When you rent a car in Phoenix, you will be asked by the rental agent if you wish to take out rental car insurance. But is this insurance really necessary?
First, let’s take a look at what rental insurance gives you:
- Loss or collision damage waiver: This waiver removes your liability if the rental car is damaged, vandalized or stolen.
- Liability: You are covered if you damage other vehicles or property while using the rental car, and if other people injured in accidents have medical expenses.
- Personal accident insurance: This covers medical costs for anyone injured in your vehicle.
- Personal effects coverage: This covers lost or damaged personal items that were in your rental car.
Analyzing your existing coverage
The main determining factor in whether or not you need rental car insurance is your existing coverage.
First, you should check your standard car insurance policy. Almost everyone with car insurance has liability coverage, as this is usually required by state law. This coverage helps to pay for other people’s property damage and medical costs. This coverage often carries over to rental car use, so it will provide you with at least some level of coverage when driving a rental. If you have comprehensive and collision coverage, this could also provide you with additional coverage when using a rental car.
Next, you should check your health insurance policy. If you have good health insurance, you probably don’t need the personal accident insurance offered by a rental insurance policy, especially if you also have personal injury protection and/or medical payments covered through your car insurance.
If you already purchased a travel insurance policy for your trip, you can also see if rental car collision coverage is included. This type of coverage will typically be similar to a deal a rental car company offers you.
Even homeowner’s or renter’s insurance could help you in the event of a rental car accident. Many such policies cover your belongings wherever you take them, which means you would not need the personal effects coverage found in rental car insurance.
Finally, check your credit card benefits. Many credit card companies offer at least a minimal level of rental car insurance as a fringe benefit, so long as you use that card to pay for the rental. Call your company or visit its website to verify the existence of these benefits.
When rental car insurance is a good idea
Generally, you will want to get rental car insurance if any of the following situations apply to you:
- You do not have car insurance, or have a minimal car insurance policy
- You are traveling primarily for business purposes and your company will not cover rental car insurance
- You are renting a car in another country
- You are worried that a rental car accident could affect your car insurance premiums
- You want additional peace of mind
For more information about rental car insurance, contact S & J Auto Repair & Rental today and we will answer your questions about car rental in Phoenix.