My husband traveled for business a few weeks ago and he had to rent a car. I of course told him you do NOT need to buy the “mandatory” insurance the rental company will tell you that you need to buy. Rental agencies will tell you that you MUST buy their insurance or you will not be covered and they will purse any damage directly from you. This may not be true.
When you rent a car, first check your own auto insurance coverage. Call your agent, inquire if your policy will cover you while you are renting a car. Most policies will cover you when you drive another motor vehicle. If you are travelling out of state, be sure to confirm your auto policy complies with the law of the state in which you are traveling.
Secondly, I do not know of a rental agency who will rent a car to someone without a major credit car. If you are using a credit card, you may have additional auto insurance coverage for the rental vehicle through the credit card you are using. Call your credit card company and ask.
Finally, be aware of what you are signing. As my husband was signing all the documents, the rental agent would say just check yes. He was smart enough to say “no, let me read it”. Sure enough, if he checked yes, he would have been charged for the rental coverage that he already told the person he did not need.
There may be times you are not covered under your automobile policy or your credit card. In addition, if you violate the contract with the rental agency you may not be covered. I share this information so you can be informed to ask. Ask your insurance agent and your credit card company before you are bullied into paying for something you may not need.
My blog was prompted by the following consumer article: Check your coverage before car rental. https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2015/01/25/most-consumers-don-need-optional-insurance-offered-rental-car-companies/TmyEJKnHbFV2fYqWgKs75I/story.html
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