Renting a car this spring break?

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If your spring break plans include renting a car, you'll want to make sure you're covered. This time of year we get a lot of questions from our insureds who are wondering about the insurance coverage on a car they’re renting for their upcoming vacation.

Check your coverage

Contact your insurance company to find out how much coverage you have. In some cases, the coverage and deductibles you have on your personal auto policy would apply to the rented vehicle, providing it’s for pleasure, not business, and you’re not traveling abroad. To be adequately covered in your rental, your existing policy should include liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage.

Next, check with your credit card company to see what insurance coverage they provide. Credit card coverages vary so make sure you understand what is covered and what you are responsible for in the event of a loss.

If you don’t have adequate coverage through your auto insurance policy or credit card, you should consider purchasing the insurance coverage offered by the rental company. Furthermore, consider taking the extra Collision Damage Waiver offered by the rental car company, as it relieves you of financial responsibility if your rental car is damaged or stolen. The waiver covers “loss of use”—the money a rental agency loses when the vehicle can’t be rented due to damages. It may also include “diminished value” protection to cover claims for the reduced value of the vehicle after a loss. In most states, your personal auto insurance policy won’t cover these costs, so you might want the added protection. 

Coverage offered by rental car companies

Finally, be sure to understand the coverages offered by the rental car company. Rental car companies typically offer these coverages:

Liability Coverage. If you have adequate liability coverage on your car or an umbrella policy, you may consider forgoing this additional insurance. Please consult your agent to confirm your coverage.

Personal Accident Insurance provides coverage to you and your passengers for medical bills, but may not be necessary if you are covered by health insurance or have adequate medical payments coverage under your auto policy.

Personal Effects Protection insures your personal belongings.

Collision Damage Waiver relieves you of financial responsibility if your rental car is damaged or stolen. The waiver covers “loss of use”—the money a rental agency loses when the vehicle can’t be rented due to damages. It may also include “diminished value” protection to cover claims for the reduced value of the vehicle after a loss. In most states, an auto insurance policy won’t cover these costs, so you should consider taking the added protection.

 Have more questions about coverage? Call us at 1-800-279-4010.

Certain policy exclusions and limitations may apply. The terms and conditions of your coverage are exclusively controlled by your written policy. Please refer to your policy for details. Underwritten by WEA Property & Casualty Insurance Company.

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