Labor Day is less than a couple weeks away which means that colleges are starting up again and kids are going back to school. Many of you will be helping move your son or daughter into their new dorm, apartment, or house that they’ll be renting for the school year. If you’re considering renting a vehicle for the weekend to make the “big move”, it’s important to know just how much your auto policy covers before you do so.
When you go to rent a car, they will offer you insurance for around $30/day usually. The question is do you really need it? If you have car insurance which includes collision and comprehensive coverage in the state of Massachusetts, the type of coverage you purchased, along with the deductibles on your policy, can apply to your rental vehicle. As long as the car being rented is a private passenger vehicle, that is. A van (moving type or multi seat) or a pickup truck are not considered “private passenger”. Assuming you have purchased collision and comprehensive coverage, these will follow you and will cover damage you cause to any car that you’re driving, including private passenger rental vehicles. Just don’t forget that your deductible still applies should you get in an accident. Additionally, if you are the cause of an accident, your liability insurance will cover you up to the limits on your policy. This includes any damages you cause to the other person(s) as well as any medical expenses that arise from your negligence.
One thing you need to be aware of is that your auto policy will not cover the loss of use. Loss of use is defined as “the inability to use an automobile, premises or some equipment due to damage to the vehicle, premises or articles caused by the negligence or other wrongdoing of another.” In other words, the time it takes the rental company to actually fix the vehicle while being repaired from the accident, is your responsibility. This is your obligation whether or not you were at fault, and can add up quickly. Imagine if you were renting a vehicle for $30 and it takes a month to fix the damage!
The good news is that many credit card companies offer benefits if you charge the cost of the rental on your credit card. Certain levels of credit cards will cover loss of use so it’s important to check with your credit card company before renting a vehicle and ask if they offer this type of coverage. If you don’t plan on using your credit card to rent a vehicle, you want to ask the rental associate if purchasing their insurance will cover loss of use. In most cases it will, but you always want to be sure. Also, many of our carriers have additional endorsements that offer extra benefits like the one-time per policy period removal of your deductible and also loss of use coverage. Call us today to learn more at 781-431-9600.