Car Rental: Help A Reporter Out (HARO)

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Brenda Robinson
Brenda Robinson
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June 23, 2022

1:47 am


Reporter: Anonymous
Publication: Anonymous
Interviewee: Josh Damico, VP of Insurance Operations at Jerry
Deadline: 11:00 AM EST – 27 June

Are there any alternatives to car rentals? What are they?

There are plenty of options other than renting a car from a traditional rental car agency, which can come with high added costs. Depending on where you are, you can take advantage of carsharing companies, like Turo or Zipcar, ridesharing companies, like Lyft and Uber, or consider using public transportation. Many cities now also offer bike or scooter rentals.

If a person has multiple credit cards, how can they choose which one to use for a car rental?

You’ll want to check the credit card benefits and exclusions for each credit card before deciding which card to use. Many cards do not cover administrative or diminished value costs, and they often exclude certain types of vehicles like luxury vehicles, motorhomes, trucks, and motorcycles.

The biggest thing you’ll want to look at is the type of coverage your card offers. Some major card providers offer only secondary-level rental car insurance protection, which covers you up to a specific limit and typically only kicks in after your primary auto insurance is exhausted. Additionally, it typically only provides collision or loss damage waiver coverage.

However, certain premium credit cards offer primary-level rental insurance protection. If you have a credit card offering primary coverage, definitely choose this card to pay for your rental car.

Finally, some credit cards offer rewards or discounts with rental agencies, which can help you save money on a rental car.

When is it best to get rental car insurance and which type of rental car insurance should one get?

When asking yourself whether or not you need rental car insurance consider the following:

  • Do you use a credit card that provides at least secondary rental car insurance coverage to pay for the rental?
  • Do you already have a suitable personal insurance policy?
  • Are you renting within the US or Canada?

Generally speaking, if you check all of these boxes you can probably skip the coverage offered by your rental car provider. However, you might still have to assume a certain degree of responsibility for the potential damage costs.

If all of the above doesn’t apply to you, you might want to consider supplementing it with the rental car company’s car insurance. If you do purchase a policy from your rental car company, try to get coverage that makes up for the gaps in your existing personal car insurance coverage and/or credit card.

If you don’t have secondary coverage through a credit card or a full coverage car insurance policy, you’ll likely want to get the collision or loss damage waiver through the rental car company.

If you have the state minimum liability coverage on your policy or don’t have car insurance at all, consider getting the rental car company’s supplemental liability coverage.

Finally, if you have no coverage through your credit card or don’t have a personal car insurance policy, you may want the rental car company’s full coverage. Although expensive, it will cover theft, collision damage, and injuries in many cases.

That said, you might have some coverage for rental cars through your homeowners, renters, or health insurance policy. Be sure to thoroughly review all of your insurance policies to determine whether additional coverage through the rental car company is necessary.

Posted in Car & Automotive, Help A Reporter Out, Interviews, Public Relations
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