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What to know about moving truck insurance

Cardboard boxes arranged in back of moving truck
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Renting a moving truck can be a good solution if you are moving into a new house across town or are planning to move across the country. But if you get into an accident during your travels, or if something happens to the contents inside, you will need the right type of insurance.

Moving truck insurance is important to have because your regular car insurance policy may not extend coverage to rental trucks. And while your car insurance company or credit card company may offer coverage for regular rental vehicles, moving trucks may be excluded if you read the fine print.

What is moving truck insurance?

Moving truck insurance, or rental truck insurance, is a specific insurance policy that covers rented moving trucks used to transport cargo. You might need moving truck insurance if you are packing up your house, moving to a new state or need to haul large items that do not fit inside your personal vehicle.

Much like standard auto insurance, the cost of moving truck insurance is generally based on a few factors. However, moving truck insurance is typically a fixed cost rather than a monthly premium. Your state, the distance you are traveling, the size of the truck and the company that supplies the insurance can all impact the cost.

Main types of moving truck insurance

Moving truck insurance policies typically come with a handful of coverage types. Some of these coverage types may be required, while others are optional. Here are the main types of moving truck insurance you can get.

Damage waiver

You can think of a damage waiver as an alternative to collision or comprehensive insurance. It can help pay for the truck’s repairs if you cause an accident, hit a stationary object while driving or get hit by another vehicle.

Damage waivers are usually optional, but many insurance professionals recommend them. The cost is generally low and it can offer peace of mind in case you get into a collision. Even if you have a personal car insurance policy, it might not cover the damage that occurs while driving a rental truck.

Supplemental liability insurance

Your truck rental company will likely offer supplemental liability insurance in addition to the standard liability coverage you can select with your reservation. This add-on raises your bodily injury and property damage liability limits above the state’s minimum required amount.

Purchasing supplemental liability insurance can be a good idea because the basic limits included with the rental could be very low. This add-on may be especially beneficial if you are planning to drive a long distance, when accidents may be more likely.

Cargo protection insurance

Cargo protection insurance will cover the items you are transporting, like furniture, clothing or equipment. This coverage can be beneficial, but there is usually a limit, which is the highest amount of money the rental company would pay if your items were damaged or stolen.

Typically, the cargo protection coverage limit is low and it may not cover your items in full. Additionally, valuable items, like jewelry, collections or electronics, may not be covered at all. Before you purchase cargo insurance, see if the limits are adequate for the items you are hauling. Otherwise, you might be able to skip it.

Medical coverage

Medical coverage will help pay for your medical bills and your passenger’s injuries if you get hit by another driver in your rental truck or cause an accident.

If you were to get injured in an accident, this coverage might take care of the ambulance ride, X-rays, rehab costs and related expenses.

Other moving truck coverage options

Besides the standard coverage types, some moving truck companies also offer add-ons. Below are several other coverage options that may be available from rental truck companies:

  • Roadside assistance: Roadside assistance covers the cost of basic roadside repairs, such as flat tire changes, battery issues, fuel delivery and more. It can help you get back on the road without calling a local auto body shop or towing company.
  • Towing coverage: If you get into an accident, towing coverage could pay to have the vehicle towed to a local repair shop or back to the rental truck lot.
  • Tow protection: If you plan to tow your vehicle behind your rental truck, this add-on would cover car damages that occur during towing and transport.

Is moving truck insurance worth it?

Generally speaking, moving truck insurance is worth it for most drivers. This policy comes with a variety of beneficial coverage options, including liability coverage and damage protection. Keep in mind that if you have a regular car insurance policy, your auto policy may not extend coverage while you are driving a rental truck.

If you do not purchase rental truck insurance, you could be financially responsible for the truck’s repairs after an accident, as well as your legal fees if you hit another driver and get sued.

Before you purchase rental truck insurance, you can contact your auto insurance provider and your credit card company to see if they can offer any type of coverage during the rental period.

Written by
Elizabeth Rivelli
Insurance Contributor
Elizabeth Rivelli is a contributing insurance writer for Bankrate and has years of experience writing for insurance domains such as The Simple Dollar, and NextAdvisor, among others
Edited by
Insurance Editor