Do you need to buy rental car insurance?

Rental car companies may offer different types of auto insurance coverage, including collision, personal property and liability coverage. The question is, do you need to buy insurance from a rental car company if you have a personal auto insurance policy, or if you have coverage through your credit card?

Without question, your rental car needs coverage for damage, theft and liability – otherwise you could end up paying out of pocket. However, understanding your options, and what makes the most sense for you, can be challenging.

What does The Co-operators cover?

Depending on the coverage you’ve purchased, your Co-operators insurance may be all you need:

  • If your Auto policy includes Accident Benefits, you’re covered for personal injury as a result of an accident, subject to your policy wording.
  • You can purchase an optional endorsement that covers damage to non-owned vehicles. This covers vehicles in your care, custody and control, including rentals, if they’re stolen or damaged, for you and anyone listed on your policy.
  • Your Home insurance provides coverage for any possessions you have in the car, like a camera or luggage. There’s no need to buy personal effects insurance from a rental car company.

Does my credit card cover my rental car?

Each bank and credit card company will offer something different. If you plan to use insurance through your credit card, call the company ahead of time to make sure you’re aware of the limits and have adequate coverage.

Some credit cards offer coverage for damage, theft, accident and health protection – typically with limits. To get this coverage, you need to use the credit card to reserve and pay for the rental vehicle.

Credit card rental car insurance often excludes coverage for liability or personal injury to you or others. There may be additional fees from the rental car company for the loss of use of their vehicle that your credit card won’t cover.

Buying insurance from the rental car company

You can typically purchase a collision damage waiver and other levels of liability and personal effects insurance directly at the rental car counter. It’s a good idea to purchase coverage if:

  • You don’t have an Auto or personal property policy with us.
  • You haven’t purchased the optional endorsement that covers damage to non-owned vehicles.
  • The value of your rental vehicle exceeds the endorsement limits you purchased.
  • You don’t want the risk of paying a higher deductible.
  • You’re travelling outside of Canada or the U.S.

Like any insurance policy, there will be limits. Contact your Financial Advisor to discuss limits and exclusions or review your policy and endorsements wordings.

If you’re not sure what type of coverage you have, sign into Online Services. You can see all your active Co-operators insurance policies and what they cover.