Should You Buy The Optional Rental Car Insurance? Here’s Why You Might Not Need It

by Regina

Car Care Tips, Rental Cars, Travel Necessities

Any time you rent a car, the company renting to you is going to try and get you to purchase the additional insurance. That’s a given. But do you really need it?

car rental insurance isn't always worth the price you'll be asked to pay

Well, it depends on your situation.


Remember that no car rental agency puts all the information regarding their different additional insurance policies on their website. In order to get that information, you’ll need to call them or visit their office in person.

Before you purchase any additional insurance, it’s important that you read any and all information supplied by the car rental company.

You can also have someone explain it to you and get your questions answered before signing and paying for additional car rental insurance.

Here are the pros and cons of buying additional insurance when you rent a car…


Reasons To Purchase Rental Car Insurance

#1 – You’ll have peace of mind. You know for sure that you’re covered. You can skip checking with your credit card company or your own car insurance company about your coverage.

#2 – Availability of extra coverage. If the state you’re in requires higher minimum limits than your personal car insurance policy covers, then purchase the extra coverage when you need to cover the difference.

#3 – Repairs and towing costs are covered. Your personal car insurance may not cover the towing, repairs, or any administrative costs that the car rental company may incur.

car rental insurance is necessary sometimes but not always


Reasons To NOT Purchase Rental Car Insurance

#1 – You might already be covered. Your personal car insurance and/or your credit card company (like Visa and American Express) will probably give you adequate coverage, without the need to purchase additional rental car insurance.

TIP: This is especially true if you put the whole rental purchase on one credit card.

So, it may be like paying twice if you buy the extra coverage. This video explains the questions you should ask about coverage. Also, most personal car insurance policies also cover non-owned vehicles that you drive — which includes rental cars.

#2 – The rental agent is a sales agent. Many rental companies teach their customer service reps to do a hard sell on extra car rental insurance at the end of your purchase.

They often give a kick-back to the sales people who sell the extra insurance.

#3 – It’s probably overpriced. Rental car insurance is frequently overpriced. This can render you unable to pay for it.

#4 – There might be hidden fees. Be sure to read the fine print of your car rental agreement and take pictures of the car and the paperwork. There are car rental companies that try to slip in the cost of extra car insurance without telling you.


From my own perspective, I think the disadvantages far outweigh the advantages of having the additional rental car insurance.

You shouldn’t need rental insurance if you’re a good driver and you’re already covered by your credit card or personal car insurance.

Also, considering the price and how sneaky sales people can be, it simply isn’t cost-effective from a budgeting standpoint.

car rental insurance isn't always worth the price you'll be asked to pay


More Information About Car Rental Insurance

In addition to the links I’ve included above, here are some other helpful tips to determine if you really need to buy rental car insurance: