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.

Since rental car insurance isn’t something most of us will deal with on a daily basis, it’s easy to get confused or overwhelmed when presented with a choice for this type of coverage. Learn some basic facts about rental car insurance and whether or not you need extra coverage beyond your personal auto insurance policy.

Do You Need Rental Car Insurance?

The most common question when it comes to renting a car for domestic travel is “do I need rental car insurance coverage?” The answer is: it depends. You want to make sure you and your rental vehicle are covered, but you also don’t want to pay for unnecessary duplicate insurance coverages that could double the price of your rental.

How To Tell If You Need Rental Car Insurance Coverage

The first step is to check your auto insurance policy, or contact your provider to see what type of coverage for rental cars may already be included in your personal auto insurance policy. 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 your auto 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, purchasing the extra auto insurance 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.

GEICO can help with travel insurance.

Airport signs for passenger pick up and rental carsWhat Is Covered Under A Typical Rental Car Insurance Policy?

Most rental companies typically have a short, predictable suite of rental vehicle insurance offerings. Know the policy of your rental company before you arrive at the counter. Check your personal auto insurance policy to determine if you’re already properly covered and are able to decline the offered coverage from the rental company.

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.

Rental Car Coverages 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. Vanessa Dixon says,

    I have two vehicles with liability coverage only. I’m about to go out of town to FL. I’ll need torent a vehicle once there. Can I change my coverage on my two vehicles to include collision to be fully covered in my rental? Then change back after 90 days later to cover me for the future car rentals during summer vacations?

    • Editor (GEICO) says,

      Hi Vanessa, Give us a call at 1-800-947-AUTO (2886) and a licensed agent can discuss your options with you. Thanks!

  2. Burt says,

    No. Your GEICO coverage does not cover renting someone else’s car on Turo. I just called and the person I talked to at GEICO seemed to know what he was talking about. He was aware of Turo and he understood that I was renting someone else’s car, not trying to rent out my own car. He said that GEICO does not currently offer coverage for Turo rentals. I forgot to ask if that was because of the state I live in.

  3. Jai says,

    If I rent a car in Canada, does my Geico insurance cover that car? What coverage, if any is available?

    • Editor (GEICO) says,

      Hi Jai,
      Please give us a call at 1-800-947-AUTO (2886) and a licensed agent will be able to go over your coverage with you.

  4. Gerardo Orona says,

    Does geico provides car rental if I have mechanical issues and need to repair my vehicle? Or just for accident?

  5. cheryl keech says,

    does geico cover for rentals outside the US for US citizens with geico insurance. Is there additional insurance that can be purchased for rentals during travel outside the US?

  6. Rosetta Mccoy says,

    I only have liability insurance do I have to put full coverage on my rental which is due to an accident that wasn’t my fault

  7. DAVID GENSLER says,

    If I have full coverage on my vehicle does my insurance blanket a vehicle that I just purchased UNTILL I GET IT HOME AND REGISTERED.

  8. T.Do says,

    Geico does NOT cover rentals with Turo. I have coverage through Geico and wanted to confirm before renting through Turo, so I called Geico and spoke with one of their agents. The agent confirmed that they view Turo as a “ride sharing” service and not a rental agency. So word of caution and for everyone else’s reference, if you have Geico you will NOT be covered and are personally responsible for any accidents or damages if you decline coverage through Turo.

    • Grant Collard says,

      This is insane. Does it say this in their contract? We have a turo claim and we can’t find it in any contract.

    • Cobey says,

      Wanted to note that Geico DOES cover Turo cars if you are renting someone elses car. When I called they said they did cover and then I called back to confirm and she said they didn’t but we figured out she was confused and thought I was renting MY car out. But if you are renting someone ELSES car then you’re covered.

      • Ann says,

        I talked to Geico today about Turo and they said that it WILL COVER but it depends on what state you live. I live in North Carolina and NC covers TURO.

    • Nick says,

      Just adding my voice to the pile, I spoke with GEICO support today, and they will cover you if you are driving a car booked through Turo, just make sure your limits are appropriate for what you’re renting.

    • Patrick OBoyle says,

      Also , Be careful signing up with Turo. They use an insurance score not credit. If they deny you the ability to rent under their coverage, but you can resubmit your insurance score or documentation from your insurance stating you be covered.
      Also, Im still finding information, but GEICO does have instance if you drive for ride-sharing but the downside is (not 100% sure as of yet). It might not cover a Turo tyoe rental…
      you’d think it’d be easy to find this information these days.. lol