Renting a car can be a joyous experience, especially if you plan on using it to take a short trip while keeping the miles off your car. Or you could be on a trip to a new city and just need some transportation. And then there’s the unfortunate possibility that your car is in the shop. But no matter what your reason for renting a car, one thing is certain: you will be pushed to purchase insurance by the rental agency.
The rental car industry knows that you don’t know what your level of coverage is when it comes to rental car insurance. You may think that your personal car insurance will cover the rental, but are you sure? That’s what the kid behind the counter will be asking. Let him know that your credit card also provides some rental car insurance, and he’ll ask you how much. Rental car companies like to exploit your uncertainty in order to get you to buy their insurance, which can cost as much or more as the price of the rental. The only way to avoid paying for coverage you don’t need is to know what your existing policies cover.
The best way to find out if you’re covered is to contact your licensed California insurance agent. He or she can apprise you of your policy and everything it entails. Ask for details about your deductible, damage, theft, loss of use, liability, and the level of coverage you have for each. For example, liability coverage can vary wildly in terms of how much you’re insured for. Although it’s always a good idea to read your own insurance policy to check your coverage, a professional insurance agent can give you the answers you’re looking for quickly and easily. And he or she may be able to offer you a better deal on primary coverage with a third party (rental car insurance) than you’re likely to get from the rental company. At the very least, your insurance agent is more knowledgeable and interested in your well-being than the kid behind the counter.