Do I Need Rental Car Insurance?

Do I Need Rental Car Insurance?

Do I Need Rental Car Insurance?

Keep this in mind when renting a car:

  • Your regular auto insurance can extend to vehicles you rent on a temporary basis and drive for personal use.
  • You may be covered as if you’re driving your own car.
  • You also have the option of purchasing coverage from the rental car company.  
  • If you’re renting a car in a foreign country, you may need separate or additional coverage.

Question My car doesn’t get great gas mileage, so I typically rent a car for long road trips. The rental car company always offers insurance, but I don’t know if I actually need it. Should I get rental car insurance, or does my own policy cover me?

Joel Brekken, a Farmers Insurance agent in Duluth, Minnesota, explains car insurance options for rental cars.

Answer With most personal auto policies, your coverage extends to vehicles that you rent on a temporary basis and drive yourself. You’re covered as if you’re driving your own car. But be sure to check your policy or call your agent to confirm you’re covered before driving off in a rental.

If you have an accident while driving a rental car and you’re at fault, the liability coverage of your own car insurance policy can help pay if someone else gets hurt, or their property is damaged. In many states, your liability coverage includes damage to the rental car itself, because it’s considered the rental company’s property. If you’re in a state where liability does not cover a rental car, you would need comprehensive and collision coverage on your own policy if you want to cover damage to the car you’re renting. Your policy’s deductible would apply if covering any damage to a rental car. Talk to your agent if you’re not sure how your policy covers rentals.

You can also buy insurance from the rental company for a daily fee. That way your financial responsibility for any injury and property damage, including damage to your rental car, can be covered by the rental company, up to the temporary policy’s stated limits. Most rental company policies have a $0 deductible, so you pay nothing out of pocket. That’s one reason drivers may choose rental company coverage.

Keep in mind that your personal auto policy covers you only in the U.S. and Canada. If you’re renting a car in another country, you may be able to obtain insurance from sources such as the rental company, a travel insurance agent, or a local provider. Your credit card company may also offer some level of coverage in foreign countries.

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Talk to a Farmers agent or call 1-800-709-7821 to get a free auto quote and learn more about Signal®.

Written by

Joel Brekken

The information contained in this page is provided for general informational purposes only. The information is provided by Farmers® and while we endeavor to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to this article or the information, products, services or related graphics, if any, contained in this article for any purpose. The information is not meant as professional or expert advice, and any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.

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