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There are many factors that go into renting a car. You’ve got to consider the type of car you want, how long you need it for, and if you’re even old enough to rent one. But the biggest dilemma you may come across is whether or not you should get car rental insurance. For reasons unknown, people struggle with this one. Either they’re afraid of how much it might cost them or they think they have the driving abilities of a Formula 1 racer and won’t get so much as a scratch on the vehicle.

For us, the short answer is yes, get the insurance. But in case you had more complex questions, as part of our All-American series, we’ve put together a Q&A with Nicolas Le Nue, the Director of Global Strategic Accounts at, for your benefit. Read it. Learn it. Love it. 

Why do I need rental car insurance?

Collision Coverage can provide primary coverage for covered collisions, loss, and damage to your rental vehicle so you don’t have to worry about paying a deductible or the premiums going up on your personal car insurance if something happens. 

What is covered by Collision Coverage?

Collision Coverage can pay up to $40K for the repair of damages to your rental vehicle and the loss of use—which most personal auto insurance policies will not cover.

The Deluxe plan can pay up to $75K in rental vehicle damage repairs and includes Emergency Medical and Dental benefits and Baggage protection. 

What is Liability Insurance?

This insurance is required in most states. If you cause an accident, liability coverage helps pay for the other person’s expenses. There are two types of auto liability coverage that drivers in each state must have: bodily injury liability coverage and property damage liability coverage. We highly recommend you make sure you have such coverage. 

Do I have to buy Liability Coverage from the rental car company?

Collision Coverage can provide primary coverage for covered collisions, loss, and damage to your rental vehicle. It does not include liability coverage. You can either buy it from the rental car company, or you might even be already covered.

Does rental insurance cover other drivers besides me?

It can. The car itself is covered—as long as the person driving has a valid driver’s license and is meeting the rental agreement requirements. Some rental car companies would propose you at the counter to buy from them an extra insurance (Personal Accident Insurance) that would extend coverage to passengers. In case you want to have a second driver, you need to report it to the rental car company at time of pickup so that they check driving license validity and add this person onto the rental agreement. Then only this person will be allowed to drive the car and be fully covered.

What’s the policy for taking a rental car over the border?

Collision Coverage can protect the rental car anywhere in the world except for Israel, Jamaica, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, or any place that is in violation of the territorial terms of the rental agreement. Some rental car companies might have restrictions, so if at time of pickup you already know you will cross the border, do not hesitate to ask the staff counter. 

What should I do if I get into an accident in my rental car?

Immediately notify the rental car company and any other entity per the terms of the rental agreement. They should be able to provide you clear information on all the documentation needed, police reports, etc… 

What is the average cost of rental car insurance?

Collision Coverage costs $9 per calendar day when purchased ahead of time. It can cost much more than that at the rental counter.

The Deluxe plan costs $12 per calendar day and includes Collision Damage protection, Emergency Medical and Dental benefits, and Baggage protection.

From the average cost of rental insurance and collision coverage to questions about attentional drivers, we hope we “covered” it all and made your next visit to the car rental counter valuable to you. So, the next time you’re on vacation and need a car that’s not yours, be sure to review this FAQ. It may save you a lot of time, trouble, and money.

Want to the know the most popular places to road trip in America? Read on!
Los Angeles, CA
Las Vegas, NV
Orlando, FL
New York, NY
Denver, CO
Miami, FL


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