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Rental Cars on Vacation, Are You Covered?

April 1, 2022

Rental Cars

According to research, rental cars are involved in collisions at a higher rate than owner-registered vehicles. If you’re traveling and renting a car, the agency will sell you on the importance of insurance. Additionally, the agent will strongly encourage you to purchase the rental agency’s preferred coverage. Given the prevalence of accidents, this might seem like a good idea. However, it prompts the question — are you already insured on a rental car?

In some cases, purchasing insurance at the counter is easy to mitigate liabilities. Alternatively, it’s also superfluous. It is because many auto insurance policies already include rental car coverage. To see if your insurance is sufficient, consider the following categories of coverage.

Bodily Injury Liability

Many rental companies offer a form of insurance called a liability insurance supplement. It typically includes coverage for any injuries sustained by other drivers and damages to their vehicle. A rental company will usually offer this coverage through a third-party insurer. However, you might not need it if you have an insurance policy that includes property damage and bodily injury liability. If your coverage limits for your existing policy are low, consider purchasing more insurance before you rent a car.

Collision Coverage for Rental Cars

The majority of states require drivers to carry a minimum insurance policy covering medical liability. However, a collision coverage policy isn’t mandatory. If you carry this type of insurance, you might already have the coverage that comes from a collision damage waiver policy. This is a policy that rental car companies commonly sell alongside a loss damage waiver policy. It can be beneficial if you do not have collision coverage or if your policy has a high deductible.

Medical Payments

Another important aspect of rental car coverage is its limit for medical payments. This coverage is usually included in a rental agency’s personal accident insurance policy. Still, you may already be covered if you have health insurance or MA auto insurance that covers medical payments. Ideally, the insurance that a rental agency tries to sell you should cover medical bills. However, your existing coverage probably includes this. Check your MA auto insurance policy to verify that it provides coverage for rental cars before you decline any coverage.

Personal Effects

One thing to consider is a policy that includes your personal effects. What will it cost you if someone breaks into your car and steals your belongings? Does your insurance policy cover the cost of repairing a broken window or replacing stolen valuables? Even if you file a police report, some rental companies will hold you liable for damages resulting from vandalism. Renters’ or homeowners’ insurance may offer coverage. If not, you should ensure that your auto policy provides protection — or invest in personal effects coverage.

About E.J. O’Neil Insurance Agency

Since 1898, E.J. O’Neil Insurance Agency has provided homeowners with reliable coverage and high-quality customer service. Today, we offer a variety of policies, including commercial, boat, automobile, homeowners, motorcycle and renters insurance. Quotes are free by phone or online request, and we can provide notary and other services at our location. We pride ourselves on caring for customers when they need it most, proving it with over $3.2 million in claims paid over 12 months. To find the right coverage for your need, call 413-594-4757 or visit us online.