Around 6,000,000 traffic accidents occur in the USA every year.
It is bad enough to be involved in an accident on the road, but what happens if you are driving a rental vehicle at the time? What does car rental insurance cover in the event of an accident?
Read our short guide to get a better understanding of what types of policies are available and how well you will be covered should the worst happen.
Compulsory Third Party Liability Insurance
If you have this type of car rental insurance, you will have only the bare minimum level of coverage. Third-Party Liability insurance or TPL only covers the other party’s costs when involved in a car accident.
Your rental company has to provide this level of insurance by law to cover any damages or losses to third parties arising from your use of the vehicle. TPL insurance is included in the car rental contract as standard.
TPL insurance will cover you for costs and injuries to other parties but not to yourself or your rental vehicle. Your signing of the rental contract signifies that you agree to the terms of this insurance.
Partial Collision Coverage
Also known as a Collision Damage Waiver or CDW, this insurance is optional insurance that you can take out in addition to your standard TPL coverage. It covers all damage to the rental vehicle but with an excess.
Many companies include it in their rental contract price. However, not all do, so be sure to check with your rental company when getting a vehicle. CDW comes with an agreed amount of excess that you would be expected to pay in the event of an accident.
Each rental company’s contract is different regarding what their CDW insurance covers. You must carefully read any car rental insurance policy before you sign it to fully understand what you will have to pay for outside the contract.
It often does not cover tire damage, damage to locks or loss of keys, damage to windows and upholstery, and any damage caused by using the wrong fuel type in the vehicle.
Super Collision Coverage
A Super Collision Damage Waiver, or SCDW is the next level of insurance. This car rental insurance features the ability to eliminate your excess entirely or reduce it. You will need to check with your rental company for the specific offerings.
SCDW covers all of the elements that CDW does not, so if you are involved in an accident, you should not have to pay anything for the damage with no excess.
Personal Accident Insurance
Sometimes known as Occupant Insurance, Personal Accident Insurance or PAI is optional extra insurance that you can take to cover passengers in the event of injury or death.
Sometimes this level of coverage will also include reimbursement for personal items lost or stolen from within a car’s trunk.
What Does Car Rental Insurance Cover?
Hopefully this short guide has given you a good understanding of the basic types of coverage and what to expect when you take out a policy.
Speak with your car rental company for details of your policy so you know exactly what you will need to pay in the event of an accident.