The good news for anyone with a Geico auto insurance policy is that the coverage is extended to any vehicles they rent. But there’s a catch; you are only covered to the limit of your personal vehicle’s policy. This may not be helpful as rental cars are usually more valuable than your vehicle.
Rental insurance shouldn’t be confused with rental reimbursement coverage. Rental reimbursement coverage provides reimbursement on the cost of renting a vehicle when your primary vehicle is undergoing repairs from damage covered under your auto insurance policy.
Rental insurance, on the other hand, is equivalent to your car insurance but for rented vehicles. It is common for rental companies to offer you insurance on their vehicles over the counter.
You may not need to purchase their insurance if your auto insurance is like Geico’s, which already makes provisions for rented vehicles.
Geico Insurance On Rental Cars
Geico’s coverage on your car being the same as that on your rental vehicle could be a blessing or a curse depending on the situation.
If your vehicle is a brand new model, for example, a custom-made G-Wagon, and you rented a less valuable model of a car, you’re good to go.
If your vehicle is an older model, it is possible that your coverage won’t repair any damages on a rental car, which is usually a more recent and expensive car. Unfortunately, this is a more realistic picture than the one painted above.
Areas Covered Under Rental Car Insurance
Many companies like Geico will already make provisions for rental vehicles in your auto insurance policies; hence you may not need to purchase a separate rental policy.
However, it is common practice for rental companies to offer you insurance at the counter for their vehicles. You have the right to either accept the offer or waive it.
Rental insurance is usually split into the following sections:
1. Liability coverage
2. Personal accident insurance
3. Collision damage waiver / Loss damage waiver
4. Personal effects coverage
This is the most basic form of rental car insurance, and most auto insurance policies on your vehicle will cover the same areas as liability coverage on rentals. So, in essence, you can skip this one, depending on what your policy covers.
Personal Accident Insurance
This policy covers medical bills for injuries that occur in rental vehicles. If your auto insurance policy comes with personal injury protection or medical coverage, you may not need this as a separate policy.
Collision Damage Waiver / Loss Damage Waiver
Technically, CDW and LDW are not insurance products but waivers. These waivers transfer the responsibility of attending to a vehicle after damage or theft from you to the company.
Some rental companies will charge you for the time a damaged, damaged car is out of use cause it is being repaired; these waivers also cover this.
Personal Effects Coverage
Personal effect coverage indemnifies you for any items stolen in rental cars. Most homeowner policies cover stolen items, even from rental vehicles. However, we would advise you to check that your policy has this coverage before turning down this coverage.
Reasons To Consider A Separate Rental Insurance Policy
Even if your auto insurance policy with Geico is extended to your rented vehicles, you may still feel the need to purchase an additional policy for your rental cars. This hunch isn’t based on a mere gut feeling; there are advantages to getting rental insurance.
Renting An Expensive Vehicle
Chances are you’ve parked your Toyota Corolla at home to enjoy the weekend in a Mercedes Benz. Remember your auto insurance only covers your rental to the limit of your car. So it is a good idea to beef up the coverage you have for such occasions.
Spotty Or Low Coverage
If your insurance with Geico isn’t comprehensive and you’re lacking other packages such as personal accident insurance, it would be best to purchase additional coverage from your company or the rental company.
Avoiding A Claim On Your Insurance
Too many claims on your insurance within a short period will cause your insurance premiums to explode. So if you’ve recently made a claim on your company, you may want to thread to caution and avoid making another claim by making an extra purchase for rental policy.
Some companies have high deductibles, and it would be more rational to purchase a rental insurance policy than cough up more cash to meet your deductible before your company contributes to your costs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will My Credit Card Cover Rental Car Insurance?
You would have to check in with your credit card provider to answer this question accurately. If your auto insurance policy has a few gaps in its coverage, you could depend on your credit card for secondary coverage.
Do I Need Rental Insurance?
First, check-in with your insurance company on what your auto insurance policy covers. If you have a comprehensive policy alongside liability coverage, you may not need additional insurance for a rental.
However, if the vehicle you are renting is significantly more valuable than your primary vehicle, it is in your best interest to purchase additional insurance for the rental vehicle.
Geico auto insurance on your primary vehicles covers rental cars. However, if your package isn’t comprehensive and you lack other additional policies, this may not be the blessing it is made out to be.
Your rental car is only covered to the limit of your car, and rental cars are usually more expensive than your car parked at home.
It is in your best interest to either purchase rental car insurance from your provider or the rental company when offered at the company. This could save you more stress than you know.
In the event of an accident or theft, while you are with a rental vehicle, you don’t have to worry about if you are covered. Not only that, you could be avoiding increasing your premiums from your current insurance provider for making frequent claims within a short period.