Does Auto Insurance Extend Coverage for Rental Cars?

Fran Majidi
July 29, 2019

Depending on your coverage, you may be covered for a rental car if your car is damaged in an accident. If you carry comprehensive, collision and liability coverage on your own vehicle, the coverage will most likely extend to the rental car as well. The same is true when you rent a car for business or travel.

Comprehensive and collision coverage pay for damages from accidents, glass damage, theft, falling objects, hail and more when you rent a car for any reason. If you do not have these coverages, you will not be covered with a rental car either. Even when you’re covered, you’re subject to a deductible.

The most common question about rental cars is whether or not drivers should buy the rental car company’s insurance. This loss damage waiver, also called collision damage waiver, covers the same incidents as comprehensive and collision insurance but you don’t need to buy it unless you don’t have these coverages on your car.

Your personal auto insurance will not only cover damages but also injuries that you may cause in the rental car. If you injured another driver, their passengers or pedestrians you are covered. You’re also covered if you damage someone’s personal property with the rental car. You only need to buy the rental car company’s supplemental liability if you have a low liability limit, but it’s generally less expensive to increase your own limits, perhaps for the duration you’re renting.

If you or your passengers are injured, you will only be covered if you have medical payments or personal injury protection (PIP) on your policy. These are often optional coverages you may or may not have. PIP is required in some states. If you do not have these coverages, you may consider buying personal accident insurance from the rental company.

There are reasons to consider buying the rental insurance from the dealership. For one, you won’t have to pay a deductible if you do have an accident. You also would not be raising your rate by filing a claim if you do have an accident in the rental. Plus, if you don’t have medical payments, collision and comprehensive, it’s nice to be assured that you have coverage.

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