Car Insurance for Rental Cars

The average rental car insurance rates are $19/day. You can purchase rental coverage from your car insurance company or the rental car company.

Free Car Insurance Comparison

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

Full Bio →

Written by

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Jul 22, 2021

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident car insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one car insurance company and cannot guarantee quotes from any single company.

Our partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from top car companies please enter your ZIP code above to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Here's what you need to know...

  • When driving a rental car, you need some coverage in place in case of an accident
  • In some cases, your current auto insurance will cover your rental
  • If you do not have car insurance, you will either need coverage through the rental company or possibly your credit card company


Drivers who own their vehicle are required to buy car insurance. Renters also need to have coverage in place to pay for injuries and damages caused when they are behind the wheel.

You can use your personal auto insurance policy for this purpose, use the protection offered by your credit card, or buy coverage from the car rental agency when you sign the contract and pick up the car. Consider the details below before deciding.

Enter your zip code above to receive car insurance quotes from multiple providers in your area!

Personal Car Insurance Policy

Your personal car insurance coverage will protect you when you are driving your own vehicle or a rented one, as long as your policy includes collision or comprehensive coverage.

Collision coverage pays for the cost of repairing the vehicle you are driving if it is damaged in an accident that involves hitting another vehicle or an object.

Comprehensive coverage pays out when the damage to the vehicle is due to a loss from wind, hail, flooding, fire, vandalism or theft.

If you decide to use your car insurance policy when you rent a car, you will need to pay your policy deductible before the insurance company will write a check for any damages.

The third party liability coverage you bought with your personal auto insurance can also protect you when you rent a vehicle.

It will pay for the medical bills, rehabilitation expenses and lost wages of the occupants of the other vehicle. You have coverage up to the policy limit you chose when you bought the policy.

It’s a good idea to either check your insurance policy or contact your insurance company to find out how car insurance you buy from the rental agency is treated if you are involved in an accident.

The rental car agency’s coverage may be considered excess to your personal coverage. If an accident occurs, the rental car policy will pay out first.

Free Car Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap car insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Credit Card Coverage

You may have rental car insurance coverage in place through your credit card that will cover you if you use the card to pay for your rental.

If you have some time to plan your trip, contact your credit card company and ask them to send you a copy of the policy provisions. Once you receive the information, read it through carefully and compare it to the coverage you already have in place.

Some of these plans only cover physical damage to the rental car but do not offer any liability coverage to pay for the damages you cause to the occupants of the other vehicle or the vehicle itself.

Buy Car Insurance from the Rental Car Agency

Rental car agencies will routinely offer insurance coverage to their customers when they pick up the vehicle.

The insurance they offer is called Loss Damage Waivers (LDW) and Collision Damage Waivers (CDW) and works in the same way as the collision and comprehensive coverage you have on your vehicle.

You may be required to pay a deductible if you are involved in an accident with the rented vehicle, so be sure to read the coverage terms carefully before you decide to buy the coverage.

Even if you do accept the coverage offered by the car rental agency, you may not be covered if you were under the influence, speeding, or driving in a reckless manner.

If you have already dropped your collision and comprehensive coverage, or you don’t own your vehicle (and don’t have car insurance), your best bet may be to buy your coverage from the car rental agency.

You will have some protection in place for the rental car, and it is available for a few dollars a day and only for the time you are using the vehicle. Buying the coverage from the car rental agency is a convenient way to put coverage in place.

Drivers know they need to have car insurance. Renters, who only need coverage for a set time, can choose to buy coverage from the car rental agency.

Other available options for people renting a vehicle are to check out the insurance coverage offered by their credit card company or to use their personal car insurance coverage to protect them in case an accident occurs when they are operating the rental car. Taking the time to consider all of these options will help you make the right decision.

Enter your zip code below to access car insurance quotes from multiple companies!

Free Car Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap car insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption