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Do You Need Extra Coverage for Your Rental Car?

June 12, 2023

Planning to rent a car while you’re away on vacation this year? If so, you likely need rental car insurance.

The good news? Taking the time to understand your current coverage before you rent could save you a needless expense on top of the car. Your budget will thank you!

Know the details of your current auto insurance

Does your personal auto insurance transfer over to the car you’re renting, including if you’re renting outside the continent? In most cases, this additional coverage is offered as an option that can be added to your policy and can even save you money and hassle at the rental counter.

When you add this option, there’s no need to buy insurance at the counter when renting a car in Canada or the US.

Read your credit card fine print

Most credit cards offer at least some coverage for rental car insurance. Take the time to read up on your card policy to discover any possible limitations that may apply in specific rental scenarios. For example, coverage may not include certain types of vehicles, or it may exclude one or more areas of coverage, such as theft or damage.

If you’re relying on your credit card policy to provide your insurance, make sure you know if there are any gaps in your coverage.

Understand your at-the-counter options

Generally, rental companies will offer a loss-damage waiver (or collision-damage waiver), liability insurance, personal accident insurance and personal effects coverage.

While some travellers often make it a personal rule to say no to all of the above, declining insurance on your rental when you’re less than fully covered by a credit card or personal policy could end up costing more.

Don’t risk being liable for the costs of damage to a rental vehicle.

Avoid hidden fees

Aside from insurance, many rental car companies offer additional services that could add to your bill. There may be a fuel service option, which charges you for gas, a charge for an extra driver or even a fee for exceeding a daily limit of kilometers driven. Shop around to make sure you choose a reputable rental car company that can give you the best value for your needs.

Skip the rental counter fine print and get additional coverage easily with our Trouble-Free Option®.

Auto Insurance is not available in MB, SK and BC due to government-run plans.

These tips are provided for information and prevention purposes only. They are general in nature, and Desjardins cannot be held liable for them. We recommend using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, tailored advice.

Trouble-Free Option® is a registered trademark of Desjardins General Insurance Group Inc., used under licence.