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If I Rent a Vehicle am I Covered Under My Personal Auto Insurance?

February 16, 2018


If I Rent a Vehicle am I Covered Under My Personal Auto Insurance?




The answer is vague because we need to determine what type of vehicle is being rented, your coverage and where you are renting the vehicle.


Your personal auto policy will define a car as a vehicle with four wheels.  So, if you will go on vacation and want to rent a motorcycle your auto policy will not transfer coverage.  Kind of simple thought since motorcycles have two wheels, but it can get more complicated.


So, anything with four wheels is covered? Your policy typically cannot provide coverage for motorcycles, non-auto, pickups, vans or motorhomes.  So, if you have an auto policy it can extend over if you rent a similar vehicle to what you have. (i.e.: auto to auto)


I have a pickup and it’s covered under a personal auto policy?  Yes, pickups are covered under the personal auto policy.  However, they must fall under the gross vehicle weight limit listed in your policy.  Pickups like a Ranger, Colorado, 1500 or 2500 can fall under a personal auto policy.  Pickups like a 3500-Super Duty or Dooley’s have the ability to have a gross vehicle weight limit beyond the policy limits and may not be covered.  You must determine what the weight limit is in your current policy. In addition, Dooley’s have 6 wheels on 2 axles, when we just stated that a personal auto policy only applies to four wheels only.


I’m moving, is the moving truck I rent covered?  NO.  It’s a commercial truck.  If the vehicle is typically use from a commercial uses it cannot be covered under a personal auto policy. Many times, these have 6 wheels and have a gross vehicle weight limit beyond to policy limit.


Where can I rent a vehicle?  You are restricted to areas where you can rent a vehicle.  Your personal auto policy only extends coverage in the U.S., its territories and possessions, Puerto Rico and Canada.  If you are anywhere else no coverage extends.


We’ve covered what type of vehicle coverage can extend and locations where it can be extended. Now we need to determine what coverages in your policy can extend. 


•Liability- the liability from your policy will extend.  This is your bodily injury and property damage liability coverage. It will pay up to your limits.

• Comprehensive or Collision- If you have comprehensive or collision coverage on your policy it can extend.  You need to make sure that you have both coverages some people choose to only have comprehensive and not collision.  If you have liability only on your vehicle, no coverage for comp and collision can extend.

•Loss of use- No, this coverage is for your vehicle only.  If you have a claim with a rental car, the rental company can bill you for days it cannot rent the damaged vehicle. Your policy will not extend coverage and you need to pay out of pocket.

• Towing and roadside assistance-No, this is coverage specifically designed for your vehicle only.


There are some other options that can extend coverage to a rental vehicle.  You’ll have to look at your credit cards and get in contact with them.  Some credit card companies have a rental car coverage when you use their credit card to pay for the rental.  Many times, this coverage is considered worldwide.  You have to consider how long you are renting the vehicle since there is a time limit. In addition, there is also a maximum coverage depending on the card.  Many times, liability is not included in this type of coverage.  You need to get in touch with your credit card company and check their rules and if it is an option.


It’s our recommendation that when you rent a vehicle you purchase the insurance through the rental car company.  Many times, this cost is more expensive but in the long run, should you have a claim, it can be cheaper than having to pay this out of pocket or being declined under your current auto insurance. 


Disclaimer: This is for informational and educational purposes only.   Refer back to your actual policy for definitions and coverages. This is not a policy.


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