Every car insurance policy is different, so it is important to check your specific auto insurance policy if you have any questions about coverage—especially when it comes to rental vehicles.
In most cases, car insurance should cover your rental car. For example, if your vehicle is totaled in a wreck and you must rent a vehicle while it is being repaired, your car insurance should provide coverage as long as you are using this rented vehicle.
The same applies if you are on vacation or traveling to a different state. If you rent a vehicle in another state, your car insurance policy may adjust to cover your insurance needs for the rental vehicle.
How Much Insurance is Available for Rental Vehicles?
However much insurance you have on your normal auto insurance policy should also be available on your rental car insurance policy.
This includes state mandated liability coverages. For example, if you are traveling in a different state, your auto insurance limits will automatically adjust to the state’s requirements.
In Virginia, all drivers (whether driving personal vehicles or rental vehicles) must be covered under at least:
- $25,000 in bodily injury liability per person
- $50,000 in bodily injury liability per accident
- $20,000 in property damage liability
If you travel to a state such as Texas which has higher limit requirements, your policy will automatically adjust.
Liability insurance isn’t the only coverage available, however. As long as you have full coverage auto insurance on your personally insured vehicle, you should be able to have full coverage for your rental vehicle.
A full coverage auto insurance policy should include:
- Comprehensive Coverage: Comprehensive coverage provides compensation for damages to the vehicle caused by fire, wind, hail, lightning, smoke, theft, vandalism and other incidents not involving collision.
- Collision Coverage: Collision coverage provides compensation for damages to the vehicle caused by a collision with another vehicle or object.
- Liability: Liability insurance covers bodily injury and property damage you may cause someone else while operating the insured vehicle.
- Medical Payments Coverage: Medical payments coverage, available as personal injury protection in some states, covers you and your passengers medical bills after an accident, no matter who caused the accident.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist: This insurance covers damages and injuries that occur in an accident with a driver who is not carrying the proper amount of insurance.
- Roadside Assistance: Roadside assistance helps with trip interruption expenses such as running out of gas or needing to be towed.
Also keep in mind that if you are renting a vehicle, you will likely be required to have full coverage auto insurance, as this helps protect the rental company if you get into an accident.
Does Car Insurance Cover Rental Cars Outside of the U.S.?
Rentals and car insurance works differently if you are contemplating on leaving the U.S. While all states recognize U.S. car insurance as valid, this cannot be said for all countries. If you plan to travel to Mexico, for example, your U.S. car insurance policy will not be considered valid when you attempt to cross the border. You should also be careful when it comes to rental vehicles. Some car rental companies restrict where you can travel with their rental vehicle. It may not allow you to drive your rental vehicle across country lines.
Many car insurance policies also have limitations on where you can travel, as even if your U.S. policy is recognized in a different country, your insurance provider may not extend your coverage beyond the U.S.
If you plan on traveling, make sure to speak with your insurance agent about your different coverage options. In some cases, you may have to purchase a temporary auto insurance policy from a foreign insurer. However, your insurer may offer endorsements for foreign travel, such as a Mexico auto insurance endorsement.
Can You Get a Rental Car Without Insurance?
It is possible to rent a vehicle even if you don’t have an insurance policy, as all rental vehicles are automatically insured with the minimum requirements as dictated by the state. Basic liability is not generally enough coverage, however. If you cause an accident which leads to damage to the rental vehicle and you don’t have insurance, you could face paying for the damages or compensation the rental company out of pocket.
Be sure to speak with an insurance agent and get the amount of car insurance needed for your vehicle and rental needs.
Also Read: Can You Buy Car Insurance With No Down Payment?
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