What You Should Know About Rental Car Insurance


There are some very serious contractual gaps in coverage for rental vehicles. Even if you purchase their Collision Damage or Physical/ Loss Damage Waivers, many rental car contracts exclude the following:

  • Theft of the Vehicle
  • Tolling, or Turning the Vehicle Over
  • Lease Gap coverage
  • Loss of Use
  • Glass, Tire and Undercarriage Damage
  • Animal Collision
  • Flood and Hail Damage
  • Damage above the Windshield
  • Individuals who rent personal vehicles for extended periods and do not have a Personal Auto policy in force
  • Drivers who rent, and do not own another vehicle insured elsewhere, need to be especially careful here

Incredibly, some rental car contracts, or Waivers of Liability, even include a contractual shift of liability to the customer.  Each car rental company, for their own reasons, provide certain coverages and exclude others. The above list is not complete and it is not intended to reflect the exact coverage terms of any particular car rental company.  It is mentioned here to alert renters of possible shortcomings in their rental contract insurance coverage.

If you own your own vehicle, we suggest that your best strategy is to contact us and purchase the Rented Vehicles Coverage Rider available on your NC Personal Auto policy.  If you are covered under a business policy, and the business owner has agreed to provide coverage for you, please contact us to determine the best course of action. There are several scenarios that require different steps to properly cover this exposure. The riders available will normally extend your coverage on the same basis provided by your standard automobile policy.

Our advice when you rent a car is to read the rental contract carefully. Do not assume you are fully covered by purchasing the rental company’s Physical/Loss Damage Waiver. For your peace of mind, talk to us about including this coverage on your own auto policy.  It is usually the most convenient and inexpensive way to ensure that you are properly covered.

Please contact our agency with further questions.

Wilson Insurance Services – Our Knowledge is Your Best Assurance™.