Rental Car Insurance: Do you really need it?

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Will you be renting a car during the holiday season? Whether you’ll be renting at your destination or renting a vehicle and driving to your destination, you’ll face a barrage of questions when you get to the rental car counter: Do you have auto insurance? Can I see your insurance ID card? Do you want CDW, LDW and so on?

Here’s some information that may help you understand more about insurance before you get to the rental car counter:

  • Call me before you leave. I can help you understand your current auto coverage so you can decide if it’s what you want. If you’ll be using the rental car for recreation only (not for business), in many cases your coverage and deductibles may apply. Let’s have a conversation before you leave.
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  • Call your credit card company before you leave. If you’ll be depending on a credit card for rental car insurance coverage, it’s very important to check with your card company before you travel. If you have more than one card, consider calling each one to see which offers the best coverage. Insurance benefits vary among companies and/or banks that issue cards, as well as by the level of credit card used. For instance, a platinum card may offer more insurance coverage than a gold card.
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  • Get prepared before you leave. Call me in advance of your travel and I can give you information that may help you make an informed decision about rental car insurance coverage. The more you know the better you can prepare for the unexpected — and you won’t be overwhelmed at the rental car counter.

 
Be smart when renting a car.
 
CHECKLIST: HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF WHEN RENTING A CAR
 
Questions to ask your auto insurance agent before you rent:

  • Do I have collision coverage? (If you have an older vehicle and dropped that coverage, you won’t have it on your rental.)
  • Does my policy extend to rental cars? (Most do.)
  • Am I covered outside the United States? Are any countries excluded?
  • Is there a limit on how long I can rent the car?
  • Are there any vehicle exclusions?
  • Does my policy cover loss-of-use and other fees charged by the rental car company?
  • How much liability coverage do I have?

 
Questions to ask your credit card issuer before you rent:

  • Do I have rental car coverage? Is it secondary or primary?
  • Does it cover collisions only or collisions and theft?
  • What’s the maximum reimbursement?
  • Does it cover vehicles rented outside the United States? Are there any vehicle exclusions? (Some won’t cover pickup trucks, moving vans or some types of SUVs.)
  • Is there a limit on how long I can rent the car?
  • Does my policy cover loss-of-use and other fees charged by the rental car company?

 
At the rental car counter:

  • Decline the rental company’s collision waiver.
  • Pay for the car in full with the credit card that provides the protection.
  • Include the names of any other people you expect to drive the car on the rental contract. Many insurance programs won’t cover a driver who isn’t on the contract.
  • Once you get the car, don’t speed, drive on an unpaved road or drive while intoxicated. All can invalidate your coverage.

 
Checklist Source: www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/rental-car-credit-card-protections-vary-1273.php#ixzz2dBTIe2BM

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