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Should I Purchase Insurance for the Rental Car?

Santa Fe
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555 posts
96 reviews
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Should I Purchase Insurance for the Rental Car?

We are looking into renting a car for our September 2010 trip to Waikiki. We will only be renting the car for 2 days and we are not sure if we should purchase the "Loss or Damage Insurance" that Budget offers. This will add an extra $27 per day, what do most of you do? Do you normally purchase the insurance? Please advice!

California
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6,116 posts
47 reviews
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1. Re: Should I Purchase Insurance for the Rental Car?

Not for me, I just use my own insurance from home. I also always bring a copy of my policy when I travel with a rental. The rental companies say you must pay them for damages first, then hope for reimbusment from your insurance carrier when you get home. I guess as long as they have your credit card info they can do what they want.

Boston, MA
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4,669 posts
6 reviews
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2. Re: Should I Purchase Insurance for the Rental Car?

Check with your car insurance company and ask them if you're covered when you rent a car on vacation. Most policies offer you the same coverage in a rental car that you have in your personal car. Also check with your credit card company, as many credit cards also offer some additional protection.

Remember, the rental car companies wouldn't push the extra insurance or pre-paid gas options if they didn't expect to make a LOT of money on them.

Have a safe trip!

Honolulu, Hawaii
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3,063 posts
68 reviews
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3. Re: Should I Purchase Insurance for the Rental Car?

On the flip side, rental car companies are making a lot of money charging unsuspecting consumers for "damages" that they didn't cause. If you get a good sized door ding, someone hits you in the parking lot, (it happens a lot here because parking spots are tiny in a lot of places) you can expect a bill in the mail. Not only do they charge you for labor, parts, etc, they charge you "loss of use" fees and other assorted admin fees. I have a very good insurance company and they don't cover loss of use fees, admin fees, etc. Anything over my deductable, my expense. All of that adds up to over a couple hundred bucks (usually). Your credit card company may cover those differences, if you use that card to rent on. But they might not, so you need to ask those questions. If they won't that extra few dollars a day might be worth it for peace of mind.

Just my .02cents

Canada
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9,167 posts
39 reviews
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4. Re: Should I Purchase Insurance for the Rental Car?

You need to have a comprehensive Insurance coverage when you rent a vehicle on vacation....whether you are renting for 2 days or 2 weeks no matter. The coverage the rental companies sell is expensive like you mention $27/day.

.Look into a private coverage. Make sure it covers...collison damge, loss of use, and 3 rd part liability. Sadly if an accident happens...we don't know how it will all translate .........whether it will be a simple door ding/ bumper scrape where the bill is a few hundred dollars...or a collison where you are at fault both cars are totalled and there are numerous injuries/ fatalities. This scenario can run into the $$$$millions. Make sure you have the appropriate coverage before hand..

California
Destination Expert
for Oahu
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43,985 posts
19 reviews
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5. Re: Should I Purchase Insurance for the Rental Car?

Please do a search, as this question is asked constantly. The answer for Hawaii would be the same as anywhere else in the U.S.

Many of us have credit cards that include the extra coverage when traveling, so give your cc company a call and ask them. If they do - ask them to send you a brochure on the coverage.

Also - contact your regular car insurance company and chat with them.

I haven't bought the extra coverage from the car rental agency in years.

Vancouver, WA
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757 posts
55 reviews
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6. Re: Should I Purchase Insurance for the Rental Car?

We never buy the insurance. I'm covered through my car insurance or through my BofA card (not all credit cards offer coverage, but all BofA cards supposedly do). I recently talked to the insurance agent about buying extra coverage for this summers rental and she advised to only buy the rental companies insurance when renting an "expensive" car. The reason being the rental company charges a "loss of use fee." Which means if they decide not to repair the car, which according to your contract is their choice, the loss fee possibly charged would be equal to the value of the vehicle before your caused damage. If you're renting a compact car that is in an accident you might be out a couple thousand because of this fee, but a more expensive car (like a mini van) might be worth the extra $27 so you can just walk away.

pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Kauai, Kapaa
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23,609 posts
57 reviews
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7. Re: Should I Purchase Insurance for the Rental Car?

I never buy rental-company insurance. It's WAY overpriced - and I think you'll find that the $27/day option doesn't cover much. Full coverage is, IME, more like $50/day. I rent with a card that gives me insurance - Amex, in my case - and I have a rental rider on my own insurance. The one time I banged up a car both were great. I called Amex in a panic, didn't know what to do, and they walked me through everything. I did get my own repair estimate so I could compare to Thrifty's just in case they tried to overcharge.

Always, always, always do your own inspection of the car before leaving the lot. If you find anything wrong go back to the counter and have them put it on the contract. It can save you a lot of $$ and heartache.

Troutdale, Oregon
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341 posts
49 reviews
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8. Re: Should I Purchase Insurance for the Rental Car?

For what it's worth, we rec'd this e-mail last week from our insurance office.

We probably will still opt not to purchase and pray from safe driving! I hope this link works.

www.epbb.com/index.php…

pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Kauai, Kapaa
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23,609 posts
57 reviews
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9. Re: Should I Purchase Insurance for the Rental Car?

@raider, it's no surprise that your insurance company would want you to purchase the CDW. In case of an accident the CDW is primary, meaning that it, not your insurance company, would have to cover most if not all.

Toms River, New...
Destination Expert
for Kapolei
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1,883 posts
118 reviews
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10. Re: Should I Purchase Insurance for the Rental Car?

Check with your credit card company to see if they cover damage. To be safe I have the automatic insurance turned on with my American Express card. For about $18 for an entire rental period (1 to 30 days) we're covered and AE will completely take care of everything. Some companies offer lower coverage for free. Also check with your insurance company and see what they cover and if they sell or sevice in Hawaii. The big challenge, for me anyway, is that most insurance companies or credit cards will pay for damage but not for loss of use which the rental companies charge while the car is being repaired. So you would be on the hook for the time the car is in the shop. My AE policy takes care of that.