The question of whether you need the Loss Damage Waiver auto insurance coverage offered by rental agencies is a complicated one. Car rental agencies offer insurance coverage to all of their customers and the renter has to specifically refuse it to avoid having it added to the bill.
A person who is interested in renting a car needs to understand that he or she has options when it comes to insuring the vehicle. Considering the options before making a decision will help you find the right coverage for your needs.
Rental Car Insurance from a Credit Card Company
A number of credit card companies offer car rental coverage as a benefit to their accountholders. Drivers should contact the financial institution issuing the card to confirm that coverage is in place and to find out how much protection is provided and what types of losses it will pay out on.
Existing Car Insurance Coverage
Your auto insurance policy may also provide coverage if you rent a vehicle. Pull out your policy to read though its provisions to see whether the existing coverage extends to a rented car. You also have the option of contacting the company directly to find out about your coverage. Be sure to have your policy number handy so that the company can provide accurate information about your coverage.
If you don’t have rental car coverage in place on your existing auto insurance policy, ask how much it will cost to add a rider to it which will give you this protection. This is a good option if you are planning to rent cars often. For occasional renters, buying the coverage offered by the car rental agency is a reasonable alternative.
Insurance from Car Rental Agency
A number of drivers agree to purchase the auto insurance offered by the car rental agency. This is an easy and convenient choice for drivers who may not have checked out other coverage options.
The car rental agency may offer several types of coverage to its customers, and a driver should make a point of reading through the contract carefully before agreeing to its terms. The agency may offer collision coverage, personal injury protection or a policy which covers personal items in the vehicle to its customers.
If an accident occurs while driving a rental car, the company may expect the driver to pay for the amount of the claim up front. The driver would then seek reimbursement from his or her own auto insurance provider. This may take some time and not all drivers have the financial resources to pay for a claim up front.
For some drivers, the easiest way to deal with the issue of having auto insurance coverage on a rental vehicle is to buy the agency’s insurance coverage. If a covered loss occurs to the rented vehicle, the claim would be made under this coverage rather than the driver’s personal policy. Claims would likely be settled more quickly in this instance.