The truth about rental car insurance: Do you need it or not?

Author's Note

I've actually texted my sister (who travels more than I do) to reassure myself that I didn't need to buy the rental company's insurance – while I was standing in line to pick up my rental car. I always have a "what if" moment of doubt when I decline the coverage, so I was really interested in researching this question.

I was reassured to learn that my regular auto policy, like most, does extend coverage's to cars that I rent. I didn't know about the extra fees the rental companies often tack on if you do find yourself in an accident. But by far the biggest surprise was learning that my credit card gives me some protection to cover what my regular insurance doesn't, as long as I charge the rental on that card. Who knew that credit cards give you something you didn't even know to ask for? And once again, I was reminded of the importance of doing some research before you find yourself at that moment of decision.

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  • CarsDirect. "When to Buy Rental Car Insurance." (April 14, 2012)
  • "Insurance Coverage Definitions/Car Insurance Coverage." (April 12, 2012)
  • Crouch, Michelle. "Don't automatically refuse extra rental car insurance coverage." (April 12, 2012)
  • Glomp, Christopher. "Rental Car Insurance: Do You Need It?" (April 13, 2012) http://www.insuranceagentscom/car-insurance/2009-06-rental.html
  • Nance-Nash, Sheryl. "Rental Agency Car Insurance: Is It Worth the Price?" Daily Finance. June 1, 2011. (April 18, 2012)
  • State Farm. "Do I Need Insurance for Rental Cars?" (April 12, 2012)
  • United Service Automobile Association. "Coverage for Rented Vehicles." (April 13, 2012)
  • Visa. "Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver -- Personal." (April 17, 2012)