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One of our most common questions is, “Should I purchase the insurance when renting a car?”

Our answer is:


Did you know that if you rent a car and waive the rental insurance coverage, the rental car company could have the right to charge your credit card for the full amount of the vehicle (if you are involved in an accident) until damages are known? The agreement can also hold you responsible for the diminished value of the car after an accident, which is not covered by your own collision coverage. Now that can ruin a vacation!

We recommend you purchase the Damage Waiver, which waives your responsibility for damage to the vehicle from an accident, theft of the vehicle, etc. – and we have at least three good reasons why.

The first and second scenarios are true stories about what happened when the driver did not purchase the rental car coverage and wished they had. The third scenario, also true, shows how the purchase of rental car insurance saved the day for one of our team members.


A few years ago, our own Ross Turner rented a car because his truck was in the repair shop. Being the “insurance expert” he thought he was (his words), and not wanting to spend more money than he had to, he waived the rental car insurance coverage. Instead, he gave them his personal insurance policy information, confident that he would have coverage if anything big happened. After all, the rental car coverage was going to cost $68 for the three days he would need it.

He rented a Tahoe because his family had planned a lake trip. After a fantastic afternoon on the water, they were unloading everything from the boat to the marina dock. Suddenly, there was a loud “SPLASH” as Ross jumped from the boat onto the dock. He knew immediately what caused the splash. It was the key to his rental Tahoe falling into the lake! After several hours of waiting on a tow truck to get the Turner family back to Greenville, he had to pay $600 (an out- of-pocket expense) to purchase another set of keys for the vehicle. If he had just purchased the insurance, it would have cost him nothing, because the replacement keys would have been covered.


One of our clients had to make an emergency trip to Colorado to pick up her son, who had fallen ill while at summer camp. She flew out to Denver and went straight to the rental car companies to get a car. As soon as the rental car company completed a general inspection of the rental car, she drove straight to the hospital where her son was a patient and parked the car. The next day she drove straight back to the airport with her son to board the flight home, have put approximately 100 miles on the car.

Upon her return to the airport, the rental company inspected the vehicle and found that road debris had damaged the paint on the car. The cost to repair the paint was $750, including a charge for the loss of use of the vehicle while it was being repaired. The paint damage was covered under her personal auto policy, but because she had a $500 deductible, only $250 was covered. Because her personal auto policy had no coverage for the rental car loss of use while being repaired, she had to pay the additional charge out of her own pocket. Outside of purchasing the rental car insurance policy, there was nothing she could have done differently, because you can’t control road debris.


A few years ago, one of our employees was driving a rental car while her car was being repaired due to damage from a recent hailstorm. When she rented the car, she purchased the damage waiver protection for less than $20 a day in case we had another hailstorm, or the rental car incurred damage while she was driving.  

A week later, while still driving the rental car, she was rear-ended by another vehicle. The accident caused significant damage to the rental car. Thankfully, because she had purchased the rental car coverage, she was able to turn in the car to the rental company and walk away with no possible liability issues or additional money due. She was not subjected to any additional fees, nor was her credit card charged for any damage.

A final tip: When you purchase the rental car coverage, make sure you list everyone that is going to be a potential driver on the agreement, so you don’t open yourself for a potential loss.