Do You Need Insurance For a Rental Car?

Every driver in California must have valid car insurance coverage before getting behind the wheel.  At the bare minimum, California drivers must have $15,000/$30,000 minimum liability coverage.  There are several other types of car insurance coverages that protect drivers, including the important uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.  Insurance requirements are the same whether or not the driver owns the car, is borrowing the car, or is renting the car.

In most circumstances, liability and comprehensive car insurance coverage applies to the driver, not the vehicle.  So if you insure a vehicle already, that coverage will extend to a rental vehicle.  But even with the extended coverage, there may be circumstances where you will want to at least consider purchasing additional insurance coverage when you rent a vehicle.  If you are not on any vehicle insurance policy you will need to procure rental insurance before being able to legally drive a rental vehicle.  Car rental agencies typically require proof of insurance before they will rent a vehicle.

California has one of the lowest minimum liability requirements in the United States, so if you have the bare minimum in insurance coverage you may not meet the legal requirement of liability insurance in other states.  If you do not carry collision coverage and cause a crash, you may be on the hook for the repair of the rental vehicle.  If you do not carry comprehensive insurance coverage on your personal vehicle, you may be on the hook if your rental vehicle is stolen or suffers damage.  And even if you do carry coverage, that coverage may not be enough if you are renting a high-end vehicle.

Prior to renting a vehicle, it is important to check for any potential gaps in insurance coverage.  Rental car companies typically offer insurances that cover liability, medical payments, comprehensive coverage, and personal property coverage.  If your car insurance covers does not cover any of those categories, it might be worth protecting yourself.  The best way to verify your insurance coverage when renting a vehicle is to contact your insurance company.  According to consumer finance website WalletHub, if you have personal auto insurance and pay for your rental with a credit card, you may not need additional coverage.

The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth as previously explained why it is important to have car insurance, especially in California.  Whether you are driving your own vehicle or a rental, car insurance protects you and everyone else on the roads from possible financial disaster should a collision occur.  If you have been injured in a car crash, our auto accident attorneys can help you seek medical treatment and financial recovery.  Call us today at 888-517-9888 to receive a free case consultation.

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