It happens every time you rent a car in Burlington, NC: The cashier behind the counter asks if you’d like to take out rental insurance coverage.
What answer should drivers give? Not surprisingly, it depends on the individual motorist.
The simple answer: If you already have a good auto insurance policy, solid health insurance and a strong homeowners insurance policy, you probably don’t need to purchase collision auto insurance when you rent a car.
But if you don’t have much insurance coverage at all, taking out a rental insurance policy might make sense for the financial protection it will provide should you get into an accident while traveling.
Your first step before you rent a car should be to call your existing provider of auto insurance. Your insurer should be able to tell you whether your policy provides coverage for rental cars. Also, if you are purchasing your rental car with a credit card, your credit-card provider might automatically provide its own coverage, coverage that makes collision auto insurance redundant when you rent.
If you don’t have auto insurance or if your credit-card provider doesn’t provide protection, purchasing a collision damage waiver might make sense. This form of insurance typically eliminates your financial responsibility if your rental car is damaged or stolen. The cost of this insurance varies, but it could add $9 to $19 a day to your rental car costs.
Before you take your trip, though, be sure to compare insurance quotes online. Fortunately, the Internet is dotted with Web sites that allow consumers to enter their personal information to pull up insurance quotes from competing companies.
By doing this, you’ll increase your odds of signing up with an insurance company that provides the most protection. If you shop online for insurance, you’ll boost your odds of landing a policy that makes rental-car insurance an unnecessary expense.