Will My Car Insurance Cover Damage to a Rental Car?

Drivers often need clarification about whether they are required to purchase additional insurance for renting a vehicle. In most cases, drivers do not require additional insurance to cover damage to a rental vehicle; however, exceptions exist. Please carry on reading to learn more about car insurance for damage to a rental car. 

Do I Need Insurance to Rent a Car?

Some states require drivers to carry minimum liability insurance. Minimum liability insurance covers property damage and bodily injury sustained by the policyholder. It covers the damage done to a rental vehicle as well. Other types of insurance, including comprehensive and collision insurance, can provide coverage to the policyholder for damages to the rental vehicle in case of an accident. 


Additional things that can cover damage to a rental vehicle include the credit card you used to buy the rental vehicle, health insurance, homeowners’ insurance, and umbrella insurance. If you have already purchased any of these insurance coverages, you can review their insurance policies before paying for separate insurance from the rental car company. 

Does My Personal Car Insurance Cover Rental Cars?

Generally, your car insurance also covers rental cars with the same deductibles and policy limits. However, there might be some limitations. For example, your personal car insurance may not cover rental vehicles you use for business purposes and only cover rentals you drive for personal use. Car accident lawyer Nunez suggests you hire an attorney to guide you on state and local laws about car insurance. 


There might be additional factors you need to consider, including the amount of coverage you own. If a driver has liability coverage, any damage to their rental car can be covered under that policy. However, if it exceeds the limit, that coverage might not be enough. This is why some drivers opt for supplemental liability coverage for the rental vehicle. 


Some insurers might not offer comprehensive or collision coverage that extends to rental vehicles, so you should check your insurance policies before renting a car. Also, you may have to pay the deductible before you can get any payout from the insurance company. 


If you sustain injuries in an accident while driving a rental, your medical expenses can be covered by personal injury protection or PIP insurance. This means you would not be required to purchase any additional coverage, such as personal accident coverage, from the rental car company. 

When Should I Buy Rental Insurance, Even If I’m Already Covered?

You might want to consider purchasing insurance from the rental car company in the following situations:


  • You Have Low Personal Car Insurance Coverage: If you only have minimum liability insurance, it may not cover the damage to the rental vehicle. In that case, purchasing additional liability insurance from the rental company can be better for protecting yourself in an accident. 
  • High Deductibles on Existing Insurance Policies: If your car insurance policy has high deductibles, you could incur out-of-pocket expenses for minor damage to the rental vehicle. To avoid that, you can consider buying rental insurance, which may have lower deductibles than your insurance policies. 
  • Valuable Rental Vehicle: If your personal vehicle is less valuable than the rental vehicle, your insurance coverage may not be adequate to cover the rental vehicle damages, which is why you might benefit from purchasing rental insurance.