School is out. The days are longer. Summer is here and vacations may be on the horizon. If you are flying to your destination, a rental car may be necessary. It may also make you wonder, does my insurance cover rental cars?
We get this question a lot…almost daily! So, let’s discuss some of the options you have and find the answer to this popular question…
Does my insurance cover rental cars?
Typically your Ohio personal auto policy will cover a car you rent from a rental agency, such as Hertz, Avis, or Enterprise. However, there are different coverage nuances that you need to know!
- First, the rental vehicle needs to be used for personal use. Furthermore, it cannot be operated commercially – used for profit, to transport, or in the course of business
- Second, the same liability limits you have on your personal auto policy will extend to the rental vehicle.
- If you have comprehensive and collision coverage on your personal auto policy, it will extend to a rental vehicle. The deductibles you carry on your personal auto policy will be applicable to the rental vehicle. If you don’t carry physical damage coverage on your personal auto insurance policy, you guessed it! No physical damage will extend to the rental vehicle.
- Geographically, you will need to operate the rental vehicle in the United States. It is not likely that coverage transfers to foreign countries; check with your insurance carrier to verify coverage.
- In terms of weight, the vehicle you are renting needs to be under 12,500 lbs GVW. Anything over this weight is considered a commercial vehicle and coverage would not apply. As a result, have a conversation with your insurance agent or carrier to determine the exact coverage.
- Finally, your personal auto policy will likely NOT reimburse you for the rental agency’s loss of use if you damage their vehicle. If the rental vehicle is severely damaged and out of the fleet, the rental agency will likely charge you per day per diem of what they would have received if the vehicle was being rented by another customer. This can be costly to you. Pay attention to this detail.
Next, there are typically 5 things the rental agencies will try to sell you when renting a vehicle.
Collision Damage Waiver
- Waives your responsibility if the rental vehicle is damaged or stolen.
- Covers the rental agency’s loss of use while the rental is being replaced or repaired.
- Costs $12-22 per day
- This is mandated by each state.
- Covers you from potential lawsuits if you cause injuries or damages to someone else’s property.
- Costs $8-15 per day.
Personal Medical Payments
- Covers your medical costs after an accident.
- Costs $2-5 per day.
Gasoline top off
- Allows you to get a discounted rate on filling up the vehicle upon returning the vehicle.
Personal Effects/Property coverage
- Insures your property while in the rental car.
- Costs $1-3 per day.
As you can see, the rental insurance on a rented vehicle can be quite pricey. Talk to a licensed insurance agent at Hitchings Insurance Agency regarding your unique travel situation. In some cases, it may make sense to use the coverage provided by your own insurance. In other cases, it may make sense to use the rental agency’s coverage.
We do have some common recommendations.
- If you can purchase a loss of use waiver, do it.
- Do you have a homeowner or renters insurance policy? If so, we recommend declining the personal effects coverage. You will have coverage extended from those policies.
- If you’re in a foreign country, we ALWAYS recommend purchasing the rental agency’s insurance policies.
Finally, we are glad you found us! Hopefully we can help cover your unique insurance needs. If you are looking for auto insurance, click on the link below! We have over 50 years of experience in this field alone!