The short answer is yes. If you don’t have car insurance, you can still rent a car from several national and local rental companies. These companies have insured the cars on their own with the state’s minimum liability auto insurance requirements. Since the cars are more than likely registered in their name, they will have to handle getting them insured before they can be rented.
However, they insure them with the absolute minimum of coverage limits which are often not enough to fully cover you in the event of a claim. But it is possible to add more insurance to the rental car. This post goes over everything you need to know about going about renting a car with the proper insurance.
Is Your Own Car Insurance Required For a Rental?
Car insurance coverage follows the vehicle rather than the driver. It also depends on whose name the car is registered in with the state’s DMV. The owner of the car is the one who will have to get insurance for it. Since it is a rental company, they are in charge of insuring their cars. 49 out of 50 states require all vehicles on the road to have at least a certain amount of liability insurance.
The practice of paying for damage and injuries that you cause while driving is a legal necessity. But as previously mentioned, the amount of liability insurance that rental companies insure their cars with isn’t enough to fully cover damage and injuries in most cases -it just satisfies the legal requirement. This means that, as the driver, you are on the line for any remaining balances.
What if You Rent a Car With Insurance?
If you have your own car insurance policy, be it standard or pay-per-mile, its coverage can actually be transferred to the rental car while it is in your care. You may need to check with your car insurance provider beforehand, but having your liability insurance transferred over to the rental can cover you completely. But it depends on if you have a good, reliable insurance provider.
What is Liability Car Insurance?
Often referred to as basic car insurance, liability insurance pays out to cover damages and injuries you cause to other drivers while on the road. Nearly every state has coverage limits for how much liability insurance drivers must carry. Liability car insurance provides financial protection for treatment fees, hospital services, lost wages from missed days at work, and any repair jobs.
All these are for the other driver and not yourself. If the other driver was at fault for the accident, then their insurance would cover your damages -vice versa of what we just discussed. In order to extend coverage to your car and injuries, you can upgrade to full coverage by adding collision and comprehensive coverage.
Collision insurance covers repairs to your car in an accident that you caused, while comprehensive coverage handles damage done to your car when you are away from it, such as environmental and criminal damage. Personal injury protection can also be added to cover your medical treatments after an at-fault accident. And yes, all these coverages transfer over to a rental car if you have such a policy.
Can You Get Additional Insurance From a Rental Company?
While checking out at the counter, a rental company will also offer you additional insurance while using their car. A lot of customers assume it’s a way for rental companies to get more money from you, but if you are without car insurance of your own, it can be really beneficial. Here is the kind of additional coverage a car rental company may offer you:
- Collision damage waiver - This waives all remaining balances after liability insurance covers its amount. This can happen after an accident and even if the car were to be totaled, which you would normally be on the line for.
- Personal accident coverage - This covers any medical services like transport and injuries of yourself and any passengers in the rental car with you at the time of the accident.
- Supplemental liability protection - This coverage is especially helpful if you are sued after an accident. This can also help increase liability coverage.
- Personal effects coverage - This will cover any items that you left in the rental car that was damaged or stolen. Typically, personal effects coverage covers up to $500 worth of personal belongings.
Can a Credit Card Provider Offer Insurance For a Rental Car?
Check with your credit card provider to see if they offer insurance for rental cars because several of them do. You will usually have to use the card from the provider in question to rent the car and be entitled to its insurance. You will also have to refuse any insurance offered by the rental company in order to qualify. Your credit card provider may offer insurance for only certain types of vehicles, so check with them to see what their insurance entails.
Will Non-Owner Car Insurance be Enough For a Rental Car?
Non-owner car insurance is great when you regularly drive cars that you don’t own. If you frequently use rental car services, then a non-owner policy may be worth it in the long run. However, for the one-and-done rental car, it wouldn’t be worth it since it’s its own insurance policy with premiums.
Don’t underestimate the importance of having good auto insurance coverage. Insurance Navy can help you get the policy you need at the most budget-friendly rates. Request a free quote online or give us a call at 888-949-6289.