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Does Car Insurance Cover Rental Cars?

Rental Car Coverage for Personal Auto

In many cases, the coverage you purchase for your personal auto insurance policy also applies to cars you rent.

When you rent a car, the rental company may suggest purchasing insurance for it. Before you accept it, understand how your personal auto insurance applies to rental cars.

The rental company may offer you the following coverages:

  1. Liability Coverage
    Your personal auto insurance policy covers damage or injuries you may cause while using a vehicle, even if it's a rental. As long as you're comfortable with the liability coverage you've chosen, you would have sufficient coverage under your personal auto policy.
  2. Personal Accident Insurance
    This option would cover your medical costs resulting from an accident. However, if you live in a no-fault state, your auto insurance policy already provides coverage for your medical expenses resulting from an auto accident. You would not need the extra coverage for the rental car.

    If you don't live in a no-fault state, check whether your health insurance covers injuries resulting from car accidents. If it doesn't, you may want to purchase this extra coverage.

  3. Personal Effects Coverage
    This option insures your belongings if they're stolen from the rental car. A personal auto policy doesn’t cover theft of your belongings, but a homeowners, condo, or renters policy does. If you have one of those types of policies, you shouldn't need to purchase personal effects coverage.

  4. Loss-Damage Waiver (Collision Damage Waiver)
    This option covers damage to the rental vehicle and loss-of-use charges by the rental company. If you have comprehensive and collision coverage on your personal auto policy, it would also apply to a rental car. Just note that comprehensive and collision insurance are optional in a personal auto policy. If you don't have them, you may want to consider purchasing the loss-damage waiver for the rental car.

Some credit card companies provide rental car insurance as a benefit of having a card. Check with your card servicer to see if you have coverage through them.

What if I need a rental car because my car is being repaired?

If you get into an accident or experience covered damage to your car, you may need to rent a car while yours is being repaired. With comprehensive and collision insurance, your personal auto policy may help pay for the extra costs you would incur to get around. Learn more about rental reimbursement.

Rental Car Coverage for Commercial Auto

A commercial auto insurance policy does not automatically provide coverage for rental cars. To have coverage, consider adding Hired Auto Coverage to the policy.

Commercial auto insurance works differently than personal auto insurance. To have coverage for a rental car under a business policy, you’ll need to add Hired & Non-Owned Auto Coverages to your policy.

Learn more about NJM Auto Insurance, or explore other auto insurance topics in Ask NJM.

The content on this page is intended for informational purposes only. It is not an insurance policy, and does not, in any way, replace or modify the definitions and information contained in individual insurance policies. Terms and coverage availability may vary by state, and exclusions and deductibles may apply. Discounts also vary by state and may not be applied to all policy coverages. Coverage for an accident or loss is subject to the terms and conditions of the insurance policy applicable to a particular claim.