Where can I find information about state insurance requirements for rental cars?

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Asked November 26, 2012

1 Answer

Insurance requirements vary by state, and may also vary somewhat according to the rental company you are dealing with. To determine what the requirements are for rental car insurance in your state, you can contact any of the agencies involved: insurance companies, rental companies, the Department of Motor Vehicles, or your state's insurance department.

Both the DMV and the department of insurance will have information about state requirements for automobile insurance of different types, such as private or commercial coverage. What these agencies cannot provide you with would be the insurance requirements specific to the rental company. So you would know what the state requires, but other costs may pop up at the time of the rental.

Insurance companies can provide you with the car insurance requirements of states they are licensed to sell insurance in, and may be familiar with the requirements of rental companies they interact with on a regular basis. There is a still a chance that additional insurance requirements will develop, but you'll get a close approximate cost.

The individual rental company is the single place to find out what their insurance requirements will be. You may be required to obtain a Waiver of Damage Liability, called a WDL, which covers any liability claims which may be brought against the car or rental company while you are using the car. The WDL may be optional, but keep in mind that you will be held financially liable for any claims that are not covered by an insurance policy.

If you already have car insurance, contact your insurance company. Most insurers will extend your existing coverage to a rental car at your request. If the car is being rented as a result of a covered incident, your insurance policy may specify that a rental car is covered automatically as a function of the claim settlement.

Finally, call your credit card company and ask whether rental car insurance is a benefit of the card. Many credit issuers will provide insurance at low or no cost to customers who rent the vehicle using that company's credit card. If this is the case, then the credit card company will cover the cost, and may or may not even notify you of the cost of that coverage.

Answered November 26, 2012 by Anonymous

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