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Car rental insurance w/o auto policy

I no longer own a car, so my policy was suspended and will soon cancel. I may need to rent a car in July. My credit card will cover collision on a rental. Am I going to have to pay the rental company high rates for liability and personal accident insurance, about $16/day it looks like?


Your health insurance (assuming you have it) should cover your personal injuries - your homeowners insurance (assuming you own a home) MAY cover personal injury to your passengers (check it though)and SHOULD cover liability (again - check it).

You may not have to, but it might be a good idea anyway. On the other hand, check with auto insurance companies to see if you can purchase a more cost effective short term policy.

Liability coverage generally comes with the basic rental price. Decline PAI if you have reasonable health insurance.

Your auto insurer might answer the question before your policy lapses. Give them a call.

I would suggest contacting your current insurance company and maybe you credit card company. Since laws vary from state to state and country to country, it would be best to check with the pros. As it appears you know, you need more than collision insurance. You are not the first person in the situation so they should be able to answer your questions.

definitely call your credit card company. some cards specifically deny the insurance, and others seem to “give” it away when you use the card. so check it out yourself.

I would go to your credit company and find out their limits on paying out for rentals. They have high rates yes for profit but also they do not discriminate the worse drivers(multiple DUI or wreckless driving) to the best with a Scott free record.

I always buy the Collision Damage Waiver (CDW, also referred to as LDW). I do even though I have coverage on rental cars through my auto insurance company as well as through my credit card. Why? Because no auto insurance policy nor credit card program I know of will cover Loss of Value and Loss of Use if you wreck the rental car. For example, you decline the CDW at your next car rental saying you have coverage thru your credit card. Then, the unthinkable happens and you wreck the csar badly but do not total it. The rental company is going to send the car to a mechanic shop and then a body shop, and get the car fixed. BUT, if it takes a month, that means YOU are going to be billed for a month’s loss of use. Several hundred dollars. Your credit card or personal insurance very very likely WILL NOT cover this. But here is the real kicker. That $30,000 premium rental car you rented is going to go WAY down in value even once it is fixed up. It could go down in value as much as $5000 or $10,000. This is called loss of value, because a new or like new car, once wrecked and repaired, takes a big hit in value. No personal auto insurance or credit card program I know of will cover you for loss of value. You could get stuck for a bill for $10,000 in loss of value. This is not to even mention all of the enormous headaches associated with the whole mess. I don’t own a car rental complany or even have stock in one, but I definitely favor getting the CDW every time you rent a car. Expensive, yes, but if the car rental car gets bady wrecked this is the ONLY way I know of to avoid getting hit with a huge bill.

I travel about once a month thus I rent a lot of cars. You should NEVER get the extended coverage. You can only be held responsible for the deductible damage done to the vehicle. And if you use a credit card they cover it for you (I guess some don’t so make sure). Injuries which you occur should be covered by your health insurance or home policy. Injuries to other people is covered by the rental agency.

You are 100% WRONG. Either that or you work for a rental agency and just telling people this so they pay the Insurance which you make a commission on.

You are ONLY LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE for the DEDUCTIBLE…PERIOD. You are NOT responsible for the complete damage to the vehicle. And EVERY Credit card I’ve ever had covers the deductible. Just last year a coworker and I were on a business trip. He ran a red light and hit 3 vehicles. Our rental (brand new Intrepid) had about $20k in damage…(NOT TOTALED). One of the cars he his was totaled…And the other 2 also had serious damage. One woman was injured (luckily NOT seriously). My coworker was ONLY responsible for the $1000 deductible…NOTHING ELSE. And the deductible was covered by his credit card. So he paid NOTHING…NADA…ZIP…

Read my post again. I did not say you are responsible for the actual cost of repairs of the damage. I said renters can be held responsible for loss of residual value of the car after it is fixed. If you know of a specific auto insurance company that covers loss of value of loss of use, name it. I have not been able to find one. Don’t just respond with unprovable anecdotes. And again I do not work for or have an interest in a car rental company.

I said renters can be held responsible for loss of residual value of the car after it is fixed.

No they can NOT…That is 100% wrong. They can NOT BY LAW make you pay for ANY damage or so-called depreciation. If it ever happened to you or someone you know…then you were a sucker.

Yes they can. Here is something for your reading pleasure. There is lots more out there in web-land if you care to look.

All that article says is ONE PERSON was a sucker. It may take a lawyer to fight it…but LEGALLY they can NOT charge you depreciation. Plus…Depreciation is very very subjective. I can get 20 EXPERTS on automotive prices and you’ll get 20 different opinions on what a particular vehicle is worth. Companies can do what ever they want. If you want to LET them go right ahead…I’d fight that and WIN…GUARANTEED.

Well, I think readers of this thread can make up their own minds. They can consider the facts I have cited, read the fine print, and squarely face the risks of liability creep in the car rental industry, and they can consider that against your unsubstantiated, ad-hominem bloviating. But to do nothing just because an internet poster says all is well is not a risk I am willing to take. Have fun paying your lawyers.

I trust Mike, a forum regular who always has wise things to say, over someone I’ve never seen post before. Oh, and when you fight someone and win in a case like this, I do believe they pay the court fees.

I don’t normally rent cars, but I will be checking to make sure my credit card is one of the ones with rental car coverage after this.

My brother sued another driver for damages including diminished value. Their insurance company tried to argue against all of it especially the diminished value portion. THEY LOST and he was awarded damages for the lost value too. That was several years ago. Compensation for diminished value has been getting more attention since then and I see more evidence of companies and owners seeking this type of restitution. It makes perfect sense to me. Take two identical cars, one fixed after a major wreck and one never wrecked. Which would you buy?

I’ve been traveling on business for YEARS. Especially when I was doing consulting. I’ve read many rental agreements that were VERY ILLEGAL. Sorry…but you’ve shown NO PROOF what so ever. All you’ve shown is complete unsubstantiated report of ONE person off the internet. I’m glad you’re not willing to take the risk. GREAT…These laws about rental agreements can easily be found either on the internet or a law library. I first found out about it when the company I was working for GE sent out a LONG document to everyone who traveled on business and what you should do and don’t do when renting a car. GE…and many other companies will NOT reimburse you if you buy the insurance. They know it’s a scam…Have been for years. These ad-ons are hugh profit makers for the rental agencies…AND the rental agent gets a commission for each one they sell…Does this sound familiar to anyone.

Here’s a few links for you to read.

I will agree that if you have a Pre-Paid Visa or debit card then you may NOT be covered. I know for a FACT I am. My auto insurance also covers me…AND I’m covered through my home owners policy. I guess if you don’t own a car or a home and you have a Pre-Paid Visa…then it’s probably a good idea to buy the renters insurance. But for the vast majority of travelers who rent cars it is NOT a good business decission. A sucker is born every minute.