Should I purchase the insurance offered by rental car companies?

You should always check with your insurance agent and read your insurance company’s policy to make sure your auto insurance coverage would extend to a rental car. Coverage could very from company to company. Even if you have your auto insurance through Elkstone Insurance Group, Inc your insurance coverage could change depending on the insurance company you are insured with, within our agency. In general, most auto insurance companies I have work with will extend coverage from the best insured vehicle on your auto policy, if not excluded for some reason. So if you do not have collision and comprehensive (liability only) on any one of your vehicles currently insured, then you wouldn’t have collision and comprehensive coverage extend to the vehicle you are renting. In that case, you may want to purchase the coverage offered by the rental car company.

If you have more than one auto insurance company in the household, most policies will exclude coverage for non-owned vehicles. I believe insurance companies put this in their policy to eliminate double coverage or to avoid conflict with the other insurance company in the household as to what insurance company is responsible if there was a loss. Most of the time, it is best to have all your vehicles, in the household, insured with the same insurance company and not split them among two or more insurance companies.

Insurance companies will also exclusion coverage to a large vehicles or trucks rented. If you are renting a moving truck, coverage may NOT extend from your auto policy to that moving truck.  For example, coverage may extend if the vehicle’s GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight) is 10,000 LB or less. Within the same insurance company this weight limit may change depending on the type of coverage extended for i.e. collision, comprehensive or liability.

Higher risk auto insurance companies might have limited coverage for this. One insurance company “Viking/Dairyland” will only extend coverage for a rental vehicle if it is needed as temporary transpertation while the main vehicle is in the shop. They will not extend coverage for a rental vehicle rented while on vacation.

Keep in mind your auto policy may only cover a rental car driven in the United States and maybe Canada. If you plan on renting a vehicle in Mexico or other counties, more than likely, your coverage will not extend to those territories.

Many policy holders will make the mistake that this extension of insurance coverage for a rental car is covered under a coverage called “Loss of use” or “Rental Car” coverage. This is not the same coverage. If you have “Loss of use” or “Rental Car” coverage on your declaration page, that coverage pays for the cost of a rental car while an insured vehicle cannot be operated and is being repaired for damage payable under collision or comprehensive coverage.