The issues of insurance as regards Rental Cars, are many. I will only address 5 here.
1)If you go on vacation, will your Car Insurance cover you when you Rent a Car at the Airport?
The Answer is, usually yes, but the timeframe will vary by insurance company. Some insurance companies will cover you for only a week, and then the insurance coverage provided by your Car Insurance Policy back home, will lapse. Some will cover you for 2 weeks. And then a few, like my insurance company, will cover you for up to 30 days, so, you can Rent a Car for a fairly long time.
2)What coverages will my Car Insurance back home provide for the Rental Car?
Usually, your Car Insurance back home will provide the exact same coverage you have on the "most insured" Car back home. If you have Liability Only on all of your Cars back home, then there will be no coverage if you damage the Rental Car. If you have Full Coverage on at least 1 Car back home, then you will have Collision and Comprehensive coverage on the Rental Car, subject to the same deductibles you have back home.
3)If I fly somewhere on Business, and Rent a Car, am I covered?
Probably not, as the Business Exclusions will apply the same as they would back home.
4)Are there important things that my Car Insurance backhome wont pay?
There are 2 important things you should consider, that your Car Insurance will not provide when you Rent a Car. First, your Car Insurance back home will not pay for Loss of Use. The Car Insurance Company can charge you for the time their car is in the Body Shop, that is, for the time they are not able to rent it to somebody, as that is lost revenue. On this issue, I always tell people to observe how full the Rental Company's lot is, when they pick up their Rental Car. Second, your Car Insurance will not pay for "Dimunition of Value," that is, if the Rental Company claims the accident was your fault, they may say that when they sell the car, in a couple of years, they will get less for it, because the internet will reveal the car has been in an accident at one point in its life.
5)If I buy the Collision Damage Waiver offered by the Car Rental Company, at $10 to $13 per day, are my worries over?
Often not. There are MANY Gaps in the Collision Damage Waiver, and MANY Exclusions. Just a few examples, but if your spouse drives the car, you leave the State where it was rented, you have 1 beer at the hotel pool before you leave, you let the car run while you run into a minimart for 30 seconds, you don't lock the car, you violate any local ordinance you might not know about, etc., etc., etc., the coverage provided by the Collision Damage Waiver is not in effect.
On the other hand, if you don't violate any of the Exclusions on the Collision Damage Waiver, then you can pretty well walk back onto the airplane, and not have to worry about paying a dime later.
I always tell my Customers to be aware of all these facts, and then to make a Personal Decison as to whether they want to rely on their Car Insurance back home, or to buy the Collision Damage Waiver.
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