With the reported rental car shortages leaving travelers frustrated, and sometimes stranded - renting a car can be no easy feat. If you get a car, getting upsold on add-ons at the counter after selecting your rental car months before hand can be a ‘not-so-great’ way to start a vacation.
So, what about your auto insurance – does it cover you if you rent a car?
Before I go into the coverage aspect of this question, let’s go over when your rental car may be covered by your normal, personal auto insurance. Here are some requirements to even open the door to that conversation:
- Your insurance policy must be issued by a carrier and under a program that affords this type of rental car coverage extension benefit. You may need to contact your insurance carrier directly or contact your agent to ask about this. Most Florida auto insurance carriers DO provide this rental car coverage extension, but there are a few that do not, and there a few carriers who offer it under only some of their policy types – if you have an “as cheap as possible” auto insurance policy, you likely DO NOT have this benefit.
- Your auto insurance must be a “Personal Auto Insurance Policy”. It cannot be a commercial auto insurance policy or any other type of auto insurance policy.
- The person renting the car must be a NAMED INSURED on the auto insurance policy that you expect to receive the benefit from.
This is important – if the person who rents the car is only a ‘driver’ on the policy and NOT a Named Insured than stop reading – that person IS NOT covered if they rent a car – ONLY TRUE Named Insureds are eligible for this type of coverage extension.
- At least one vehicle on this policy includes ‘Comprehensive (aka. Other than Collision)’ AND ‘Collision” coverage.
Pay attention to your deductibles for these coverage selections – these deductibles will apply to rental cars if they are covered by his type of coverage extension.
- The car you are renting is for personal use and is considered a ‘private passenger automobile”.
This coverage extension will not extend to rentals of special equipment, moving trucks, trailers, RV’s, watercraft, etc. – it ONLY applies to things like sedans, SUVs, mini-vans, etc.
So I think I’m covered, what else should I know?
If you got through that list and say to yourself – “OK I think I’m good and I think I’m covered”, then let’s go over what coverage actually applies with this coverage extension:
Bodily Injury Liability – If your policy provides coverage for Bodily Injury on your insurance policy, then the same limits of coverage will extend to cover you as a driver of a rental car rented in your name.
Property Damage Liability – If your policy provides coverage for Property Damage Liability, then the same limits of coverage will extend to cover you as a driver of a rental car rented in your name.
Medical Payments Coverage - If your policy provides coverage for Medical, then the same limits of coverage will extend to cover you as a driver, and the occupants of a rental car rented in your name.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage - If your policy provides coverage for Uninsured Motorists, then the same limits of coverage will extend to cover you as a driver, and the occupants of a rental car rented in your name.
Comprehensive Coverage – If your policy provides Comprehensive coverage, then that coverage will extend to cover you as a driver of a rental car rented in your name. Should you need to use this coverage, you will be responsible for the lowest chosen comprehensive deductible on a vehicle insured under your own insurance policy.
Collision Coverage – If your policy provides Collision coverage, then that coverage will extend to cover you as a driver of a rental car rented in your name. Should you need to use this coverage, you will be responsible for the lowest chosen collision deductible on a vehicle insured under your own insurance policy.
So what coverage isn’t extended to a rental car?
- Other coverage not mentioned above. Any other coverage included on your personal auto insurance policy likely will NOT extend to a rental car.
- Loss of Use Fee. If you are involved in an accident, the rental car company may hold you responsible for a “Loss of Use” fee. This is a fee charged for the amount of time the vehicle was “taken out of commission” while repairs were made, or the vehicle was replaced. This equates to lost income on the part of the rental company. They will hold you responsible for this charge and this charge is NOT covered by your personal insurance policy.
- Diminished value fee. This is a fee that may be charged to you for the “value loss” of the car in its post-claim condition when compared to its pre-claim condition. A car with an accident on its history may diminish the value of a rental car – and that diminished value equates to lost income on the part of the rental car company. The rental car company may hold you responsible for this incurred loss and this would NOT be covered by your personal insurance policy.
- Possibly more. Ultimately you sign a contract when you rent a car, so the final decision about what you may or may not owe lies in the details of this rental car contract. If you are unsure what you may or may not be reponsible for in this situation, you should refer to your rental car contract or call the rental car company directly for verification.
So that is how coverage on your own personal auto insurance will apply to a rental car rented by you if your policy provides this coverage extension.
For further information regarding what type of coverage a rental car company provides with their supplmental insurance plans, please refer to their websites directly for more information. To help, we have gathered links to the most popular rental car companies and the insurance information web pages related to them:
If you would like a quote for a personal auto insurance policy that provides the rental car coverage extension benefit, our team at Evolve Insurance Agency would love to help! Simply click here, enter some information and we will be hard at work to provide you with a fast auto insurance quote in as little as 1 business day!
DISCLAIMER: Ultimately Evolve Insurance Agency ALWAYS recommends that our customers PURCHASE the additional insurance offered by rental car companies at the time of renting a car. Coverage afforded by the purchase of their supplemental insurance is far better than any benefit your insurer may automatically provide, and the experience during a claim will be much easier and stress-free. Generally speaking - if you purchase this additional coverage at the rental car counter and are involved in an accident, you simply go to the nearest rental car location and exchange your keys for a different car. Relying on your own insurance policy benefit will not result in the same type of experience if you are involved in an accident - whether it is your fault or not.
Evolve Insurance Agency