You know your car insurance protects both you and your vehicle against a wide range of hazards, but you might not be sure of how far your coverage extends, literally. When you plan a vacation, you may not know if your regular auto insurance will provide coverage for any rental cars, or if you’ll need to purchase additional protection while you’re away.
So, are you covered while you’re on vacation and using a rental car, or do you need more insurance? It’s important to find out these answers straight from the pros, aka independent insurance agents. Ask agents anything. They have the answers. Here’s the inside scoop on what they have to say about your car insurance and if it covers rental cars while you’re on vacation.
Does My Car Insurance Cover Me in a Vacation Rental Car?
Yes it does, in part. Your car insurance covers the liability portion of what might happen when you rent a car on vacation. So, if you cause damage with the rental car, such as getting into an accident and damaging another vehicle, your regular car insurance would cover the other driver’s car. However, your regular car insurance won’t cover any damage you do to the rental vehicle.
Are There Any Restrictions on My Coverage for Rental Cars?
Yes, your regular auto insurance will not cover any damage done to the actual rental vehicle. For that, you’d want to buy the optional coverage called rental reimbursement that they offer at the rental office. You’ll also have to sign a loss damage waiver. It’s also important to review your specific auto insurance policy with your independent insurance agent to see if there’s a limit on the coverage it provides for liability issues with rental vehicles.
What Does My Car Insurance Cover?
That depends on the type of insurance you purchased. If you bought collision car insurance, it would cover the following:
- Collisions with other vehicles
- Collisions with objects, such as trees, signposts, fences, and buildings
- Single-car accidents such as running off the road into a ditch
Now, if you bought an additional type of insurance known as comprehensive coverage, you’d have a lot more protection. Comprehensive coverage reimburses drivers for hazards considered “other than collision,” including:
- Riots: This covers you if your vehicle gets damaged due to shenanigans taking place during a riot.
- Glass breakage: This covers you if your windshield or windows are cracked, chipped, or shattered.
- Natural disasters and weather damage: This covers your vehicle from fire, hurricanes, hail, tornadoes, and flood damage.
- Theft and vandalism: This covers you if your car is stolen or vandalized by keying, tagging, etc.
- Collision with animals: This covers you if you hit a deer or other large animal that damages your vehicle. This is the only type of collision not covered under the collision section of standard auto insurance policies.
Your independent insurance agent can help you review your auto insurance to detail what you do and don’t have coverage for. If you haven’t purchased comprehensive car coverage, they can also help you decide if adding it would be a good choice.
What Is Car Property Damage Coverage?
If you damage another person’s car in an accident that you’re at fault for, your auto insurance will cover the cost of repairs. Property damage coverage also reimburses for damage you cause to property like fences, posts, or buildings. This is one of the most important coverages for all drivers on the road to have, just in case of an incident. In fact, this coverage is mandatory for all drivers in every state across the US as the bare minimum auto insurance requirement.
What Is Car Liability Coverage?
Aside from property damage liability, the other major legal coverage provided in standard car insurance policies is bodily injury liability. If you caused an accident, your bodily injury liability coverage would pay for the costs of the other driver and their passengers to get the medical care they required. Medical payments coverage pays for the fees from doctors’ and hospital visits, and often emergency services such as ambulances.
What if I Don’t Have Auto Insurance?
In that case, you’d be stuck paying costs for accidents and other incidents out of your own pocket. Whether you’re in a rental car or not, it’s crucial to have auto insurance to protect against damage you may cause to another person’s vehicle or other property, and also against bodily injury. Car insurance is also important to protect your vehicle against other threats like natural disasters. Without coverage, you could end up paying to replace your car by yourself.
Other Common Risks Worth Considering Auto Insurance For
Vacation isn’t the only time drivers need to be concerned about protection their vehicles. Whether you’re away from home or even just parked in the driveway, your car is always at risk of getting damaged or stolen. Having auto insurance is important to protect you against the following common hazards:
- Vandalism: Cars can be vandalized in many ways, including being keyed, tagged, getting the tires slashed, or broken into. Damage for these incidents would be covered by comprehensive auto insurance.
- Hail damage: Hail can totally destroy vehicles during a severe storm. If you live in an area prone to hailstorms, you’ll want to have comprehensive auto insurance to protect your vehicle.
- Theft: Whether you’ve left your car unattended on a road trip or even just in your own driveway, your car can be stolen anywhere. Comprehensive auto insurance will reimburse the vehicle’s owner for the replacement value of the car.
You deserve the right protection for your vehicle, no matter where it’s located. Your independent insurance agent can help you get it covered against local and global risks.
Any Other Important Coverage Considerations For Vacations?
If you’ll also be renting a home while away on vacation, you might be relieved to know that your homeowners or condo insurance will still protect you. These policies will protect you in the following ways even while you’re on vacation:
- Personal property damage or loss: Your coverage protects your personal belongings like clothing, electronics, etc. even while you’re away on vacation from damage, destruction, or loss due to things like theft or fires. However, double-check your policy because the coverage limits are likely to be lower while you’re away from home.
- Liability: While you’re away, your liability coverage will still protect against anyone getting injured on your property back at home. It’ll also cover damage you may cause to the rental home you’re staying in, such as if you cause a fire.
Review your homeowners or condo insurance policy with your independent insurance agent to be sure of all the ways you’ll be covered while away on vacation. You may decide to increase your coverage limits if you feel they aren’t high enough.
Here’s How an Independent Insurance Agent Would Help
When it comes to answering your important questions about car insurance for rental vehicles and everything else, no one’s better suited to help than an independent insurance agent. Independent insurance agents search through multiple carriers to find providers who specialize in auto and home insurance, deliver quotes from a number of different sources, and help you walk through them all to find the best blend of coverage and cost.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin
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