Almost everyone rents a car from time to time.
When you do, the question comes to mind: “Should I purchase the additional insurance the rental company offers?” It’s a good question for your New Bedford agent. You will be glad to know that your own personal automobile insurance will extend to a rental car in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. However, if you do not have physical damage coverage which is called Collision and Comprehensive (fire and theft)coverage, then of course those parts do not extend to a rental since you do not purchase them on your own car insurance policy. Therefore, you will need to purchase the rental insurance from the rental company.
All rental contracts are different and it’s important to educate yourself. Read the fine print and ask questions.
Collision & Comprehensive Coverage
If you do not have Collision or Comprehensive coverage on your car, you must purchase the additional insurance the rental company offers. It is usually referred to as “loss damage waiver” or just “waiver”, meaning the rental company will waive most or all your financial responsibility for damage to the car when it is in your possession. This waiver may also cover the monetary loss of the rental company’s income while the car is out for repairs due to damage that occurred while it was with you.
When you don’t purchase the rental insurance and rely on your own automobile insurance coverage, you may still be out of pocket for some expenses. By reading the contract and asking questions you may decide it is best to purchase the physical damage insurance or “waiver” that they offer. It could mean the difference of salvaging a vacation or trip by giving you the freedom of just walking away and not dealing with claim forms, appraisals or signing documents for your insurance company.
Be aware that there may also be restrictions of coverage on the Loss Damage Waiver that the rental company offers. For instance, they may not pay if the accident happens because of speeding, driving on unpaved roads or driving while intoxicated.
The liability (Bodily Injury to Others and Damage to Other Someone Else’s Property) is not as much of an issue and your policy will extend to the rental car. As long as you have adequate limits of liability on your policy, there is not much reason to purchase liability from the rental company.
Credit Card Coverage
Another source of coverage is sometime found on your credit card. Call your credit card company and ask if they automatically provide physical damage insurance coverage on rental cars purchased by their credit card. Some “gold” or “platinum” cards have provided it in the past.
Truck Rentals – Not Covered
Lastly, if you are renting a truck such as a moving van, purchase all the insurance offered since those vehicles are not covered by your personal auto policy. It is only private passenger cars that are covered under the Massachusetts personal auto policy. Except for a few types of pickup trucks, your personal auto policy will not extend coverage to trucks. Check with us at Borden Insurance Agency in New Bedford if you are unsure.