With many Americans hitting the road this summer vacation and many more renting cars abroad, insurance specialists are warning motorists to be cautious. Rental vehicles might not be covered by their insurance policies, experts add.
Some rental companies offer dozens of insurance options but experts say that these can often trick drivers into believing that they will be covered. But that is not often the case, they say. Checking the wrong items can lead to costly mistakes like purchasing the wrong coverage. Motorists can even miss gaps in coverage.
To avoid these, insurance analysts recommend that policyholders contact their providers before renting a car. Drivers should also talk to agents of the credit card they will be using to pay.
Experts say that car insurance providers need to be aware that their policyholder will be renting a car. Motorists should also ask representatives if rental cars are included in their policies. Some insurers include rental cars in a driver’s coverage while others require them to pay extra for the additional options.
For domestic rentals, analysts recommend asking insurance companies about the coverage of their policies. Providers usually extend policyholders’ coverage to rental cars as long as they are using the vehicle for personal use and not for business. Experts say the same coverage, benefits, and deductibles that drivers have for their own cars apply to rental cars in most cases.
Drivers who have chosen to drop certain options can expect lesser coverage on rental coverage. Getting rid of collision coverage can mean that damage costs to rental cars have to be shouldered by the drivers themselves. If the rental vehicle is stolen, policyholders are basically on their own, specialists explain.
Motorists should also check with their insurers if administrative fees and towing fees are also covered. They add that coverage options offered by many rental companies are actually more expensive than those offered by insurance providers. They warn, though, that in many states, similar fees are not covered by insurers.
Specialists also add that policyholders should check with their credit card companies if they offer coverage of some sort if they pay for rental cars with plastic. Most card issuers pay only for partial coverage like minor damage to the rental vehicles. Personal liability coverage or injury claims are rare, analysts contend.
Experts advise policyholders to check with their insurance providers and credit card companies to have a clearer picture of rental car coverage.