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Do I need long-term rental car insurance?

I'm wondering how rental car insurance works, and if it's something that is always necessary or not. Specifically, I want to do a long-term car rental (75 days) for a particular trip. I don't have personal auto insurance as I normally UBER/Lyft. Can I buy car insurance for a rental? I am 40 years old, carry a valid driver's license and have a clean driving history. I'd like to go on more trips in the future and be covered without spending a fortune, so input into rental cars would be greatly appreciated.

Jul 1, 2022 Las Vegas, NV

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Beth Swanson

SEO Content Strategist

Credentials
  • Licensed Insurance Agent — Property and Casualty

Beth joined The Zebra in 2022 as an Associate Content Strategist. She is a licensed insurance agent whose goal is to make insurance content easy to r…

Thanks for reaching out to The Zebra. Having insurance on any vehicle you drive is recommended (whether it's a rental or personal vehicle), and wanting to carry it for 75 days leaves you with two main options.

Option#1 (likely the simplest) is to buy the insurance offered by the rental company, but this can be somewhat expensive depending on the company and policy. With discounts or promotions through Budget, for example, you're looking at anywhere between $975 and $2,250 for 75 days of their Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) protection. LDW isn't technically insurance, but it does help eliminate your responsibility if anything happens to the car. Since you don't have your own personal auto coverage to carry over to a rental, it's worth spending some time comparing the options the rental company provides. Budget, and most other rental companies, offer LDW, as well as Collision Damage Waiver, Personal Accident Insurance, Personal Accident and Effects, Supplemental Liability, and a plethora of other additional options to enhance your rental experience. You can sometimes get a discount by purchasing more than one add-on.

The second option is to purchase what's called Non-Owners Insurance. This coverage is basically for people who don't own a vehicle but drive occasionally. The only caveat with this is it only provides liability insurance. Meaning, there is no coverage for collision or comprehensive damage. Because of this, your best full coverage option might be the rental coverage provided by the rental company. If you're renting a vehicle through Turo, you'll want to do your research, as well. Turo requires you to carry coverage and offers options through Travelers, but again, check with your personal insurance company to see if they offer "peer-to-peer" coverage.

For folks who already have a personal vehicle and are considering rental coverage, it's best to reach out to your current insurance company to see if it would cover your rental vehicle. Some insurance policies will provide coverage, while many will not (this depends on the location in which you'll be driving, as well). If your policy does not provide that coverage then I would purchase that through the rental car company simply due to ease. Credit cards will also sometimes offer supplemental coverage that you can use with rental cars. I hope this helps!

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