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Does My Car Insurance Policy Cover Rental Cars?

Insurance policies are essential as a car owner, as they help you comfortably bear the brunt of unforeseen circumstances by providing you with a financial safety net. But all that is for a car that you own.

What happens if you go on a road trip using a rental car or van? Does your auto insurance policy apply? We learn about this and more in the sections below.

What is supplementary car rental insurance?

When you go to rent a car, the rental agency may ask you to buy an optional insurance policy for protection in case something goes wrong. This is known as supplemental car rental insurance or rental car coverage. It covers damages to the rental car in the event of accidents or other covered incidents while the vehicle is in your possession.

Does my auto insurance policy cover rental cars?

When you are faced with the offer of buying rental car coverage, it's safe to decline. That's because your personal auto insurance policy may already cover a car rental. But before you decline, put a call through to your insurance agent to ensure your auto policy includes the following coverage: 

Collision and comprehensive

Collision helps pay for repairs to your vehicle if it's damaged in a collision with another vehicle or object. Comprehensive coverage helps pay for damage to your vehicle caused by non-collision events such as theft, vandalism, fire, and natural disasters.

If you don't have collision and comprehensive, you’d have to pay for any damage to the rental car from your own pocket unless you buy a loss-damage waiver (LDW), also called a collision damage waiver (CDW). 


Liability coverage helps pay for bodily injury and property damage that you may cause to others in an at-fault accident. You can buy supplemental liability coverage if your auto policy has minimal liability coverage. 

Personal injury protection and medical payments

If you have personal injury protection or medical payment coverage, you will receive payment to cover medical expenses for you and your passengers resulting from a covered accident. But before you decline supplemental rental car insurance, make sure the limit on your existing auto coverage is enough for you. 

Roadside assistance

Check whether your auto insurance provides this policy before purchasing from the car rental company. This covers on-the-road issues such as a flat tire, jumpstarts for dead batteries, fuel delivery, or towing. 

Renters or homeowners policies 

You also need renters or homeowner insurance policies to protect you if your belongings are stolen from the rental car. Otherwise, you will need personal effects coverage from the supplemental car insurance. 

When rental car insurance can be a good idea 

Even if your personal auto insurance provides enough protection, you may still need to buy supplemental car insurance in instances such as: 

  • When your personal auto insurance has minimal limits. 

  • When you are driving a rental car outside the US and Canada. 

  • When you are renting a car for business purposes. 

Get the right insurance for rental cars

If you plan to rent a vehicle soon, speak to one of our experts at T4 Insurance Solutions for guidance. We'll let you know whether your personal auto insurance provides enough protection and if not, help you get the right coverage at affordable rates. Contact us today



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