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Read your rental car insurance cover’s fine print

When you’re rushing from the airport terminal to your rental car, the last thing on your mind is car rental insurance. Finding the best car rental deal and the best way to get to your destination are your top priority, but you should be paying as much attention to car rental insurance as you do on those decisions. You should find which car rental company offers you the best deal on the best insurance cover before you drive away from the airport.

No matter what car rental agency you use, you need to read the fine print on those car rental insurance agreements – and ask a lot of questions – before writing your signature on the contract. If you were to be involved in an accident, or the rental vehicle was stolen, you might be liable for the full replacement of the car or for a very large insurance payment. That can be avoided, though. By reading online reviews of the different levels and types of insurance for car rental, you’ll be able to make better informed decisions.

Types of Rental Car Insurance:
There are three main types of insurance coverage available to you from car rental companies: Collision Damage Waiver, Theft Protection, and Third-Party Liability. Those are the general aspects of cover, but each car rental company will vary in the degree of protection cover they offer as standard. When you book your rental vehicle, always ask for the top insurance option. Why? Some Collision Damage Waiver policies only cover bodywork, but not mechanical items such as engines. If you were involved in an accident, and the front-end of the vehicle was smashed, you as the driver of the vehicle will be liable for the repair or replacement of the mechanical components.

What to look for in car insurance covers:
1) Using a rental car comparison website or an aggregator website for car rental agencies to shop for the best rental car for your needs, you can also learn about the car rental company’s insurance covers in a comparison.
2) If you’re looking to book your holiday, flight or car rental from one platform – which most airlines offer as package deals – you will be able to also buy the rental car insurance at the same time.
3) Directly buying additional or top-up cover to protect yourself and your wallet in the event of an accident in your rental car is a one-stop solution. However, that usually comes at a higher premium.
4) Using a third-party cover, you will more than likely enjoy greater cover for cheaper prices than if going directly with the rental car agency’s insurance cover.

Of course, for the majority of travelers, buying additional car rental insurance is not necessary – other than the basic cover provided by the rental company. While this might save you a few dollars upfront, in the unlikely event of an accident, damage, or theft, you will be left saddled with a bill for thousands of dollars.

Make sure you read the fine print of your car rental agreement and the insurance cover to make sure that it at least covers your tires, wheels, windows, mirrors, undercarriage, engine, and roof. Additional insurance will cover towing costs and roadside assistance. What if you lose the keys to your rental car? You need to be covered for that, because it can add up to a few hundred dollars.