Insurance and Finance

FAQ: Do You Need Rental Car Insurance?

By Staci Parks 6.3.19

If your travel plans include renting a car, there are a few things you need to know before you hit the road. Use this checklist of car rental tips to follow safety precautions and evaluate whether rental car insurance is worth the extra cost.

Do I Really Need Rental Car Insurance?

Whether you’re online browsing or being sold to in person, this is a persistent question when reserving a rental car. But don’t make this decision at the counter. Before you buy or sign anything from the rental company, check your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance auto policy. It’s possible your policy may cover rental car damage if you have comprehensive or collision coverage.

What Does Rental Car Insurance Cover?

If you choose to purchase rental car insurance, understand what it covers — and what it doesn’t. The company may offer “insurance” in the form of collision damage or loss damage waivers. This isn’t real insurance, but it covers damages made to the car while you have it. These waivers also prevent the rental car company from taking legal action against you should something happen to the vehicle.

However, these additional services, which often needlessly replicate coverage you already have, are a quick, easy way for rental car companies to increase their profit, according to Consumer Affairs.

Rental Car Safety Checklist

Before leaving the rental car company’s parking lot, you should:

  • Find out when the car was last serviced.
  • Know who you should call if the car breaks down while you have it.
  • Check the trunk for a proper spare tire and tools needed to change a tire.
  • Visually inspect the car for any damage, and take photos of the panels and windows with your smartphone. If you see something, note it on the paperwork or notify an employee.
  • Check the vehicle’s tires for proper inflation, and look for any areas with an uneven tread.
  • Check the oil, antifreeze, and washer fluid levels.
  • Make sure the heating and cooling system meets your personal needs.
  • Test the hazard lights, headlights, turn signals, and windshield wipers.
  • Adjust the driver’s seat and mirrors to your specifications.
  • Test-drive the car around the parking lot. This helps you get familiar with the car while checking the brakes.

Before you hit the road, there’s one more thing to do: Use your Texas Farm Bureau membership to receive discounts on rental cars from top companies.

If you have any questions about your rental car insurance, call your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent for advice to talk through your coverage and get the right protection.

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation. © 2019 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance