Do You Really Need Car Rental Insurance?

Matt Press is a car fanatic and the founder of The Drive Hive, a place where learners can book intensive driving courses.

Rental cars can be such a convenience, no matter where you are travelling to. Other than improving your privacy when travelling, it offer you some schedule flexibility, which you wouldn’t get from using public transport. While people will typically come to terms with all the costs of renting a car, most people tend to wonder whether paying for rental car insurance is worth it.

For most, the chances of being involved in an accident while travelling are quite minimal. On the other hand, some have insurance covers that extend to rental cars or credit cards that help cover any unexpected expenses. However, the choice of whether to pay for insurance or not typically depends on the situation you are in.

Here is a guide for determining whether investing in rental car insurance is worth it or not:

What Will Rental Car Insurance Typically Cover?

There isn’t a guarantee that the time you will spend driving around with the rental car will be smooth, especially when travelling into new territory. From theft to accidents, the costs of renting out the car can easily skyrocket. Rental car insurance is mainly offered in the form of a waiver. This means that the rental car company will not hold you responsible for any damage to the car while you are using it.

While some policies will cover all type of damages, some tend to only cover the damages on your vehicle in line with the limits of your car insurance policy, so if you’re not sure whether you’ll have this type of coverage, it will be in your best interest to speak with professional motor insurance brokers before going ahead and buying a certain policy. If you don’t the ins and outs of the plan, you may not be getting everything you want or need, so do be careful. With that being said, some might also offer liability protection which helps to cover the damages made to other vehicles – assuming that the fault of an accident was yours. However, a lot will go into deciding the ideal rental car insurance rate.

Benefits of Getting Covered

Once you get complete rental car coverage, you can have some peace of mind knowing that you won’t be held financially accountable for any type of damage that happens to the car. This is regardless of whether you have car insurance or not. It can also be beneficial to people who don’t drive a lot but need to rent a car while on vacation.

Rental car insurance acts as a fast way to protect yourself from the probabilities of damages happening to the vehicle. When applying for rental car insurance, it is necessary to consider whether your credit card company offers rental car coverage or not.

The Cons of Rental Car Insurance

The main downside for paying for rental car insurance is that you might not even get to use it, but the idea of being covered can offer some comfort. However, some policies might not dig deep enough into medical expenses. This might result in a struggle, especially for people who don’t have car insurance covers that can help offset the medical costs of accidents.

Hidden exclusions might also be a problem with some insurance policies. It is only when accidents happen that you realize that the insurance cover will only help offset half of the costs. While not all companies will have hidden exclusions, it is wise to read in between the lines of the insurance policy documents and clarify if you’re not sure.

Assess the Car before Renting It Out

Some damages might easily have slipped through the fingers of the rental company as they were offering you the vehicle. As such, it is necessary to assess the vehicle before signing any documents. In case you notice anything that is amiss, speak up. You should also take photos or a video of the vehicle both before renting it and when returning it.


Rental car damages can make travelling quite expensive. While rental car insurance will help to cover for these unexpected expenses, it pays to understand what your insurance coverage policy really entails. Apply for rental car insurance if you have no other complementary damage cover for some peace of mind.