News Center >

February 28, 2013
Vivian D. Laxton, 410-468-2007
Director, Public Affairs

Should I Purchase Coverage to Protect a Rental Vehicle?

The answer to this question depends on whether your automobile insurance policy or the credit card that you are using to rent the vehicle provides you with sufficient coverage in the event the rental vehicle is damaged or stolen. The following tips will help you gather the information you need to make this decision.

  • Contact your insurance company or insurance producer (agent) and ask whether your existing automobile insurance policy will pay for theft of or damage to a rental vehicle. If you do not have collision coverage (the coverage that pays to repair your vehicle if you are at fault for the accident) and comprehensive coverage (the coverage for things other than an accident, for example theft or vandalism), then you do not have coverage for the rental. Make certain you tell the car rental representative that you do not have these coverages when renting the vehicle.
    Also, some policies will not pay for a loss if you drive outside the United States. Additionally, coverage under your automobile insurance policy may not apply, depending on the type of vehicle you are planning to rent and the purpose of the rental. For example, if you normally drive and insure a four-wheeled vehicle used primarily for pleasure, and you rent a six-wheeled moving van or small bus to transport a large group of people, those vehicles may not be covered by your policy. Also, if you intend to use the vehicle for business, you may not have coverage.
Image: man with car broken down on the side of the road
  • Contact the credit card company you are planning to use, and ask whether they provide any protection against theft or damage to a rental vehicle.
  • If neither your automobile insurance policy nor your credit card company provide sufficient coverage, then you may want to consider purchasing coverage from the rental car company. The rental company may offer several different types of coverage. Before you purchase the policy, make sure you understand what you are responsible for paying if you are in an accident that is your fault or if the rental car is stolen or vandalized.

#  #  #

The Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA), founded as the Maryland Insurance Division in 1872, is an independent state agency located in downtown Baltimore. The agency regulates Maryland’s $28 billion insurance industry and makes certain that insurance companies, health plans and producers (agents and brokers) comply with Maryland insurance law. The MIA also licenses more than 139,000 producers and approximately 1,500 insurance companies, regulates insurance rates, monitors insurer solvency, investigates consumer complaints and travels across the state providing consumers with educational materials on insurance.

Follow the Maryland Insurance Administration on Facebook at