rental car app

Does Car Insurance Cover Rental Cars?

You’re standing at the rental car counter with a long line behind you. You got a great rate on a car for the week, and you’re ready to go on vacation with the family. Then, you’re handed a clipboard with an intimidating rental car contract filled with confusing insurance options. Suddenly, you wish you’d spent less time packing and more time researching rental car insurance.

Here’s your chance to be prepared at the rental car counter so you can be on your way faster, and you’ll keep the people in line behind you happy.

I have car insurance. Do I really need to buy their coverage, too?

This is the most common question when it comes to renting a car for domestic travel. The answer is: it depends. You want to make sure you’re covered, but you also don’t want to pay for unnecessary duplicate coverages that could double the price of your rental.

The first step is to check your auto insurance policy, or contact GEICO to see what type of coverage for rental cars may already be included in your personal auto insurance. If you carry comprehensive and liability coverage on your personal car, coverage typically will extend to your rental car within the United States. If you’re renting a car in the U.S. of similar value to your personal car, in all likelihood the insurance coverage will be adequate for the rental. But if you’re off to a blowout beach weekend in a slick set of wheels like a Corvette Stingray and you’re leaving your 2008 Subaru Forester at home, the extra coverage offered by the rental company may be a good idea.

You should also check with the credit card company—the credit card that you’ll be using for your car rental. If there are any gaps in coverage with your personal auto policy, the credit card company could provide secondary coverage.

Airport signageRental Car Insurance Defined

Know before you go. Most rental companies typically have a short, predictable suite of offerings. Check your auto insurance policy to make sure you’re already properly covered and you may be able to decline the offered coverage at the rental counter. Rental car insurance is usually broken out into the following coverages:

  • Liability coverage
  • Personal accident insurance
  • Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)/Loss Damage Waiver
  • Personal Effects Coverage

Insurance You May Have Already

Liability coverage. This is a basic component of most car insurance policies. If you have adequate liability coverage on your own vehicle (check with your insurance provider), you may choose to skip this one.

Personal accident insurance. This covers your medical bills in the event of a crash in the rental car. As long as you have personal injury protection or medical payments coverage on your auto policy and reliable health insurance, you may not need this coverage.

Protection You Might Need

Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)/Loss Damage Waiver. This is not an insurance product, but rather a waiver that transfers financial responsibility from you to the rental car company in case of damage or theft. In most cases, waivers also provide coverage for “loss of use” if the rental car company charges for the time a damaged car can not be used because it is being repaired.

Personal Effects Coverage. If you have a homeowners, renters or condo policy, your personal items will generally be covered even if they are stolen from a rental car. Review your policy documents to be sure before you elect or decline this coverage.

Next steps: To learn more about your policy and rental car insurance, call us at 1-800-841-0728 or review your policy documents on Or, if you’re looking for a new auto policy, compare car insurance and see why GEICO is the right choice.

Get GEICO Auto insurance.

    Leave a comment

  1. Julien says,

    Just spoke with a GEICO agent; renting with TURO and getting coverage varies by states as mentioned before. It does work if you live in NYS and are renting in CA.

  2. Bob says,

    Did not see any thing on business loss, that is why I always take the insurance, how come you did not mention this?

  3. Li Mo says,

    I have full coverage insurance for my own car in GEIGO. I plan to travel to California with a rental car similar to my own car. AM I COVERED in the rental?

  4. Kevin Higgins says,

    Coverage for rental car in japan using my Geico car insurance. I don’t see anything on your website for specific countries and rental car insurance coverage.

  5. Ken Gaudette says,

    I am traveling to New Zealand. Can I purchase ‘travel insurance coverage’ for a rental car from GEICO? I have a domestic policy with GEICO.

    Thank you for your time

  6. Diana B. Dupuy says,

    I didn’t rent no car in 2017 are 2016 it’s been 10 are 12 year’s from the last time I ever rent I was looking up some to rent this past July to move and it was saying I couldn’t because some come up from 2016 and 2017. I am sorry but I don’t know what going

  7. Keith Hudson says,

    Could you just give a. YES or NO response? I have full coverage, so, if I want to rent a car, due to an accident, AM I COVERED in the rental