Do You Need Insurance to Rent a Car? Best Answers

It is easy to rent a car even if you don’t have auto insurance. Check with your insurance provider to confirm if your policy covers rental cars and what kind of coverage it provides. Read on to know more!
Do You Need Insurance to Rent a Car? Best Answers
You can choose to rent a car without buying any coverage. In such a case, you will be responsible for anything that happens to the rental car, such as a collision, vandalism or tire damage. That said, it is advised to have some form of insurance while renting a car.
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Renting a vehicle can be crucial when traveling to a new destination, but do you need insurance to rent a car? In case you don’t possess personal car insurance, you can still rent a car. One thing you can do is buy insurance from the rental car company. However, if you already have auto insurance, it can be extended to rental cars. However, reviewing the insurance policy to understand what aspects are covered is essential. In either case, it’s important to carefully consider your insurance options and ensure you’re fully protected on the road, whether you drive your car or a rented one.

It is easy to rent a car even if you don’t have auto insurance. Most rental car companies offer insurance options you can purchase at the counter when you pick up the vehicle. But before that, check with your insurance provider to confirm if your policy covers rental cars and what kind of coverage it provides.

Rental Car Insurance Coverage

Suppose your auto insurance policy extends to rental cars. In that case, it may cover damages to the rental car and liability for injuries or damages to other people and their property. However, it’s important to note that the coverage is often limited. You may be responsible for paying a deductible and any damages that exceed the policy limits. 

Liability and comprehensive insurance coverage for your vehicle can be extended to a rental car in the United States. You may have to cover deductibles for damages to the rental car, just as you would for damages to your vehicle. 

Certain insurance policies, such as renters or homeowners insurance, health insurance, or your employer’s insurance (if you’re traveling on business), may provide additional options to explore. Other varieties of rental car insurance also offer substantial coverage according to your need. Therefore, it is essential to review all available coverage options to make sure you have adequate protection while renting a car.

Types of Rental Car Insurance

The most common types of insurance offered by rental car companies include:

  • Collision Damage Waiver: It is also called a loss damage waiver and covers repairs in case of any damage to your rental car. Coverage can exclude certain car parts, including tires or the windshield, and damage due to weather.
  • Rental Car Liability Insurance: It covers damage to other vehicles, property, and people due to accidents you cause while driving your rental car. However, this does not protect the driver, passengers, or the rental vehicle from financial liability.
  • Personal Accident Insurance: This type of rental insurance covers medical costs for injuries to anyone in the rental after an accident. It is often compared to personal injury protection and medical payments insurance.
  • Personal Effects Coverage: This covers personal items like bags or clothing stolen from the rental vehicle. However, expensive electronics (like cameras) may be limited and excluded. 

How Much Does Car Rental Insurance Cost?

Rental car insurance costs vary depending on the vehicle, location, and your insurer. Overall prices can range from $31 to $60 per day for rental insurance from the following popular rental car companies.

Top CompaniesLoss
Personal Accident
Insurance and Personal
Effects Coverage
Total Daily
Rental Car
Insurance Cost
Enterprise Rent-A-Car$30$17$13$60
Budget Rent a Car$9$15$7$31
Alamo Rent a Car$25$13$6$44
(Source: MarketWatch)

Is Rental Car Insurance Worth It?

Although rental agencies typically offer insurance coverage for their cars, people are still held responsible for any damages during the rental period. Therefore, it’s recommended that renters obtain adequate insurance coverage even if the rental agency does not require it. By doing so, renters can protect themselves from potential financial liabilities and ensure peace of mind while renting a car.

It’s essential to ask a few critical questions before renting a car to understand the insurance coverage provided and potential limitations or exclusions. Some questions to consider asking the rental agency include the following:

  • Does the rental include liability insurance?
  • What kind of coverage is included in the basic rental price?
  • Are there any exclusions or limitations to the CDW/LDW policy offered by the rental agency?
  • Will the policy cover damages if the rental car is driven by a driver other than the authorized renter?
  • What is the deductible for the CDW/LDW policy?
  • Are there any additional insurance options available, and what are their costs and benefits?

Remember to thoroughly review insurance policies offered by the rental agency to ensure you understand what is covered and what is not. You can avoid unexpected costs or liabilities during an accident or car damage.

Does My Credit Card Cover Rental Car Insurance?

Using a credit card to rent a car can provide additional insurance coverage for damages, but reviewing the terms and conditions carefully before assuming you’re covered is essential. While coverage varies by card, it’s important to note that credit card coverage may only reimburse you for damage to the rental car and not for liability claims made against you by others. Some credit cards may offer additional coverage for personal property inside the rental vehicle and accidental death or accident-related claims.

To qualify for credit card coverage, you’ll typically need to use it to pay for the rental and decline the rental agency’s coverage, including the collision damage waiver (CDW), personal accident, and property coverage. It’s important to note that credit card coverage is usually secondary, which means it only covers costs after other coverages have been exhausted, including your auto policy, health insurance policy, or renters insurance. However, credit card coverage may pay your deductible, which can help to reduce your out-of-pocket expenses during an accident or damage to the rental car.


Let’s sum it up! Do you need insurance to rent a car? Reviewing your insurance policies and rental car agreements will allow you to make an informed decision about the coverage while renting a car. It can include assessing the terms and conditions of your insurance policies, such as your auto coverage, renters or homeowners insurance, health insurance, or employer’s insurance.

It’s also important to carefully review the rental car agreement to understand the coverage options offered by the rental agency and any additional coverage you may need to purchase to fill in any gaps in coverage. Doing your due diligence can help ensure you’re adequately protected in an accident or damage to the rental car.

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Aniket Kulkarni

A seasoned Product Manager specializing in car insurance content, Aniket has a passion for simplifying complex insurance concepts. His strategic approach to content development reflects years of experience in the product development industry, coupled with a commitment to providing accurate, reliable information.


This page is purely informational. Beem does not provide financial, legal or accounting advice. This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide financial, legal or accounting advice and should not be relied on for the same. Please consult your own financial, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transactions.

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