Summer Travel Tips: Do I Need to Purchase Rental Car Insurance?

Rental Car Insurance Lawyers - Sarasota, Bradenton, Punta Gorda, Tallahassee

Do I Need to Purchase Rental Car Insurance?

You’ve been traveling all day and you’re tired. You just want to get your rental car and drive to your hotel for some rest. While standing at the car rental counter, the inevitable question is asked. “Would you like to purchase insurance for your rental car?” For many, this is followed by an uncomfortable hesitation and a glazed over facial expression. Do you really need it? Do you risk not having it? The truthful answer is that it depends.

In many cases, your own auto insurance policy will cover a rental car as well. If you’re planning on renting a car, contact your auto insurance provider to confirm your coverage. If you’re renting a vehicle out of state, be specific. Auto insurance policies can vary greatly from in-state to out of state. Even if your own auto insurance provides coverage, you need to determine if that coverage is sufficient based upon the vehicle you’re renting. If you have a bare bones auto insurance policy, it’s unlikely to cover the damages to a rented luxury vehicle or RV.

Second, many credit cards provide supplemental rental car insurance coverage as part of their services. For the coverage to apply, you would have to pay for the rental car with that credit card. In addition, your normal auto insurance and any supplemental auto insurance would have to be exhausted before the credit card coverage would pay for any damages. Again, call your credit card companies to determine which do and do not provide supplemental rental car insurance.

Last, rental car companies rarely publish the fact that each vehicle they rent already has a liability insurance policy. Generally, the liability coverage is at the lowest levels required by state law. It’s illegal for car rental companies to allow their vehicles to be driven without liability insurance. In fact, in 2003, Enterprise was forced by the NY Attorney General to repay $2 million to thousands of consumers who were forced to purchase liability insurance, even though the vehicles already had liability insurance.

As with anything auto insurance related, the details count. If you’re traveling and will be renting a vehicle, plan ahead. Call your auto insurance provider and your credit card companies to determine what coverages, if any, they provide. Once you have all the facts, make your determination based on all of the auto insurance coverages available to you.

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Sarasota Office:

2 North Tamiami Trail, 5th Floor
Sarasota, FL 34236

Toll Free: (866) 802-8182
Local: (941) 951-1800
Fax: (941) 366-1603

Hours:

Monday – Friday
8:30 AM – 5:15 PM

Saturday & Sunday Closed

Tallahassee Office:

2155 Delta Blvd, Suite 210-B
Tallahassee, Florida 32303

Toll Free: (877) 521-0890
Local: (850) 521-0890
Fax: (850) 521-0891

Hours:

Monday – Friday
8:30 AM – 5:15 PM

Saturday & Sunday Closed

Bradenton Office:

2401 Manatee Ave W.
Bradenton, FL 34205

Toll Free: (866) 802-8182
Local: (941) 748-8778
Fax: (941) 366-1603

Hours:

Monday – Friday
8:30 AM – 5:15 PM

Saturday & Sunday Closed

Punta Gorda Office:

122 Nesbit Street
Punta Gorda, FL 33950

Toll Free: (866) 802-8182
Local: (941) 655-6910
Fax: (941) 366-1603

Hours:

Monday – Friday
8:30 AM – 5:15 PM

Saturday & Sunday Closed