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Issues surrounding rental cars can be needlessly complicated. VANTREO is here to help you cut the clutter and find the right protection. Save time and money with a smarter insurance.

What does it cover?

In most states, when you rent a car, you are responsible for the following…

Damage to the rental car - any and all loss or damage to the car resulting from any cause, including but not limited to, collision, rollover, theft, vandalism, seizure, fire flood, hail or other acts of nature regardless of fault. This extends to the full value of the car at the time of rental.

Additional costs related to a damaged rental car - Your financial responsibility, regardless of fault, also extends to expenses for towing, impound fees, administrative fees and reasonable loss of use (a period of time that the rental company cannot rent out the vehicle because it was damaged).  

Your own medical bills or funeral expenses – rental car companies sell some insurance (often called Personal Accident Insurance – PAI) that provides for this but most people already have medical and life insurance.

Liability for injury/damage to others - If you hurt someone or damage their property using the rental car you can expect to pay for the injury/damages you caused including legal costs.

Your personal items in the car - those personal effects owned by you and those members of your immediate family traveling with you during the rental period who are permanent residents of your household or of others traveling with you.

People often rely on their own automobile insurance, coverage offered by a credit card company or protection purchased from the rental car company to protect themselves (and their companies) in the event of loss as a result of rental car use. Too often, however, they end up not fully covering their responsibility as outlined here.

To insure your responsibility here you often need a combination of coverages. The “rental car, including the additional costs”, is often more fully protecting by purchasing coverage (often called “Loss Damage Waiver”) through the rental car company. Coverage for your “liability to others” can be purchased through either a personal auto policy or through the rental car company or a combination of both. If insurance is needed for “personal items in the car”, some possibilities for coverage (with limitations) include the rental car company or a homeowners policy carried by the person who owns the personal items.

Is it required?

While rental car companies do not require that you purchase insurance, they do require that you be responsible for damage to the vehicle, liability for injury to others and for their inability to use the damaged vehicle before it is repaired.  This is a huge obligation should you wish to go uninsured.

What doesn't it cover?

All insurance policies have coverage exclusions. Also each state has its own laws related to car rental. Here are a few things that rental car insurance generally doesn’t cover: drivers that are not listed; accidents while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol; off-road use; personal injuries to relatives that reside in the household of the renter or driver; and driving outside the contract territory (especially Mexico).

It is important to note that all rental car contracts are different and require different things of the renter. If you rent vehicles on a regular basis we suggest you decide on one rental car company and become familiar with their contract terms and requirements.

Personal auto insurance policies generally limit the size of rental vehicles eligible for coverage. These policies generally do not cover any “loss of use” claimed against you by the rental car company.  It is critical to check with your insurance agent before renting any vehicle.


The issues surrounding rental cars can be complicated. VANTREO is here to help make sure the rental car insurance you buy protects you. 

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