How do you get liability insurance for a rental car?

I'm looking to rent a car for a couple weeks for a long-overdue road trip with some old college friends—I live in a city with strong public transit, so I haven't needed to own a car in awhile. Given that it's been a bit since I've driven, and that multiple people are going to be driving for long stretches of time, I want to make sure we're covered for any issues that might arise, especially in terms of liability. So how do I get liability insurance for a rental car?

Great question! The first step is to contact the rental car agency to see what kind of liability coverage you’ll need to purchase for the car you’re renting.
If you don’t already have auto insurance, rental car agencies typically require you to buy insurance that cover the basics:
  • A collision damage waiver for damages to the bodywork
  • Theft protection coverage
  • Third-party liability insurance
This will meet the minimum coverage required by your state, as well as the rental company, and it allows you to legally drive.
However, it won’t cover:
  • Damages to parts of the car other than the bodywork (like the windows or the engine)
  • Medical expenses for anyone in your vehicle in the event of an accident
If you want to go the extra mile in terms of caution, it might be worth it to get additional rental car insurance from either an insurance carrier or the rental car agency. Some credit card companies also offer this coverage.
Sites like Jerry can get you free quotes instantly from multiple providers, so you can decide what rental car coverage might be best for you. That way, you can focus on the important things: reuniting, reconnecting, and road-tripping!
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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