Perspective Newsletter

Rental car insurance – is it worth it?

The answer is ... it depends. Your PEMCO policy covers cars you rent in the United States and Canada the same as your own car. However, before you turn down the extra coverage:

  • Confirm that your PEMCO policy includes Comprehensive and Collision coverage. If not, you could end up paying out of pocket for damage to a rental.
  • If a spouse or child who is listed on your PEMCO policy also will be driving, make sure he or she signs the rental agreement as a driver and pays the additional fee. That gives them the "permission" of the car's owner (the rental car company) so your PEMCO coverage applies.
  • Beware of downtime fees. If a car sits in the repair shop, some rental companies will charge for the days they can't rent it. They also may tack on administrative fees for handling an insurance claim. Your PEMCO policy doesn't cover those costs.
  • Understand the potential of "diminished value" charges. A car that's been wrecked, even if it's been expertly repaired, may be deemed to be worth less than it was before the accident. Unless you purchase its collision damage waiver, a rental car company can bill you for the difference, which can amount to thousands of dollars. Your PEMCO policy can't cover those charges.
  • Check with your credit card company. Many offer free extra coverage when you use their card to rent a car.

    But wait ... there's more! PEMCO's rental car fact sheet can answer additional questions about the length of time you rent a car, what happens if you rent abroad or rent a motorhome, plus considerations you may not have thought about. Or, for one-on-one advice, call 1-800-GO-PEMCO or your local PEMCO agent.
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