Revving up for a road trip

If I rent a car, do I need to buy extra insurance?
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Ask your auto insurance company if the coverage on your own car extends to car rentals, says Darlene Ball, a customer service representative with McGrath Insurance in Sturbridge, Mass. If your policy does provide such coverage, you probably won't need to buy the rental company's optional insurance, she says.

Make sure you understand the deductible and how it applies. Many states allow "waiver of deductible" coverage. Under this type of coverage, policyholders do not have to pay the deductible when they are in accidents that are not their fault.

However, this waiver may not necessarily apply to a rental car, so check with your insurer, Ball says.

Some credit card companies offer a waiver of deductible coverage if the entire car rental transaction is charged on the card. Ask your card issuer if it provides this benefit, Ball says.

Ask the credit card issuer about "loss of use" coverage, too. This covers you in the event that the insurance company asks you to reimburse them for the amount of rental income lost while the car is under repair, she says.




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