Rental Car Insurance Tips

It goes without saying that with a rental car, insurance coverage is a must. Whether you’re renting for mobility after a flight or because you need a different kind of vehicle for a move or a road trip, the one constant is coverage. But what kind of coverage do you need – CDW, SLP, PAI, PEC? Confusing? We can help.

Different kinds of rental car insurance

It can sometimes be difficult to cut through industry jargon, but the anachronisms above stand for relatively straightforward coverage options. CDW is a Collision Damage Waiver, which means that the rental company will cover the cost (or the majority of the cost) of replacing a stolen or damaged rental vehicle, as long it’s been operated under legal conditions. In many cases, this is already a standard inclusion with a rental agreement. For an additional fee, you can purchase Supplemental Liability Protection (or SLP), providing additional coverage above and beyond the CDW. Personal Accident Insurance (or PAI) covers the driver and passengers in the event of an accident, while Personal Effects Coverage (or PEC) covers personal items in the event of theft. The trick is determining which of these you’ve already got covered.

What kind of rental car insurance do I need?

The flip side of the coin is being aware of the essentials that aren’t covered, depending on your particular scenario. For instance, are you the only driver covered, or are additional drivers good to go? What about young drivers; does your coverage include an age minimum? Are you covered if you cross borders, especially if you’re renting outside of North America? There are a number of things you can do to make sure everything’s in order before you hit the road.

Are rental cars covered under my current policy?

Take a look through your existing car insurance policy. Are you covered for rental vehicles? Your policy may not offer complete coverage in rental situations.

Can I get rental car insurance from the rental agency?

Call the car rental agency you’ll be dealing with in advance and ask about coverage. You’ll need to have the discussion before you arrive at the rental counter to ensure that, if other measures are required, they are in place before you get behind the wheel.

Does my credit card cover car rental insurance?

Some credit cards offer rental car coverage, but they can vary dramatically. Review what your card(s) offers, and if in doubt, contact your credit card provider. Make sure that you call the card company directly as they are ones who provide the coverage, as opposed to your bank.

How to make sure you have the rental car insurance you need

Make sure to carefully inspect your coverage if you’ll be driving outside of North America. Standard coverage may be limited to Canada and the US, and you’ll need to take further steps if this is the case. For the best clarification, talk to your Cooke agent to help determine your needs, and what’s already covered. We can help sort through the paperwork, and if needed, recommend changes to suit your situation. Call 1-800-566-5666 or click here, and happy driving.





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