A number of times, customers have called me to ask if they are covered by the own car insurance policy when they rent a car. The simple answer is yes… for most things. Let me explain a little more. The “Collision Deductible Waiver” (CDW) covers any repairs on your rental car that you may be responsible for. But it runs about $20 to $30 a day! Your personal car insurance will repair any damage to the rental car assigned to your negligence, and the same liability coverage you have in your personal auto insurance policy also protects you.  Also, most credit cards will also offer you some protection when you use them to rent the vehicle by picking up the Deductible that you would have to pay when you use your own insurance.

However, credit cards do not supply any Liability coverage.  And your personal auto insurance policy won’t cover the “Loss of Use” while the car is in the shop being repaired. So they may charge you for the lost revenues/cost of a rental car while the car is out of service.   If you are concerned that a rental car accident would show up on your record, and adversly effect your own insurance premiums, you also might want to reconsider declinig the CDW? Also, make sure your personal policy has enough Liability coverage to begin with, and if you don’t have Collison coverage on your personal policy, similiarly it will not protect you when you rent a car for the damages you are negligent for. And, your auto insurance will not cover you while driving in a foreign country (some policies cover a few miles across the border in Canada and Mexico so check your policy).  Personal property is usually covered by your Homeowners/Renters policy so check those policies for “coverage away from home” to confirm that protection?

I hope that helps?

Copied in large part from an Article titled “Irksome Car Fees, in Kiplingers magazine, 7/2012