Recently I had an out-of-town conference that I attended with some friends, and it was an awesome time. We went down in separate vehicles: myself and a few other friends were in a friend’s car, and the rest of our group took a rental car. It was about a five-hour drive each way on the freeway through some busy cities (including downtown Chicago).
On the way back, we ran into an unexpected (to say the least) scenario. The group in the rental car got run into by another driver who didn’t look before trying to merge lanes, and they went off the road into the median. It was terrifying, and fortunately everybody came away unharmed, albeit a little shaken up. The car, however, wasn’t able to be driven off the freeway. Fortunately, they had opted for rental insurance.
Now, I’d never really given much thought to rental insurance before. People generally assume that they’re not going to get in an accident, and consider rental insurance to be an unnecessary expense. Many people are turned off by the extra price, as it can cost up to $20 per day to pay for the insurance. In this case, however, it saved my friends quite a bit more money.
Of course, rental insurance is not mandatory at all. But here are some reasons you may want to consider it:
- Protection for the worst-case scenario. No matter how good of a driver you are, you simply can never say for certain what situations you’re going to run into on the road.
- If your personal car insurance isn’t sufficient for coverage on a rental car, or if you don’t have personal car insurance, you should definitely look into buying the rental company’s insurance. Check what your personal plan covers before making a decision. This is really the most important factor in determining whether or not you should buy rental insurance.
- You might not always be the one driving the rental car. If you’re on a road trip with other people, you may split up the driving. You may have a valet parking the car for you. You don’t want to be held responsible for an accident that you were merely the passenger in.
These are just three simple tips to consider before buying rental car insurance, but they’re very important. I can’t imagine the stress that would have been involved had my friends not opted to purchase rental insurance for this trip. Rental insurance may not always be necessary for you, but it can certainly provide you with some peace of mind if you do need it.
What do you think? Do you typically opt for rental insurance?