or visit areas that are not that easy to reach via public transport.
Just as you wouldn’t drive your car without having the proper insurance policy, the same thing applies to rental cars. In case the car gets damaged, you’re hit, suffer a robbery or you’re implied in a car accident, a car rental damage insurance policy is what you need. Learn about the different options available in the market and which one is more convenient for you.
Take Advantage of Your Car’s Insurance Policy
If you own a car and plan on renting another one for your next trip, you can use your auto insurance policy to cover your rental car. There won’t be any out of pocket expenses and you simply have to inform the agent at the rental company that you’re covered.
However, you should bear in mind that most insurance policies have a deductible which can be as high as $500-$1500 depending on your policy, which can be painful if you have to make a claim. And to make things worse, your premium can increase up to 44% if it’s your first claim!
Car Rental Company Collision Damage Waiver
Car rental companies usually offer their own insurance policy: the car rental company collision damage waiver. This option provides you coverage for any damage to the rental vehicle without having to make a claim with your insurance company or credit card. Drivers can even return the car as a wreck, handle the keys, say goodbye and leave without having to pay a single cent! Tempting, right?
However, not everything is as good as it seems. There are hundreds of complaints against the ultra pricey rates that car rental companies charge for their coverage option. Be ready to pay up to $30 or $40 a day, which can be significantly more than what you pay for renting a car daily!
Third Party Car Rental Damage Insurance
Over the last years many companies have appeared that offer car rental damage insurance policies and their coverage has proven to be highly advantageous when compared to the other alternatives in the market.
Pteet or Bonzah are just two of the third party car rental damage insurance companies you can go to. Their damage insurance is incredibly more affordable than what the rental company offers, even under $10 a day or even cheaper if drivers by an annual policy or rent a car for longer periods of time. Besides, in many cases there is a zero deductible up to $45000 in primary coverage and you’re covered against any damage reason or loss while driving within the rental conditions.
The only cons is that third party car rental insurance usually acts as reimbursement insurance. This means that, depending on the amount of damage, you would be charged by the rental company and the insurance company would refund you those charges. However, in many cases the rental company opts to deal directly with the insurance.
Get Covered With Your Credit Card
Credit cards offer car rental coverage and, as with rental companies, there are no out of pocket expenses. This option can be a good one if you don’t have other primary insurance and it can be an affordable way to cover a good portion of the rental car risk.
On the down side, credit cards are always a secondary source of insurance. This means that if you have a loss or an accident you will still need to claim on your primary auto insurance policy and risk those cons. Besides, the coverage they offer is quite limited: For instance, in most cases hail damage, tire damage or loss-of-use is not covered.
Buying an insurance policy against damage for your rental car is essential. Savvy drivers evaluate all their options in order to make a good and informed purchase decision.