When you reserve a rental car, the rental car will offer you supplemental insurance. However, your own car insurance may already provide some of this coverage on rentals. Our Kansas City car accident attorneys suggest that you talk to your own insurance agent before renting a car, so you don't waste money on duplicate insurance.
Types of rental car insurance
- Loss Damage Waiver: You park the rental car in a strange city so you can go to your meeting. When you come back, the car isn't there - It has been stolen! The rental company says you must replace it.
It is not uncommon for rental car companies to hold you responsible for the value of a car that is damaged or stolen. In fact, the rental company may even hold you liable for the "loss of use" of that car or for the time that car cannot be rented because it is being repaired or replaced. A Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) "waives" your financial responsibility if the car you rent is damaged or stolen. Many LDWs also provide coverage for "loss of use," towing fees, lot fees, and administrative fees. LDW coverage costs $20 to $30 per day.
Your credit card company may already be providing this insurance. Since credit card companies often change policies and benefits, call your credit card provider before renting.
- Liability Insurance: Liability refers to what you must pay if you cause a Missouri car crash. By law, all rental companies provide the state-required amount of liability insurance. In Missouri, you must have $25,000/$50,000 bodily injury liability, $10,000 property damage liability, and $25,000/$50,000 limit uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage. However, these amounts are very low. If you are in an accident, you may end up underinsured. If your car has enough liability protection, that protection may extend to your rental car. If not, you may want to consider Additional Liability Insurance (ALI). This insurance increases the limits of your protection and costs $10 to $20 a day.
- Personal Accident Insurance: Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) covers any injuries that you and your passengers sustain in a Missouri accident involving the rental car. It also provides accidental death insurance. If you have good health insurance or have personal injury protection under your own car insurance, you may not need PAI. This insurance costs around $5 a day.
- Personal Effects Protection: Personal Effects Protection (PEP) covers your belongings if they are stolen from the car. However, your belongings may already be covered through your homeowner's or rental policy. PEP coverage generally costs less than $5 a day.
Even if you have adequate insurance, you may want to consider the rental company's insurance options if your deductible is high. You don't want to end up paying out-of-pocket for a car that you don't own.
There are no statistics that can tell you whether you are more likely to be involved in a Missouri motor vehicle accident while driving a rental car. However, driving a strange car in a strange city means you are more likely to make driving mistakes. Make sure you are properly insured.
Learn more about the safety of rental cars in our article, "The Good News and Bad News for Rental Car Users."
Have You Been Injured In A Kansas City Area Car Accident?
If you've been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.