You locked in a great rate for your rental car and then got a few price drops thanks to AutoSlash. But now, standing at the rental counter, you're asked if you want to add some extra insurance?
A lot of people skip that collision damage waiver insurance offered at the counter. After all, at $20-$30 a day, it can nearly double that good rate you found online.
And if you own your own car and have Farmers Auto Insurance for your primary car, there's a decent chance that you don't need any more coverage. But, there's a hitch. You're only covered within the limits of your policy for your own vehicle. So if you drive a luxury car back home, and are opting for a modest budget car on your trip, you're in pretty good shape for coverage. But if your everyday car is an aging compact and you've decided to live it up with a blinged-out SUV rental, you might be putting yourself in a bind.
What to Know About Farmers and Rental Cars
If you're not sure what your policy limits are, make a few calls. The amount of protection you'd get from your own Farmer's policy varies from state to state, so it's a good idea to call your Farmer's Group office and ask a few questions: Do you have collision and comprehensive coverage on your policy, and does it to extend to a rental? Are there any limits on cars you'd be covered for? Are you covered for Loss of Use and Diminution of Value? Are there any risks if you need to file a claim for damage related to a rental?
In most cases, if your own policy covers a rental, you would just need to pick up the cost of the deductible in case of an accident.
While you're checking into your Farmers policy, call the customer service number for the credit card you'll be using while traveling, too. Ask if you did have an accident in a rental car, whether anything beyond your deductible and Farmers policy's limit could be picked up by that credit card. Two other kinds of personal insurance can help you, too: Your homeowners or renters insurance protects your stuff inside the car.
6 Reasons to Buy Car Rental Insurance
Even if you do have coverage from your own policy, there are a few scenarios where you still might wish you'd gotten the added coverage anyway. For instance:
Your auto deductible is very high. If you have an accident in a rental car and your Farmers insurance deductible is sky high, you may owe much more than what you'd have paid for the rental company's CDW.
You don't want to make a claim on your personal insurance. Did you recently make a claim and don't want your premium to explode? Two claims in one year can raise your insurance rates significantly, so you may want to err on the side of caution and buy insurance.
Your own coverage is not comprehensive. If your Farmers auto policy isn't comprehensive, you might want to buy the CDW. If you have bare-bones health insurance, you might want to pick up personal accident insurance. If you don't have liability coverage, you may want to buy that.
Your policy has a lot of restrictions. For instance, your Farmers policy might not cover risk factors such as driving in an unfamiliar area or driving in bad weather.
You're renting an expensive vehicle. Remember, your Farmers auto insurance will only cover up to the limit of your own vehicle's policy. If you drive a really old car on its last legs, you may want to beef up coverage for a luxury rental. Always be sure to check your coverage limits.
You're renting outside the U.S. Like most U.S. auto policies, Farmers covers you for rental cars in the US and Canada. If you're traveling outside these two countries, you'll need to purchase supplemental insurance. (Mexican rentals require extra insurance anyway.)