2020 has changed the way a lot of us travel. I know this is true from personal experience. In years past, if Lauren and I wanted to get out of town we’d find an inexpensive flight if our destination was more than 4 or 5 hours from Dallas. Now, all of the places we’re looking at getting away to are within driving distance from the metroplex. What this means for us, not wanting to put extra miles on either of our cars, is that we’ll rent a SUV, load up the dog and the toddler, and get to where we’re going. I’m sure a lot of people are the same way.
This begs the question, though, if I rent a car do I need to purchase the rental car damage insurance. Truth is, if you ask a dozen insurance agents you’re likely to get a dozen different answers. This question, like many of the questions our Dallas insurance blog addresses, is one that comes down to your personal level of risk assumption. I generally don’t purchase the rental car insurance, but my father (who is much more risk averse than I am) will never rent a car without adding the additional insurance. It all comes down to how much risk you want to take on as an individual and making sure you’re comfortable with that risk.
Given that the extra insurance on a Dallas auto rental is usually pretty inexpensive, it’s not a bad idea to add it on before you head out of town. If you’re on the fence, here are a two important reasons you should purchase the rental car damage coverage.
1) Loss of Income for the Rental Car Company
If you’re renting a vehicle and it is damaged it’s entirely likely that you will be responsible for the rental company’s loss of income from that vehicle. It can’t be used, they’re losing money so you have to pay. These costs can add up fast if it takes an extended period of time to repair the damages.
2) Rental Car Diminished Value
Rental cars are generally valued differently than your standard auto policy. Unless you have an endorsement on your Texas auto insurance policy, it’s likely that your car is valued on an “actual cash value” basis for insurance purposes. This is not always the case with rental cars. They can be valued based on whatever the rental company decides and obligate you to reimburse them for the vehicle’s value (that they determined) regardless of your ability to pay.
Regardless of what coverage your personal auto insurance policy provides for rental car coverage, it’s probably not a bad idea, just to be on the safe side, to purchase the additional protection from the rental car company. Their job is to make money, not to look after your best interest. The last thing you want after a fun weekend with family and friends is to find out your credit card has been maxed out by the rental company because of some obscure clause in the rental agreement and your refusal of the additional insurance coverage.
If you have additional questions about rental car coverage, how auto insurance in Dallas covers you when you’re traveling out of town with (or without) a rental car, the Lewis Family Insurance Group can help you determine the best path. Call us at 972-752-0307 or email firstname.lastname@example.org