There are around 45.5 million Americans who travel to all different parts of the world each year and many of them travel by using rental cars to get where they wanted. But without the proper control of the rental car, this makes almost all car rental companies encourage you to buy their short-term insurance plans to protect the car while you are renting. While this might sounds pushy, you may begin to ask is the insurance worth it? Especially if you are a new driver and you haven’t gotten familiar with the car. With so many possibilities, try to imagine when you’re driving your rental car suddenly the car breakdown, and you are worried that you have to pay more money for the damage you caused.
Now, if you are in that situation you can feel how stressful it is, and you might think the best thing to do is to buy the rental car insurance plan. While it might be a smart move, you might want to think twice before you buy the rental rental insurance because many people made the same mistake like buying the insurance plan without knowing that they don’t need it.
With so many considerations out there, ask yourself these questions to make an informed decision.
6 questions you should ask yourself when buying a rental car insurance
- For how long are you going to rent the car?
Depending on how long you are going to rent the car, the rental car insurance may be worthed a while if you forecast renting the car for a week or a couple of weekends throughout the year. For now, you may be worried about the price. The least expensive way to save your money is to buy CDW (collision damage waiver) and supplemental liability insurance that can cost you about $30 a day (depending on which state you live in).
Although this may still sound expensive it can give you 1 million in third-party liability, but if you only want to rent the car for more than a week perhaps for the whole year or so then you need better insurance, since the car is not yours, your option is limited try to ask for the non-owner auto insurance if renting for more than a year is your original plan.
- Do you have any other car insurance before?
You don’t need to buy the rental car insurance if you also have your car insurance before because your insurance might already cover for the damage you may cause to your rental car like collision coverage or comprehensive coverage. But if you don’t have any of those insurance then you may want to consider the loss-damage waiver which was provided by the car rental company, simply because of what may happen if your rental car is damaged in non-accident related occurrences, such as hail or theft.
- Are you an experienced or inexperienced driver?
To answer this question, you need to take a look at your driving habits, how many miles you drive in a day, and more. The only reason to ask yourself this question, it can help you make an informed decision based on the chance of getting accidental occurrences from your driving habits, you can take a look at these signs of an experienced driver.
- Your reaction to road encounter
An experienced driver acts calmly and never panic to any unexpected or dangerous road encounter, he also will take a smooth action to avoid the predicament.
- The way you drive
An experienced driver drives smoothly not constantly accelerate and then slowing all the time.
- Your driving record
An experienced driver has a clean driving record because some insurance companies prefer if you have a clean driving record which means you never violated any traffic offense.
- Your focus while driving
An experienced driver will keep his attention on the road to 100%, you may hear the news of people getting into accidents only to be found the main cause for most accidents is lack of focus.
- When is the best time to rent a car?
The best time to rent a car depends on what main reason you rent the car in the first place. If you rent the car for business purposes the company might gladly offer you a special offer, and it is better to take it since along the way, many smaller things could happen. But if you are on vacation and you feel relaxed you can refuse the insurance plan but still be careful because the car is not yours and the company might give you a penalty if you return the car in bad condition.
- Where are you going to travel to?
If you are about to travel abroad, you have to know most of the rental car insurance will not travel with you as soon as you leave the country. So, you should purchase some type of car rental insurance from the country you’re going to. But if you want to travel around the states, then buying from the local rental company is a good option.
- Is the car itself worth renting?
When buying the rental car insurance plan the most important thing is to check out if the car is in good condition to drive or not because the car rental company might not realize if their cars are in bad condition thus making accidental damage becoming more likely and at the same time you don’t want such thing to happen right? To avoid unnecessary charge which is not your fault, here are some tips that can help you:
- Look out for the exterior
The first thing to look out for a good rental car is its exterior, see if there is any dirt, dents, scratches, scuffs, loose parts, working power, windows, and mirrors.
- Look out for the odometer
The next thing to look out is its odometer, see if the car has been used up to 25.000 miles drive then considering to find the other car because the car may have been used a lot and the possibility of having a breakdown is high.
- Look out for the interior
If the exterior seems in good condition try to check out its interior. Check the engine and see if it’s working well or not. Another way to check the engine is by taking a test-drive before getting your hands on the deal. If you notice something unusual like oil leaking, car breakdown, and AC non-functional you should ask your car rental provider to see if there is any car in better condition.
- Look out for the fuel tank
The last but the most important is to look out for the fuel to see if the fuel hits its maximum because some companies might offer “get it full return it full” policy if you don’t comply with this policy in the end you might get some penalties.
In conclusion, you are already covered but that may not be the best case since your car insurance only covers for the damage you may cause to the rental car and it might not cover all other issues such as damage to other people’s property, medical bill, and more. To get the best cover you need to consider the other insurance too.