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Rent without wasting money

Close-up of a hand pointing a car key at a parked car

With permission from iii.org

There are more options for renting a car than ever before – bricks and mortar, peer peer and member-based car sharing . Although this means more choices for tenants, it also creates more questions about insurance coverage. Use these tips to properly insure yourself when renting a car and avoid wasting money on double coverage.

If you want to rent a car, depending on your needs and location, there are a number of options ̵

1; the traditional brick-and-mortar companies, peer-to-peer car services and car sharing programs – all with their own insurance parameters. It pays to first understand your existing coverage and then look at your rental insurance options.

No matter what company or type of company you rent from, the most important step is to read and understand the car rental or car. sharing agreement. Most companies clearly state what is covered and the extra coverage that can be purchased. If you do not understand, have the representative of the rental or car sharing company review you.

If you rent a car, first check your own coverage

Before entering into an agreement with any type of rental service, maximize the use of the insurance you already pay for and avoid paying for double insurance.

If you own or rent a car and / or have homeowners insurance, call your insurance company to first check the following:

  • How much coverage you currently have on your own car – In most cases, this applies regardless what car insurance and deductible you have on your own car when you rent a car (provided you use the rental car for recreation and not for business). [19659010] If you still have a collision or extensive – If you lost these coverages on your own car to save money on your car insurance, you can not be covered if your rental car is stolen or damaged. The insurance rules vary depending on the country, so it is best to contact your insurance staff for the details of your insurance.
  • If you are covered for administrative fees, loss of use or towing costs – Check if your insurance company pays for – or provides a haulier for – additional fees.
  • Whether your homeowner's or tenants' insurance covers loss of property – These insurances (not your car insurance) usually cover your belongings if they are damaged or stolen by your vehicle.

The credit card you use to rent a car may also provide some insurance. Although the coverage is likely to be limited – for example, it can only cover the deductible if you make a claim – it is worth knowing what protection it will provide.

  • Know that the benefits differ – Insurance coverage may depend on the company or bank issuing the card or even the card level. For example, a platinum card can offer more robust coverage than a green card. If you have more than one card, you may want to compare what insurance they offer for car rental companies.
  • Contact the credit card issuer to find out what they cover – If you are dependent on an insurance cover credit card, ask the company or bank that issued the card to send you coverage information in writing.
  • Credit card insurance benefits are usually secondary – That is, they will kick in after your personal insurance or the insurance coverage offered by the rental car company is used.

Insurance if you rent from a car rental company

Brick-and-mortar car rental companies are usually located at airports, train stations or other places where travelers converge. These traditional rental companies allow you to simply book or select a vehicle from one of the many that are widely available every day. The insurance you will offer is pretty standard (but like all car insurance it varies depending on the state).

Depending on the type of car and / or homeowner you insure, you may want to consider part of the insurance car rental company. While car insurance policies, costs and coverage vary depending on the state and insurance companies, consumers who rent from traditional companies can generally choose from the following coverages:

  • Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) – Also known as exemption from collision damage, an LDW is not technically an insurance product – it is designed to release or "relinquish" tenants from financial liability if their rental car is damaged or stolen. Exceptions can also provide coverage for "loss of use", if the rental car company charges for the time a damaged car can not be used to have it repaired, as well as towing and administration fees. LDW can become invalid if the accident was caused by speeding, driving on paved roads or driving while intoxicated. However, if you have comprehensive and collision car insurance, you may already be covered for damage to a rental car.
  • Liability insurance – By law, rental companies must provide the state with the minimum amount of liability insurance – often this does not provide sufficient protection. If you carry your own car insurance and have chosen higher liability limits (which is recommended), you will be adequately covered. Non-car owners who are frequent tenants have the opportunity to purchase a non-owner liability policy, which can provide the extra responsibility needed. injuries caused by a car crash. Whether you should consider this depends on your health insurance and the personal injury protection (PIP) provided by your car insurance, which is likely to cover health care costs.
  • Coverage of personal effects – This provides insurance coverage for the theft of objects from a rental car. Keep this in mind if you do not have a homeowner or tenant insurance policy to cover this type of loss. up a vehicle in a large number of places for periods from minutes to days. These programs are popular in urban environments where it can be expensive or difficult to own a car, but where it is convenient to have a car available when needed. Coverage options vary widely, but there are usually some insurance policies included.

    The insurance offered by these types of companies is not standardized, so read the insurance cover carefully (it is usually available on the service's website). If you have any questions, call the company's customer service. And contact your car insurance company if you feel you need more information to make an educated decision about insurance coverage.

    • Car sharing programs (such as ZipCar) generally include insurance costs in the fee. However, if the car is involved in a collision or is stolen, the tenant can be invoiced for a specific dollar amount specified in the membership agreement. At an additional cost, customers can buy an "exemption" to avoid paying the accident fee.
    • Many car sharing programs limit coverage for young drivers to the minimum amount of liability. Tenants under the age of 21 should read the insurance cover carefully. If it is not enough for their needs, they can investigate whether their parents' car insurance would cover them for the difference or buy their own insurance policy.

    Insurance if you rent from a peer-to-peer service colleague

    Peer-to-peer car rental network enables consumers to rent personally owned cars from others. Insurance coverage varies greatly depending on location and service.

    • Peer-to-peer rental services (such as Turo) can offer a range of insurance options and in some circumstances the driver may reduce coverage.

    Next Steps: Considering these car rental options will help you have a general understanding of your car insurance.

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