A person handing car keys to another person. With a white car in the background.

Car Rentals and Insurance – Do You Need It?

One thing that continues to cause confusion and frustration among those traveling with rental vehicles is car insurance.  What’s the big fuss? Just think about being in an unfamiliar city talking to someone over the counter who is claiming you need to buy rental insurance. How can you be sure you really need it? Maybe you are already covered by your credit card?

These are important details you need to figure out prior to traveling outside your province (or country). So what insurance do you need anyhow?  Typically it is suggested that you have both collision insurance, which covers damage to the car you’re driving should there be an accident, and liability insurance, which covers your financial responsibility if you were to hit another vehicle.

Several credit card companies offer some sort of coverage when it comes to rental car insurance, but like most things there can be some restrictions and each credit card varies in what is offered. For instance, your card-provider may exempt specific styles of vehicles from collision damage coverage or in other circumstances it may not cover you outside of Canada or the United States. Furthermore, it may not offer liability coverage in the event that you injure someone. When it comes down to it, don’t rely on rental agents to provide the right answers, after all, they are in the business of trying to sell you their own insurance, so they may provide information to you that will benefit them in the end.

Your best bet is to contact your credit-card provider. You may do this by telephone; simply ask them to send you a copy of the rental-car insurance provisions and simply bring this with you on your trip to show the rental agent you deal with. You may also do all of this online if you’d rather do so; visit creditcardsearch.ca/insurance/car-rental to check the benefits of nearly every type of credit card issued in Canada. If you’ve established that your card will supply collision-damage protection, be sure that you put the entire cost of the rental vehicle on that specific card.

It is good to keep in mind that if you decide against optional additional insurance, the rental firm may ask for a considerable deposit. This is usually done by putting a hold on your credit card. The deposit again will vary, but it’s always best to bring up a backup method of payment for the rest of your trip or be sure that your traveling partner has at least one major credit card as well.

What about the insurance on your personal car?

Will that cover a vacation rental? This information will need to be confirmed by your insurance company. You should also speak to them about the following:

– Does your coverage include the value of a rental car or is it limited to the value of the car you own?

– Does your policy cover theft of personal possessions, third party liability, or medical expenses?

– Are you at risk of higher premiums or the cancellation of your policy, if you were to get into an accident with a rental vehicle?

Get in touch with Will Marshall for additional information; we are happy to clear up any confusion there might be surrounding car insurance and rental vehicles.  Our insurance brokers work with customers throughout the Orillia and Barrie region.

Call us in Orillia at 705-326-5664 or in Barrie at 705-726-2551.

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