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Are you somebody who loves to travel?  If so, I’m sure you’re very well aware of the hassle it can be to rent a vehicle when out of town.  Throughout our years as an independent insurance agency we have seen a few cases where the renter suffered a loss or claim that was not covered under their standard auto insurance policy.  Many travelers are unaware of these circumstances and as an independent insurance agent we want to make sure you that we bring these issues to your attention.  A few key reasons why you should purchase the Rental Car Damage Waiver from your rental car company are:

1.  Physical Damage coverage does not extend from a standard auto policy to other types of vehicles such as:  Motor home, moving truck, motorcycle, etc…

2.  Upscale SUV’s and sports cars may have limited or no coverage at all.

3.  You may not be covered if the damage was ensued when it was out of your custody.  (For example, Valet Driver, Best Friend, Girl Friend, etc…)  *Be sure to read the rental agreement – you may void coverage if the vehicle is driven by an unauthorized driver.

4.  Many rental companies expect full value (based on their evaluation) in the case of a loss, when most standard auto policies only offer coverage for actual cash value.  (You can be responsible for the difference.)

5.  Some auto policies will not extend coverage to a rental vehicle (non-owned automobile) if it is driven on an unpaved road or outside of your coverage area. 

6.  There a wide variety of standard auto insurance policies out there and many are non-ISO policies which may offer no coverage at all to any non-owned automobiles.  Non-ISO policies can vary between every insurance carrier, making it nearly impossible to outline how they apply to a rental vehicle.

7.  You may be responsible for indirect losses that are rarely covered by a personal auto policy. 

a.      If the rental vehicle is damaged, you may have to pay for the loss of income the rental company may experience while the vehicle is being repaired. 

b.      If the vehicle is damaged you may be responsible for diminution of value or the amount the vehicle depreciates due to the damage. 

With prior experience and after extensive research, time has shown over and over again that a standard auto insurance policy is often not adequate enough to cover physical damage to a rental car.  Please note that the above list does not cover every scenario where your personal auto policy may not cover a rented vehicle.  And there may be other hidden costs passed down to you from a rental car company as result of an accident or damage.  As an independent insurance agency we highly recommend that you purchase Rental Car Damage Waiver or Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) for your rental vehicle in the case of a loss.  In many cases the LDW will cost less than $100, but a substantial loss without it could cost thousands.  Give yourself the peace of mind you deserve when traveling this year by making the extra investment and purchasing LDW insurance from your rental car company!  If you have any questions regarding your policy please feel free to call your local agent or Davis & Massey Insurance Agency at (843) 839-9229. 

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