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How to Avoid Redundant Insurance Coverage When Renting a Car

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How to Avoid Redundant Insurance Coverage When Renting a Car

Do you usually rent a car for your holiday getaways or summer road trips? In the United States there are roughly 2 million vehicles available to rent and drivers spend approximately $26 billion on renting cars, trucks and other vehicles annually.

One of the big questions many people need to deal with when renting a car is this--should you buy insurance from the rental company to protect yourself in case the rented vehicle gets damaged or stolen? Insurance for a rental car can cost about $20 to $40. However, you should know that it is possible the vehicle is already covered or partly covered by your existing policy. To ensure you won't be wasting money by paying twice for the same coverage, consider calling up these two places--your credit card company and your insurance carrier. 

Insurance isn’t cheap, so be certain how to avoid paying it twice, by adhering to these simple recommendation. At Emerald Coast Collision Repair, Fort Walton Beach, FL we know you’re going to have to rent a vehicle at some point, for business travel or vacationing, so here are some tips that can potentially save you some serious money.

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Credit Card Company 

Many credit card companies are known to offer a certain level of rental car insurance coverage as part of their credit card benefits. They normally serve as secondary insurers to your personal car insurance policy, as well as the rental car company's coverage. Your credit card company may compensate you for towing fees, for example, but won't cover the charges associated with the vehicle's diminished value. Diminished value is the decline in the market value of a damaged vehicle after being repaired.

In the case of Visa, for instance, coverage for collision damage in rental cars is provided but it would only cover damage or theft expenses that are not included in your existing policy. The important thing is that you check first with your credit card company before paying for or declining rental car insurance. 

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Auto Insurance Carrier 

Depending on what kind of insurance you have, you may already be covered for a rental car and not even know it. All it needs is a phone call to your insurance provider to find out whether you have coverage for a rental car. Your existing car insurance policy usually applies to your rental car as well, if you have either comprehensive insurance or collision damage coverage, and if the rental car is used as a recreational vehicle and not for business purposes. Also, don't forget to check whether or not towing and administrative charges would be covered by your auto insurance provider. 

If you are not a car owner and frequently rent a car, you might want to inquire about a liability policy for non-owners. This would adequately cover a rental car or any car borrowed from another person. 

The above suggestions are easy to follow, but so many people don’t follow them and end up paying twice for car insurance. Before you pay for rental car insurance on your next trip, be sure to check first with your credit card company and car insurance carrier and avoid wasting your hard-earned cash.

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