When renting a car, should you buy the auto coverage the rental company offers or stick with your own policy? The answer depends on what your current policy covers or if you have an auto insurance policy at all. Let’s take a look at when or if it makes sense to buy coverage from the rental company.
Do You Have Your Own Coverage?
If you own a car, you are required to have a car insurance policy that meets Florida state minimum standards. If you are visiting from out of state, you are required to have coverage meeting or exceeding the minimum requirements of the state that you are from. Assuming you do have coverage, it will generally extend to the rental car that you are driving. Therefore, there is no need to buy any additional coverage.
What If You Don’t Own a Car?
Those who don’t own a car most likely don’t have car insurance. Therefore, it may be necessary to purchase a rental company’s policy or obtain coverage on your own before you can drive the rental car. In lieu of buying a policy, you may be able to obtain a loss-damage waiver or a collision damage waiver. What this says is that the rental company won’t hold you liable if you get into an accident or the car is stolen while in your possession.
What If Your Things Are Stolen, or You Are Hurt?
If your possessions are stolen from your rental car, your homeowners or renters insurance policy will cover your losses. In the event that you are hurt in an accident, your health insurance may cover the damage. It may also be possible to sue the person who hurt you in hopes of claiming compensation for injuries and other costs.
Don’t Forget About Deductibles
While you may have to pay for coverage offered by the car rental company, you will have to pay your deductible if you make a claim through your own insurance company. Therefore, it may be a good idea to look at whether paying a deductible would cost more than simply paying for a policy offered by your rental company.
Renting a car can be a good idea if you want to drive something a little sportier or luxurious than your current vehicle for a day or two. It may also help avoid wear and tear or putting more miles than you can afford to on a leased vehicle. Whatever your reasons for renting a vehicle, make sure that you take into consideration whether you are covered in case of an accident and how you will protect yourself.
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