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Auto Insurance Tips for Rental Cars

Here's what you need to know...
  • Contact your personal insurance company before buying insurance from the rental agency
  • Make sure you understand the limits of your collision coverage
  • Shop around and compare options to help you save money on your insurance
If you want financial protection for your rental car, you must buy some form of rental insurance. Read the following top rental car insurance tips.

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Basic Rental Car Insurance Tips


Talk to your agent and find out exactly what your current policy covers.

The collision damage waiver also called a CDW and the liability insurance policy are the most important coverage for a rental car.

A CDW covers any and all damage to the rented car. This usually includes theft and acts of nature, but every policy is different and every state has its own sets of rules.

Liability insurance covers damage you may do to another vehicle.

Tips for Outside the Agency

Make sure you understand the limits of your collision coverage. Just because you have the policy in your hand doesn’t mean it covers every possible scenario.

Keep these tips in mind:

  • If you drive a $3,000 dollar car, and rent a $20,000 dollar car for the weekend, your current insurance may only pay the smaller amount.
  • Clarify whether or not your current coverage covers the full cost of rental car liability. Be sure to ask about any exceptions to the rules.
  • Ask the agent about the possible theft of your personal items. Some insurance policies cover this, but most do not.
  • If you travel quite a bit, for business or vacation and rent a lot of cars, then it may be time discuss a rental policy through your regular insurance provider.
  • If your car insurance doesn’t cover you then contact your credit card company and inquire about rental coverage. Some credit card companies provide rental car insurance options.

If none of this works for you, then you may have to get coverage from your car rental agency.

Start by finding out exactly what the policy covers, so you won’t end up buying an empty policy.

Some policies are top notch and cover everything, including the contents of the car, while other even provide life insurance!

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Tips and Observations

Verify whether the policy covers the whole car, including the tires and windshields. Some policies do not cover windshields, meaning if you are driving through the mountains and a falling rock cracks the glass, you have to pay for it out of pocket!

Also verify that you are covered in Canada or Mexico, if you are considering taking a trip over the border or driving abroad.

Check with various membership organizations about possible discounts. AARP and even Sam’s Club sometimes offer rental insurance discounts. If you are making a reservation online, you can look for discount codes from the various car agencies like Hertz and Budget.

Last but not least, try shopping around online for cheaper insurance providers than the rental company itself.

You can shop for third party insurance coverage through the Internet. These policies are usually cheaper than traditional in-house rental insurance.

Just type in your ZIP code to the FREE rate tool and compare rental car insurance quotes now!

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