Are Rental Car Insurance Charges a Rip Off? Find out.
Do you really need to pay 30 bucks a day for insurance on your car rental?
After having rented cars for the past several years and now doing some research, here is what I found:
In California where I am, your liability coverage automatically transfers to any car you drive. Whether a friends car or a rental car. If you check with your insurance agent in California, he will tell you this and I believe this is actually the same in most states. So, if you have a car that has liability, I can all but assure that you do not need to pay the 8.99 per day for the Liability coverage.
Now, in most states, for example my home state of Missouri, your comp and collision and theft ALSO transfers to rental cars. Again, check with your agent as it may be different in your state. I checked thoroughly with my agent on the above and found it on my insurance companies guidelines.
Even if you don't have car insurance, chances are your credit card will almost always provide comprehensive and collision coverage. Almost all credit cards give this service!
I have only just discovered this because a credit card I just got said that it gave me rental car insurance. I was excited about this and called the card since the website didn't have any specifics.
After calling the company and waiting on hold, the rep said, Oh... well any card with a Visa logo gives you full comprehensive coverage for rental cars. Even if I use my debit card as a credit card if has a visa logo? The rep directed me to the Visa site.
Low and behold, I discovered that any Visa card does in fact cover rental cars with a $500 deductible. Not only that, but if you already have comp and collision that covers your car, visa pays your deductible.
This would have been great to know.... 10 years ago for me.
Now, in 20 rentals, I have never been in an accident (KNOCKS LOUDLY ON WOOD) however, it seems like the rental car insurance is just an all around bad deal.
I would say that if you are going to get a car through your business, get the coverage so that you don't have it land on your personal record and cost. I guess it is not your money so by getting the rental coverage, if something happens, nothing whatsoever goes on your record. If using it for business use, might as well take advantage.
But for personal use, it is my personal opinion that, unless you get in accidents a lot, it is both better and more cost efficient to use your own insurance combined with the comp and collision of a credit card.
As with anything, you will want to use your own judgment and always talk to a professional if you have questions.
Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express almost all have a coverage for this
The visa.com website is really clear about exactly what they offer. Mastercard is also about the fact that they provide it, but the claims process is not as clear as on the visa website. I know that Discover does on theirs too so check it out.
American Express offers it on most cards, but not all, so you will definitely want to check with them.
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