You've got your sunscreen and beach ball. But do you have insurance for summer fun?

Hit the road with the insurance you need
Hit the road with the insurance you need © Joyce Marrero / Fotolia

Hit the road with the insurance you need

What's more iconic than a summer road trip? But when you go to rent that convertible, be sure you understand what your own auto insurance covers before you accept the rental company's policy.

The insurance sold at the rental counter typically includes, among other things, liability protection for lawsuits, personal accident insurance for medical or ambulance needs, and personal effects coverage for theft of your belongings in the car, says the Insurance Information Institute.

You may not need all of that. Check your auto policy and your credit card agreement, which may provide some car rental coverage.

If a rental is damaged, will you have to pay upfront for repairs and wait for reimbursement, or will your insurer cover the costs right away?

"That's a huge issue, and if you are ever caught in it where you decline the car rental company's insurance, thinking you are covered and you find out you are responsible for paying thousands of dollars in costs, that's a huge reality check," says Cynthia Brough, a consultant and former national spokeswoman for auto club AAA.

Crossing into Canada or Mexico? Look into insurance requirements and whether you need to take proof of coverage.



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