Do you need to buy the insurance when renting a car?

This is a repeat of a prior post, but a friend in Michigan recently asked and it reminded me how often we get this question:

If you are renting a car in the US or Canada, for personal use, and for less than 30 days, your New York personal auto policy may already provide much of the coverage you need.  Your liability and personal injury protection coverages will likely extend to your use of the rental car. Your policy should also cover damage to the rental car. (all of course subject to the exclusions and conditions in your policy). If you live in another state, your coverages will probably be different; check with your agent.

There are some good reasons you may want to consider purchasing the rental company’s damage waiver anyway:

  • avoiding hassles over unreported damage
  • avoiding a large temporary charge against your credit card
  • avoiding disputes over loss of use of the rental vehicle
  • avoiding having to file a claim with your own insurance company

If you will be renting a car internationally,  it’s usually a good idea to take the coverage.  Unfortunately, the cost of the insurance in foreign countries often doubles the overall cost of the rental.

Check with your agent if you will be renting a vehicle for business use. Coverage can often be added to your business auto policy.

For more information, drop by our website at, or get in touch with me.

The information in this post is general in nature, and geared toward insurance conditions in Western New York.  As always, you should speak with an insurance adviser to determine your specific insurance needs.

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