Do I Need Car Insurance to Rent a Car?

You can rent cars if you have your own car insurance.

Renting a car makes it easier to travel. You can either pick up a rental car at the airport or rent one for a trip. However, renting a car can be complicated. You will often be offered many additional insurance options that you can add to your rental car. It’s easy to become confused about whether you are covered.

Don’t be overwhelmed: Car insurance that you have for your vehicle will also apply to rental cars. You can rent a car even if you don’t have any car insurance. Most drivers won’t need to show proof that they have insurance to rent a car. However, there are exceptions.

You can rent a car even if you don’t have car insurance. You can rent a car from many credit card companies if your card is used to pay the rental.

The Key Takeaways

  • To rent a car, you don’t need to present proof of insurance
  • Although rental cars are covered with minimum liability, additional coverage may be required by your credit card or the rental company.
  • Your own insurance will cover your rental car, just like it does your vehicle. You don’t have to buy additional rental car insurance.

What are the requirements to rent a car?

The majority of major car rental companies will have the same requirements when renting a car. Usually, you’ll need to:

  • You must be at least 25 years old to rent a car. However, many vendors will allow drivers 21-24 to rent cars for an additional daily fee.
  • A valid driver’s licence is required by all car rental companies. Rental companies can also verify your license with the DMV in your state. If you have any recent violations or a DUI conviction, they may refuse to rent you a car.
  • Rent a car – Most rental car companies will prefer you to use a credit card to pay your deposit and payment. Some car rental companies or locations will allow you use a debit card. However, you might be required to provide proof of insurance in some cases.

You can rent a car if you have your own auto insurance

You don’t likely need additional car insurance if you have your own auto insurance. To confirm, you should review your insurance policy. However, most policies cover any rental vehicle.

This means that your rental car policy will have the same limits as your own. Your liability insurance covers you if you injure or damage someone’s property in your rental car. Comprehensive and collision insurance also cover damages to your vehicle.

You don’t likely need to present proof of insurance when you pick up your rental car. If you pay for the rental car using a debit card rather than a credit card, this exception may be applied. If you are renting a car from a rental company, they may ask you to prove your insurance. For any eventualities, keep your insurance card on hand.

You can also get rental car insurance with your credit card. This is secondary or supplemental insurance. You can feel confident that the coverage provided by your credit card and car insurance is adequate. If not, then you don’t need additional insurance from the rental company.

Car rental without car insurance

You can rent a car even if you don’t own a car or have no insurance. In fact, the most common reason to rent is not having a car. Check to see if you credit card has rental car coverage. Many credit cards provide coverage for rental cars that are damaged or stolen as long as the card was used to pay.

However, your credit card insurance may be limited and you might not be able use it as your primary insurance for your rental car. You might have to buy some additional insurance from the rental car company.

It might be worth looking into non-owner car insurance if you rent cars a lot but don’t own one. This will allow you to avoid having to purchase expensive insurance from the rental agency in order to protect yourself.

Car insurance for non-owners

Non-owner car insurance covers people who are regularly driving but do not own a car. Non-owner policies are typically less comprehensive than standard auto policies. They usually only include liability coverage. However, you might be able to add Personal Injury Protection (PIP) which covers your medical expenses and lost wages following an accident. Also, uninsured/underinsured motor vehicle coverage covers you in the event of an accident with uninsured or uninsured drivers.

Understanding the different options for rental car insurance

You should be aware of your options if you are considering purchasing supplemental insurance through the rental car company. The minimum amount of liability coverage that you need when you rent a car is the minimum, but it may not cover you in the event of an accident or damage to the car. Many major car rental agencies offer a variety of insurance options.

Collision damage waiver

Technically, insurance is not the collision damage waiver (CDW), also known as a loss damage waiver or LDW. This is a waiver that you can purchase to help pay the rental car’s damages. In some ways, it’s very similar to standard auto policies that provide collision and comprehensive coverage. You will likely be responsible if your car is damaged, stolen or towed if you don’t buy it.

Additional liability protection

Supplemental liability protection can be added to your existing coverage for rental cars. This basically increases your liability coverage. It’s a great option if you are concerned that the existing limits might not be enough to cover any damage or injuries you may cause in an accident. The cost is usually a daily charge and varies depending on where the car is being rented.

Insurance for personal accidents

This add-on covers medical expenses that you or your passengers may incur due to an accident with your rental car. This is not necessary if you have insurance.

Protection for personal effects

This covers any costs associated with replacing personal items stolen from your car rental. You don’t have to add this coverage if you already have homeowners or renters insurance.

Most Frequently Asked Questions

Are you sure that you need insurance for a rental car?

You don’t need to have your own car insurance to rent one. Although rental cars include a minimum level of liability coverage, you might be able to obtain additional coverage with your credit card or through the rental agency.

Enterprise will provide insurance if you rent a car.

Enterprise and most major rental car agencies don’t require you to have your own car insurance. The minimum amount of liability coverage for rental cars is included in the price. However, you may want to purchase additional coverage from Enterprise or other major car rental agencies by purchasing a non-owner policy or using a credit card with rental car insurance.

Turo: Do you require insurance?

You can use many peer-to-peer car-sharing services such as Turo without your own insurance.