With warmer weather moving in and summer quickly approaching, many people such as you might be in the midst of planning a road trip. It isn't uncommon for people to rent a car for road trips, but you could find yourself paying for rental car add-ons that you do not need. Fortunately, there are ways that your current car insurance can save you money on the cost of your rental car.
Understand the At-The-Counter Add-On Options
It is estimated that roughly 89% of Americans take summer road trips. And although a rental car is not necessary, it can certainly make a road trip more enjoyable. In fact, people often choose rental cars because they can opt to tow their family around in a roomy minivan, which can make for a more comfortable road trip than driving hours in a four-door sedan. Driving a rental car also saves wear and tear on your own vehicle. However, it is important to realize that car rentals can be incredibly expensive. You can save money, though, if you pay very careful attention while you are at the counter paying for your rental option.
Rental car companies may try to tell you that certain insurance options and add-ons can make your life easier, when in reality, they can make your experience far more expensive. Insurance add-ons and options often include a loss-damage waiver, which is also referred to as a collision-damage waiver. A loss-damage waiver allows you to waive your financial responsibility in the event that your rental car is damaged or stolen.
Other add-on options typically include liability coverage, personal accident insurance, and personal effects coverage. Liability insurance is considered a state-required insurance that provides you with protection against possible lawsuits. Personal accident insurance provides you with medical cost coverage in the event of an accident. Personal effects coverage provides insurance on personal belongings that you have inside the rental car.
Understanding the various options will allow you to make better decision in terms of saving money and opting out of certain coverages, no matter how important they may seem. In truth, you likely do not need to purchase any of the additional insurance add-ons if you already have comprehensive car insurance of your own.
Review Your Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy
If you are like the majority of Americans who make it a point to travel during the summer months, it may be best to update your insurance policy to reflect this, and not just for the sake of driving your own vehicle. Believe it or not, comprehensive car insurance may cover you in the event that you are driving a rental car, which could save you money on the rental fees.
Of all the rental car add-ons listed, the loss-damage waiver is perhaps the best and only one that you would need. However, if your car insurance policy provides collision coverage, it would also most likely cover any rental car that you drive, therefore covering the value of the rental car. Although you would still have to pay a deductible, the insurance you already have in place would cover the same fees that the add-on insurance would cover.
In addition, full-coverage car insurance often provides you with medical coverage in the event of an auto accident, meaning you do not need to pay extra money for personal accident insurance through the rental company. Keep in mind that you may want to weigh the pros and cons of adding the personal effects coverage since even comprehensive car insurance does not cover the loss of personal belongings inside a vehicle.
Basically, you can opt out of spending more on some of the unnecessary add-on features by ensuring that the car insurance policy you are currently carrying will cover any injuries, damages, and expenses you might incur while driving a rental car. You should check with your car insurance carrier before you head to the rental car company to ensure that you will be covered in the event of an accident.
A car insurance agent can help you update your policy to ensure the best coverage possible so that you are not having to shell out extra money on your rental car. By updating your comprehensive coverage, you are protecting yourself and your family, whether you drive your own car or one that belongs to a rental company. Essentially, you can also save yourself some extra cash that you can use for fun summer events rather than dumping it all into the rental company's unnecessary add-on features.