Utica National, one of our insurance providers, has provided us with some safety tips to share with you on how to prepare your vehicles for the winter. We hope you take these tips seriously and put them to use before the winter hits us. Your safety is our concern, especially when operating a motor vehicle. So please take the time to read the preparation steps below and get yourself ready for the hazardous roads that come with the cold weather.
Question: Does my personal auto policy cover a rental vehicle?
Answer: Maybe. Don’t you just hate answers like that? Let us try and simplify this complicated question which our clients ask frequently.
First, it depends on what state you live in so always contact your insurance agent for advice before renting a vehicle.
If you were our client and lived in New York here would be our answer to you:
Yes, if you had a personal automobile policy and were renting a private passenger vehicle for pleasure use, then your policy would afford you coverage up to your liability limits for a maximum of 30 days. STOP – KEEP READING…. THERE IS MORE….
Your policy may afford you coverage; however, you will need to have ALL the facts about this coverage before renting a vehicle and declining the rental car insurance. Please read carefully:
- If you or the rental company puts a claim in for any damages to a rental vehicle, regardless of fault, your insurance company will apply an accident surcharge on your next renewal. There is also that possibility that instead of the surcharge, you will get Non-Renewed.
- The rental car company can charge additional fees such as loss of rental income, diminished value of the rental vehicle, towing and storage charges and loss/damage of the GPS that your policy may not cover
- Without the rental insurance the rental car company can automatically charge your credit card for the damages and fees for the rental vehicle. And if they repaired their vehicle before your insurance company is aware of the claim they could deny any reimbursement to you for the charges to your credit card.
So OUR RECOMMENDATION would be to:
- Check with your credit card company as some of them still provide at least some coverage, if not all, for damage to a rental vehicle
- Do not hesitate: purchase the insurance every time you want or need to rent a car. It will be less stressful and less costly than your options above.