Do You Need Car Rental Insurance?

Whether you rent a car frequently or only on occasion, you are always asked if you wish to buy insurance. If you are living and traveling in the U.S., you might have coverage through your own car insurance company, or perhaps with the credit card you use to pay for the rental. It’s always a good idea to check with those companies before you rent to determine exactly what kind of coverage you have.

If you are traveling outside the U.S., you are most likely not covered by either your credit card or your own car insurance. Try to find out the details of car rental insurance in the country to which you are traveling before you leave. You may be surprised to see that not only is insurance fairly expensive, but the deductible is very costly as well. It may be less expensive to purchase car rental insurance through a company such as Travel Guard ( If the deductible is more than you feel you want to pay, consider additional insurance to cover it too.

It Pays to Get Car Insurance Quotes

Some people say that you should get a car insurance quote every time you receive your bill, which for us is every six months. I kept saying I was going to do it, but then the bill came, and it was just too much bother. However, I finally decided to get it done. After getting quotes from many different companies, I found that all but one would charge me the same as I was currently paying. That one, however, was $200 less per year.

With that quote in hand, I contacted my current insurer. Lo and behold, they were able to match that quote by enrolling me in a program for people who paid their insurance in full every six months. Now, we had always paid our insurance in full every six months, but our agent had never told us about this program or enrolled us in it until we asked. So, it pays to check. An additional small discount is available for those who pay their insurance in full for the entire year.

You might also have noticed that your insurance company assigns you a credit rating. This isn’t the same as the credit rating which lenders give you. The rating which the insurance company gives you helps determine your insurance cost. This rating information should be on your bill. It also says that you can ask for a review of your rating once a year. If you feel that your rating is too low, make sure you call them for this review.

What is the Average Price of Car Insurance?

There are just too many variables involved to give a reliable answer to this general question. It all depends on a lot of factors such as: your driving record, age, type of vehicle, place of residence, gender, marital status, credit score, annual mileage, being a non-smoker and your profession. The best way to find out is to get a quote from several different companies. The car insurance page is a good place to start

Should I Get Rental Car Insurance?

There can be no harm is buying the additional insurance offered by the rental car company, but it may not be necessary, and it is costly. The best idea is to call your insurance agent and ask if your regular car insurance covers you. Also, rental insurance may be included for free if you rent the car with your credit card. Once you get to the car rental booth at the airport, it’s too late to ask these people, so the smart thing to do is to make a few phone calls ahead of time to find out if you’re already covered. You should have at least the same coverage for a rental car that you have on your regular car.

The rules governing rental car insurance vary from state to state and nation to nation. Before renting a car in a foreign country make double sure you are insured. Getting in an accident in a foreign country without insurance can cause you untold grief. It’s best to make sure you are covered.

Just to protect yourself, take some pictures of your rental car when you get it, making note of any dents, etc.

Car Insurance – What You Need

When buying car insurance, it’s a good idea to figure out what sort of coverage you need. Here are some things to consider:

Don’t Get Collision on Older Cars. If you are driving around a clunker, don’t get collision insurance. For example, if your car is only worth $2,000 then don’t pay $500/year to protect it.

Personal Medical Insurance. Do you already have good health insurance? Then don’t buy the Personal Injury Protection option on your car insurance. It’s mostly redundant.

State Minimums. All states require you to have auto insurance for liability reasons. However, the minimum amount is quite low. It usually pays to buy more than the minimum liability coverage. If you hit someone and they decide to sue, the legal bills could be quite high, so make sure you are covered.

If you are looking for car insurance quotes, check out our Car Insurance Quote Page.

What Types of Car Insurance Are There?

Car insurance policies are created with several components purchased separately but all working together to provide you coverage. Some of these components are required by law, and others are optional. This article covers the basics, but there are lots of other components available. They have a variety of abbreviated names that may be different in each state.

Liability insurance covers you for damage that you cause to someone else. Property damage liability will pay to replace and repair other people’s property. Bodily injury liability will pay for other people’s injuries or death. This type of insurance doesn’t cover your own property damage or personal injury, only another’s if you are at fault.

Physical damage coverage, on the other hand, refers to damage to your own vehicle. There is collision coverage which insures damage to your car if you run into something or something runs into your car. There is also comprehensive car insurance which pays for many other items including theft, fire, vandalism, glass breakage, etc.

Uninsured motorist coverage protects you if you are injured or your property is damaged by a driver with no insurance. A closely related insurance is the under-insured motorist coverage that protects you when you get into an accident caused by someone with some insurance but not enough to pay your damages.

Personal injury protection covers your own injuries regardless of who is at fault for an accident.

The above are the main types of car insurance, but there are a variety of others such as road service or rental car insurance, or insurance for special features.

What is the Average Auto Insurance?

According to data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the average cost of car insurance in the U.S. was $795 per year in 2007. This price assumes the minimum auto insurance requirement, but does not reflect the total of liability as well as collision and comprehensive coverage.