Do I Need Rental Car Insurance?

Road trips are becoming more popular as they bring more adventure to travelers. Car rental has become a general practice in all counties.

At the same time, when getting a car for rent, drivers rarely think about the consequences of a possible accident. Such carelessness can result in high costs, while the insurance policy will protect you from surprises.

Can I Drive a Rental Without Insurance?

Insurance is an obligatory condition of the car lease agreement. As a rule, the basic policy is included in the daily rent price. But there are cases when you can refuse the variants offered by rental agencies.

You can use your personal car insurance in certain cases – this policy often includes car rental protection. Another variant is to check what coverage your credit card offers. Card providers sometimes add car rental basic insurance to additional benefits a cardholder may use.

And of course, you are free to contact a third-party insurer to buy insurance for a rented vehicle.

What Happens If You Damage a Rental Car Without Insurance?

Such a situation is unlikely to happen, as without insurance, you will not be allowed to leave in your rented car. But in theory, the consequences of an incident involving a rented car could be disastrous.

If you have no protection from the insurance company, all losses will have to be paid from your pocket. And the sums can be impressive, especially if you got into an accident in a foreign country.

Best Car Rental Insurance

Car rental insurance is different from regular car insurance. Most countries use a basic package of three coverage types when renting a car, but the rules vary. Almost everywhere in Europe, you will be offered a Collision Damage Waiver, Theft Protection, and Third-Party Liability.

To keep the rented property safe, car rental offers various types of insurance. It allows you to minimize the risks of causing damage to the car and reduce the client’s liability to a minimum. A standard car rental agreement includes the following types of insurance:

  • CDW or Collision Damage Waiver. It helps drivers reduce or eliminate the cost of repairs that can result from damage caused in an accident or resulting from an act of vandalism.
  • TP or Theft Protection. This type of insurance allows you to reduce the owner’s liability in the event of theft of the vehicle. You are liable for a maximum of the amount of the existing deductible.
  • TPL or Third Party Liability. This option covers damage to the health and property of other people who may be injured through your fault while you are driving. This type of insurance is often included in the basic package when renting a car, but it is better to clarify this point separately.

Standard insurance does not usually protect you from paying for damage to the inside of the car, discs, glass or tires, headlights, and transmission elements. All these expenses are withdrawn from the deductible.

Moreover, if the client gets into an accident with the rented car, then the rental company can claim its losses for the idle time.

Rental Car Excess Insurance

All above-described policies include deductible or excess. It means that the insurer will not compensate for any loss that does not exceed a predetermined value. You can buy additional insurance to cover the deductible.

Actually, the law does not require it, so you need to decide for yourself whether you need it or not. You should not necessarily get this policy at a car rental counter.

There are many options online that work with car rentals, for example, CarIsnuRent sell so-called “franchise insurance” or car hire excess insurance.

CarInsurent 3rd party car hire excess insurance can offer several advantages when renting a car. Some of the key benefits include:

  • Lower cost: Compared to car rental companies, 3rd party insurers usually offer more affordable rates for excess insurance. This can save you a significant amount of money during your rental period.
  • Wider coverage: 3rd party car hire excess insurance often provides more comprehensive coverage than the standard insurance offered by car rental companies. This can include damage to the rental car, theft, and other incidents, offering you greater protection while on the road.
  • Reduced financial liability: In the event of an accident or damage to the rental car, you may be responsible for paying the excess charges, which can be quite expensive. By purchasing a 3rd party car hire excess insurance, you can minimize your financial liability and avoid unexpected costs.
  • Customizable coverage: Many 3rd party insurance providers offer a range of coverage options, such as varying excess levels and policy durations. This flexibility allows you to tailor your insurance to meet your specific needs and budget.
  • Standalone policy: A 3rd party car hire excess insurance is a standalone policy, which means it doesn’t affect your personal auto insurance.

If you buy this type of coverage, you will have to pay the rental company for any repairs first, and then claim the amount from the company from which you got this additional coverage.

Final Thoughts

Once you are going to drive in a rented car across a foreign county, it is better not to rely on your luck only. The best approach is to get insurance to stay protected from all unexpected events that may happen during your car trip.

And remember to read all documents carefully before signing. If there are points that you do not understand, do not hesitate to clarify them. Insurance is a delicate matter, and you need to know exactly what you pay for.