Rental Car Insurance: When to Skip and When to Purchase


When planning a trip, one of the key factors to consider is whether or not to purchase rental car insurance. While some may see this as an unnecessary expense, others may view it as a necessary precaution. So, how do you decide when to skip rental car insurance and when to purchase it? Let’s break it down.

Rental Car Insurance

First and foremost, it’s important to understand what rental car insurance actually covers. Typically, it includes collision damage waiver (CDW) and loss damage waiver (LDW). These two waivers provide coverage in case of damage or theft of the rental car, and can also cover third-party liability in case of an accident. However, it’s important to note that rental car insurance is not the same as personal car insurance, and may not cover all the same things. That’s why it’s essential to carefully consider whether or not you need to purchase it.

One of the main factors to consider is your own personal car insurance policy. Most personal car insurance policies include coverage for rental cars, meaning you may not need to purchase additional insurance from the rental company. This is especially true if you have comprehensive and collision coverage on your own car insurance policy. In this case, you may be able to skip purchasing rental car insurance and save yourself some money.

Credit Card

Another factor to consider is your credit card benefits. Some credit cards offer rental car insurance as a perk. However, it’s important to carefully review the terms and conditions to ensure that the coverage is adequate for your needs. For example, some credit card insurance may only cover damage to the rental car and not liability for damages to other vehicles or property. Additionally, some credit card companies require the entire rental to be paid with their card in order to receive the coverage. If this is the case, it’s important to make sure you use that specific credit card when renting the car.

If you don’t have personal car insurance or credit card coverage that is sufficient for your rental car needs, then purchasing rental car insurance may be a good idea. It’s important to carefully consider the cost of the insurance versus the potential cost of paying for any damages or accidents out of pocket. In some cases, the amount you would save by not purchasing insurance may not be worth the risk.

Additionally, you may also want to consider the type of trip you are taking. If you are planning on driving in a rural or remote area with limited access to repair shops, it may be wise to purchase rental car insurance. In cases like this, if your rental car gets damaged or breaks down, it could be a major inconvenience and expense to find a way to get it repaired or replaced.

On the other hand, if you are renting a car for just a short period of time and driving in a familiar and well-maintained area, it may be less necessary to purchase rental car insurance. In these situations, the likelihood of something happening to the rental car is lower, and the cost of repairing or replacing the car may be less than the cost of the insurance itself.


In some countries, rental car companies may also require you to purchase insurance as part of their rental agreement. In this case, there may not be an option to skip it. It’s important to research the laws and regulations of the country you are visiting before renting a car, so you know what to expect and can plan accordingly.

Ultimately, the decision to purchase rental car insurance should be based on your personal circumstances and needs. Before renting a car, it’s important to carefully review your personal car insurance policy and credit card coverage, as well as the terms and conditions of the rental car insurance offered by the company. This will help you make an informed decision and ensure that you are adequately covered in case of an accident or damage to the rental car.


In conclusion, rental car insurance can provide peace of mind and protection in case of an accident or damage to the rental car. However, in some cases, it may be an unnecessary expense if you already have sufficient coverage through your personal car insurance or credit card benefits. Careful consideration and research are key in determining when to skip rental car insurance and when to purchase it. Happy travels!

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