Straight answers to the nagging questions about Rental Car Insurance
You’ve just started your vacation. You’ve arrived at your destination by plane, collected your luggage, and are in the process of renting a car.You’ve given the person behind the counter your driver’s license and credit card, and now you are being asked if you want to buy “coverage” from the rental car company.
Do you need it?
Possibly not, but how can you be sure? The best way is to be prepared and know the answer to this question before you leave on your vacation.
Why shouldn’t you buy insurance from a rental car company? The person behind the counter is (usually) not a licensed insurance professional. He or she is not conversant with insurance laws and won’t know whether or not your personal auto policy covers you when you rent a vehicle (in most circumstances, it does insure for some things, but not everything).
Some rental car company personnel may say you are required to buy the coverage (not true) or you will be personally liable for any damage to the car while you’re renting it (most likely, not true).
This Coverage Is Incredibly Expensive
* Fact. While it’s true you could be making a costly mistake if you need the rental car coverage and don’t buy it, you’re also making a costly mistake if you buy it when you don’t need it.
Rental car insurance is incredibly expensive. On a daily basis,which is how it is sold, the rental car coverage can cost 10 to 20 times more than your auto insurance policy. If you buy all the coverages offered by the rental car companies, you could easily double the daily cost of your rental vehicle.
So who needs to buy the rental car coverage? Well, here’s who doesn’t. If you have insurance for your own car(s), you don’t need the rental car insurance if you are only renting in Manitoba – provided you are not renting the vehicle for business deliveries. Here, the rental car’s basic insurance covers you, so you do have some protection.
* Note. One thing to keep in mind: Your coverages on your personal auto policy have deductibles (the amount you must pay before the insurance kicks in, and the basic amount is $500). Those deductibles apply to damage to rental cars as well.
So what does Rental Car Insurance in Winnipeg Cover?
- rented (or borrowed) vehicles used anywhere in Canada (including Manitoba) and the U.S. for between 3 to 90 days.
- claims other motorists make against you, up to $5,000,000 in Canadian dollars.
- claims the rental car company may make against you for damage to their vehicle up to $100,000 Canadian with $100 deductible.
- a replacement vehicle.
- down-time claims for the time the damaged car was unavailable for rental.
So what should you do?
You can decide not buy rental car rental insurance in Winnipeg and hope you don’t have an accident or cause any damage to the vehicle. You’ll save money, but it might not do much for your peace of mind (or perhaps your wallet), particularly if you’re driving in an unfamiliar city.
What if You Damage Another Vehicle When You’re Renting a Car?
What about damage or injuries you cause to other vehicles and people while you’re driving the rental car?
If you have optional Autopac liability coverage, it extends for up to 30 days to another vehicle you are renting and will will pay for any damage or injuries you cause to other cars or people – up to the limits on your policy, of course. Your basic coverage does NOT protect you against claims from the rental company for damage to their car or for lost revenue. In the U.S. your basic coverage may not protect you fully for claims from other motorists.
* Note. If you are comfortable with the amount of liability coverage you have for your own cars, you do not necessarily need to buy additional liability insurance for vehicles you rent.
Is this enough? Probably not, and certainly not if you cause a serious accident.
Your BEST protection is Rental Car Insurance from Pembina Insurance Services, your friendly Autopac broker in Winnipeg.
* Tip. If you have any assets to protect, you should strongly consider purchasing rental car insurance which costs between $2 and $7 day depending on where you travel.
If you have any concerns about whether you need rental car insurance, call and talk to an autopac expert at Pembina Insurance Services today.