Mike: Every time I rent a car, I say ‘no’ to the insurance offer from the rental car agency. Is that a good idea? – Brad.
Brad, This is one of the most common questions I hear from my clients. Like you, I personally waive the offer of coverage from rental car companies. However, there are a few things you should be aware of before saying no to the rental car company. With a few exceptions, your auto insurance extends to non-owned vehicles. A rental car would normally fall into this category. The best coverage that you have on any car on your existing policy, is the coverage that extends to non-owned vehicles. If you have three cars and two of them only carry liability and one has $100 deductibles, the car with $100 deductibles would extend to rental cars. If you have a bunch of older vehicles with liability only coverage, liability is what would extend to a rental car, no comprehensive or collision! There are a couple of charges that a rental car agency may try and charge you, that your car insurance wouldn’t cover. These would be diminished value and the rental rate of the vehicle for each day it was off the road getting repairs. These rules only apply to private passenger vehicles. If you’re renting a moving truck, or other commercial vehicle, there’s likely no coverage extended. As always, talk to your insurance agent to find out the details of your specific policy.