Rental Car Insurance: What You Need to Know.
With gas prices at a continuing affordable level, there is a good chance you may find yourself looking to rent a car to go on a weekend getaway (not to mention a business trip). There is also a question you may have and that is whether or not you should buy rental car insurance that is offered from the rental car company.
Do you really need rental car insurance? It is likely that your personal auto insurance policy would cover any damage done to a rental vehicle. To be covered in a rental car, your insurance needs to have the proper collision, comprehensive and liability coverage. If someone else is going with you and will also be driving, you will need additional driver coverage as well.
Collision coverage protects you from damage done to your vehicle when you are involved in an accident. Comprehensive coverage will protect you from damage to your car from things like fire, theft, and vandalism. Liability coverage protects you from any damage you cause to another vehicle, person or property while driving.
Uninsured or underinsured coverage covers you when the accident is someone else’s fault and that driver has no insurance or not enough insurance. If you are going to rent a car, it is a good idea to look at your personal insurance policy or call your insurance agent and ask them about your automobile insurance plan to get the full picture of what you have in your policy. Then decide if rental car insurance is a good idea for you.
Something you may not be aware of is that your credit card may provide limited insurance for your rental car. Many credit cards today have a variety of benefits which can be used when you make a purchase with the card. You can call or go online to see if your card offers rental car insurance and if it does then make sure to use that credit card when you rent a vehicle. Like any contract, make sure to read the fine print as it is common for credit card companies to exclude certain vehicles such as very expensive luxury cars or full-size vans as well as costs incurred in certain countries that are higher-risk for drivers.
If for some reason you don’t have car insurance or maybe you just want the peace of mind you get with extra coverage, or you worry about the idea that an incident in a rental car could affect your personal insurance policy rates then it might be wise to consider purchasing the rental companies insurance.
Uninsured & Under-Insured Motorists in New York State
It is worth noting that about 15% of all drivers have no insurance at all and many more carry only the absolute minimum required by law. A responsible driver should always be sure to have coverage of their own to make up for what the other driver may not have. Insurance contracts are usually interpreted based on the laws of the state in which they are written.
According to the New York State Department of Financial Services:
New York State law requires that motorists carry a minimum amount of liability insurance of $25,000 for bodily injury to one person, $50,000 for bodily injury to all persons, and $10,000 for property damage in any one accident. Mandatory “no-fault” coverage of $50,000 is also required.
Remember that if you are involved in a rental car accident and suffer injuries be sure to keep good records of the accident scene (mobile phones are great to photograph the scene), people involved, and any medical care received. This information will be very important in pursuing a personal accident injury case should things get more complicated than your rental insurance will cover.
If you are driving a rental car and are involved in an accident, the experienced Syracuse car accident lawyers at McMahon, Kublick & Smith law office are ready to help. Please don’t hesitate to contact our office at (315) 424-1105 to set up a free review of your case.