No one wants to start off their vacation by struggling to decipher the insurance coverage options at the rental car counter.  Doing your research ahead of time will guarantee a smooth start to your trip.  Read on to find out what coverage options are available, and whether or not you need to purchase them.

Typically, your personal auto policy will automatically transfer your existing coverage over to your rental vehicle if you’re renting within the United States or Canada.  If you’re travelling to any other country you will need to purchase coverage there.  It’s always a good idea to call your insurance company before you travel to confirm that your coverages will apply.  It’s also important to know what coverages and limits you carry on your personal auto policy so you can decide if you need to purchase any additional insurance from the rental car company.

Bodily Injury Liability is the coverage that pays out in the event that you are at-fault in an accident that causes injury to another motorist, your passengers or pedestrians.  Property Damage Liability pays out in the event that you are at-fault in an accident that causes damage to another vehicle or other property such as street signs, garages or landscaping.  The liability coverage you have on your personal auto policy will carry over to your rental vehicle, so if you are happy with those limits then there’s no need to buy any extra liability coverage.

Collision coverage provides coverage for any damage to your own vehicle, regardless of whether you’re at-fault in an accident. Comprehensive coverage can be utilized in the event that your vehicle is damaged by something other than an auto accident, such as vandalism, collision with an animal or falling objects.  As with liability coverage, the collision and comprehensive on your personal auto policy will transfer over to your rental. If you choose not to carry collision and/or comprehensive on your personal auto policy then you may want to consider purchasing the Loss Damage Waiver offered by the rental company.  The Loss Damage Waiver will help ensure that you aren’t stuck with any unexpected out of pocket expenses if the rental sustains damage.

Additionally, many credit card companies offer complimentary coverage for rentals purchased with the credit card.  You can check with your credit card company to see what coverage they offer to help fill in any gaps.

If you’d like to chat about your existing coverage on your personal auto policy, you can contact one of Webb’s advisors here.