Here is a complete overview of rental car insurance — types, coverages, and best rental car insurance companies.
We are not a rental car insurance company, but we can provide helpful information on how to get your rental car insured and address the most frequently asked questions related to the topic.
Here’s everything you need to know before you buy rental car insurance.
RentalCover’s rental car insurance includes protection for your rental vehicle if it’s damaged or stolen. You are also covered for up to $7,500 if an acute or life-threatening illness occurs. Plus, transportation to a hospital or your home is provided.
Expedia collision damage protection is a $0 deductible policy you can buy for only $10 a day. It’s also fully refundable if the renter cancels it before pick-up time.
Enterprise offers relatively cheap car rental insurance and collision damage protection that waives or reduces the renter's responsibility for loss of or damage to the rental vehicle. Drivers can also purchase Roadside Assistance Protection that covers flat tires, loss of key, and fuel delivery services.
Orbitz offers renters collision damage protection of up to $35,000 and $0 rental car insurance excess cover.
Provided the renter doesn’t violate the Rental Agreement, Dollar offers 100% coverage of collision damage, theft, and vandalism of the rented automobile.
Sure offers rental car coverage of up to $100,000 worth of damage to a vehicle and personal belongings found inside. Sure’s insurance policy also covers flat tires, towing charges, and replacement of lost keys. It’s also one of the cheapest USA rental car insurance options.
National offers renters a combination of insurance policies that cover collision damage, theft, and personal injury up to $300,000. Also, National Car Rental flat tire policy is valid through a purchased Roadside Plus (RSP) service. However, the RSP doesn’t cover the cost of a replacement tire.
Hertz completely relieves drivers of all financial responsibility for loss or damage to the rental car with a purchased Loss Damage Waiver (LDW).
Bonzah offers a basic insurance policy starting at $7.99 that covers collision damage, theft, and vandalism of the vehicle up to $35,000. The combination of low prices and excellent services lists Bonza among the best car rental insurance coverage companies.
Allianz Global Assistance travel insurance has the best annual travel plans that are ideal for frequent travelers. The company has an impressive range of policies and plans for annual travel and single trips.
While the premiers are slightly higher, the Allianz Global Assistance claims process is straightforward and they have excellent customer service.
The insurance provider offers a range of travel insurance plans for both single and annual trips with various benefits and different limit:
Annual Trip – AllTrips Basic, AllTrips Premier, AllTrips Exclusive, and AllTrips Prime
Renters who purchase a collision damage waiver pay a daily fee in addition to the original rental car fee. However, many premium credit cards offer primary CDW coverage, which may reduce the rental car insurance quotes.
The CDW provides protection to the renter when a rental car gets damaged. In case of an accident, the renter is not liable for some or all repairs, as well as for any loss of use fees that may accrue while the rental car is out of service.
There are situations when a renter can refuse from a CDW if they can provide an alternative form of insurance coverage, but it greatly depends on the state they are renting in.
CDW covers rental car damage but doesn't cover liability-related costs such as material damage or injury of the driver or a third party. Additionally, a CDW doesn't cover risky behaviors, with a high likelihood of damage, such as speeding or DUI.
Car rental liability insurance provides financial protection for drivers who cause a car accident in which a third person or their property is harmed. It’s mandatory in every U.S. state, except New Hampshire.
There are two forms of liability coverage — bodily injury liability and property damage liability — and drivers in most U.S. states must have both types.
Rental car liability insurance applies to injuries or damages to third parties and their property. It doesn’t cover the physical and financial damage suffered by the policyholder. It may be separately covered by other types of their insurance policy.
Liability car rental coverage includes liability limits for property damage, bodily injury per person, and bodily injury per accident.
In car rental, personal accident insurance (PAI) is an additional type of coverage you can buy on top of your existing health insurance.
PAI provides financial support paid directly to a policyholder in case they suffer an accident covered by their policy.
Some accident insurance policies include Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) coverage or you can purchase it separately.
Personal accident insurance is not mandatory. Depending on what other insurance coverages you have, you may not need it at all.
Personal Effects Coverage
Personal Effects Coverage (PEC) is a supplemental policy that, generally, covers the loss or theft of personal belongings of the principal and additional drivers, and, potentially, the members of the principal driver’s immediate family.
The PEC has a fixed daily rental car insurance fee. In most cases, the final cost of PEC depends on the duration of the car rental and is added to the original rental fee. Typically, the PEC provides coverage to only a certain amount of cost-related loss or theft of personal belongings. The exact amount varies between different car rental suppliers.
Note that CDW/LDW or liability insurance won’t cover the loss or theft of your belongings if you don’t have PEC.
Below, you will find a list of 10 insurance companies and services where you can get the best rental car insurance in the USA.
Before renting a car, you'd want to check and see if your rental car is already covered by your insurance or a credit card.
Major credit card providers offer special car rental benefits to their customers, assuming they use the card to pay for car rental and insurance fees.
This type of insurance policy can be a particularly useful option when traveling overseas to places where personal auto insurance doesn’t cover the renter.
Car renters who lack personal auto insurance and don’t enjoy credit card benefits are advised to purchase extra rental car coverage.
These are the best options to choose from:
CDW, Liability, PEC, and other common types of insurance can always be bought at the counter of car rental companies. It's customer convenience and a way for rental companies to provide ancillary services and products.
Car renters have the right to decline insurance policies at the counter and buy a standalone coverage at an insurance company of their choice. Keep in mind that different companies offer different prices for the expenses they cover.
The best rental car insurance coverage will depend on your situation and requirements. When checking out rental car insurance options, always consider the following features of a policy:
Ease of Use — Online availability has made insurance easy to access. However, most companies require giving in a good chunk of personal data before showing you a price.
Big insurance companies offer decent policies at reasonable prices. Getting fair standalone coverage from an insurer should be cheaper than a rental company counter.
If you don’t have full coverage insurance yet and want peace of mind, it’s best to purchase an insurance policy and keep yourself, the rental car, and any third party safe and protected. Keep in mind that regular auto policies rarely cover you overseas.
As part of the driver's personal car insurance policy, GEICO offers rental car insurance as long as they drive in the U.S. and carry liability, comprehensive, or collision coverage.
AAA auto insurance is only available to AAA members. Your AAA auto insurance will typically cover rental cars up to your same coverage limits in the U.S. If you rent a pricey vehicle but privately drive an old car, chances are your AAA cover won’t suffice.
According to rental car insurance reviews, some of the best credit cards that provide great insurance benefits are:
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