Does my car insurance cover rental cars?

Does car insurance cover rental cars? Yes, your rental car will be protected with the same level of coverage as your personal coverage, but you can also use a policy from the rental 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: Sep 15, 2020

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...

  • Your existing car insurance will cover a rental vehicle
  • Your rental car will be protected with the same level of coverage as your personal vehicle – make sure it’s enough
  • Other coverage options include a policy from the rental company and policies possibly included in your credit card

The answer to the question, “Does car insurance cover rental vehicles,” is yesin most cases. You can also get rental insurance coverage as a benefit from your credit card company or the rental agency itself.

To get car insurance quote, enter your zip code now!

Your existing car insurance policy will usually extend to rented vehicles.

If you rent a car, you would have the same type and level of coverage on it that you have on your personal vehicle.

Rental Car Insurance Under Your Own Policy


How do you know if your car insurance covers rental cars? If you have collision coverage in place, you would be covered for damage to the rental car, but you would have to pay your usual deductible first. Make sure your existing policy covers these three types of insurance before deciding it will be adequate for a rental car.

  • Liability – In a situation where you are involved in an accident and are determined to be the at-fault driver, the liability portion of your policy will be used to pay for the damages (up to your policy limit).
  • Collision –  If your vehicle is an older one and you have dropped your collision coverage, your rental car will not be protected. You must have collision insurance to drive a rental car, so you will have to add it.
  • Comprehensive – If have limited your comprehensive protection to fire and theft only, you will not be adequately protected when you rent a car.

Not everyone who has a driver’s license also owns a vehicle, and if this situation applies to you, you will need to consider another method of insuring the rental car than using an existing policy, such as a nonowner’s car insurance policy.

Free Car Insurance Comparison

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

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Rental Car Insurance from the Agency

Is it necessary to buy rental car insurance? The car rental agency will offer you coverage as a standard procedure when you arrive to pick up the vehicle. You will need to sign or initial the document specifically indicating that you wish to decline the coverage if that’s what you decide to do.

  • You can choose to buy this coverage to top up your existing car insurance coverage if you are concerned that your existing coverage may not be enough to fully protect you if you are the at-fault driver in a serious car accident.
    • For a few dollars a day, you can buy an additional level of protection that will provide up to $1 million in liability insurance coverage.
  • If you decide to buy car insurance coverage from the rental agency, this policy is considered your main coverage while you are operating the rented vehicle. If a loss occurs, the claim will be paid out of this policy first.
  • Your personal car insurance policy would be used if the car rental agency’s coverage is not enough to fully satisfy the claim for damages.

Free Car Insurance Comparison

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

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

In a case where you don’t have collision or comprehensive coverage on your vehicle, buying the Loss Damage Waivers or Collision Damage Waivers coverage offered by the car rental company will give your the proper protection.

You may have to pay a deductible before this coverage will kick in, so be sure to ask whether that’s the case before you agree to take this protection.

Rental Car Insurance Through Your Credit Card


Your credit card company may offer rental car insurance as a benefit to customers. This is another option to consider. To find out what type and level of coverage you have, contact your credit card issuer to ask about the particulars of the plan.

This is an option to consider for drivers who don’t have an existing car insurance policy in place. Depending on the particulars of the credit card company plan, it could be worth using since you already have it as a benefit with your card.

Before you make a decision about rental car insurance coverage, think about what type and level of protection you already have in place. You will want to avoid buying duplicate coverage, but if there are gaps in your level of protection you can deal with them appropriately.

No one wants to think about getting into an accident while driving a rental car, but you should take just as much care in putting protection in place in this situation as if you were buying a new vehicle.

Car insurance protection is too important to skimp on coverage.

A call to your current car insurance provider will confirm what type and level of protection you currently have in place and whether your coverage extends to rental cars.

From there, you can look at your other options for rental car insurance and make sure you have enough protection in place.

Get online car insurance quotes by entering your zip code right now!



Free Car Insurance Comparison

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

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption