How do I buy insurance for a rental car?

I'm traveling out of state in a couple of weeks, and I'll have to rent a car in order to get to the hotel, as well as to go sightseeing. I want to make sure I'm covered for any possibility, though, as you never can be too careful. How would I go about buying insurance for a rental car?

Answer
Your caution does you credit! You can buy rental car insurance from your own insurance company, from the rental agency, or sometimes from your credit card company.
Before you rent the car, you should call your insurance provider to find out if your current policy already covers rental cars. This is often the least expensive option.
If you decide to purchase rental car insurance from the rental agency, you may have the following options available:
  • Collision damage waiver (CDW)
  • Rental car liability coverage
  • Personal accident insurance
  • Personal effects coverage
You can usually save money by sticking with your own insurance company for rental car coverage. Using free tools like Jerry can help you make sure you’re getting the best rate—we’ll get you multiple quotes instantly so you know everything is fully covered. That way you can relax and enjoy your trip.
Ben Guess
Answered on Nov 01, 2021
Ben has a BA in Journalism + Design from The New School, as well as three years’ experience in content writing and data journalism. They are deeply interested in how the car industry intersects with issues of inequity in the world, as well as in making auto insurance more accessible through writing. When they’re away from the keyboard, they enjoy baking, embroidering, and playing Dungeons and Dragons with friends. They are based in Boston, Massachusetts.
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