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girl in carWhen the person behind the car rental counter asks if you would like to buy the company’s insurance, do you panic? If so, you’re not alone. Most people don’t know if they need the insurance car rental companies offer. But the thought of getting into an accident without coverage is terrifying, so many people buy the insurance anyway.

Since a car rental company’s insurance is often overpriced, you may end up spending too much money on it. If you decline their insurance, however, you may spend your entire trip worrying about being underprotected. Rest assured, you can have just the right amount of insurance coverage. You just need to do your research ahead of time — before you get to the rental counter.

Your own Cleveland auto insurance may offer coverage for your rental. Many credit cards also offer insurance. In all, there are five kinds of insurance that you should be concerned about: loss damage waiver, liability, personal accident, and personal effects.

Loss damage waiver covers damage to your car through collision or loss. Your personal car insurance may already cover loss damage. So may your credit card. If you rent your car with this card, you are covered automatically. If you cannot get coverage through your own insurance or your credit card, ask yourself if you can afford paying for damage to the car. If you cannot, buy loss damage at the rental counter.

Liability insurance covers damage to the person or property of another party. If you get into an accident, you could be responsible for tens of thousands — or hundreds of thousands — of dollars. Never get behind the wheel without liability. It is illegal in many jurisdictions to drive without it.

Often, personal car insurance covers liability on rentals. Your credit card may also offer liability insurance, but you will probably have to pay an extra fee. If neither your credit card nor personal insurance offer liability, purchase it at the rental counter. If you have to choose between liability offered by your credit card and that offered by the rental company, compare their coverage and fees. Seek expert advice if you have a question.

There are two other kinds of insurance that rental companies offer: personal damage, and personal effects. Personal damage covers physical injury to you and your passengers; personal effects covers your property if it is lost, damaged or stolen from your car. These are truly “supplemental” forms of insurance.

Find out if your own insurance offers personal damage coverage on a rental car. It probably does not offer personal effects coverage. If you cannot get coverage on your own, buying these policies from the rental company could put your mind at ease — but it could also be a waste of money. Seek expert advice if you are having trouble deciding.

In the end, making the decision whether or not to purchase insurance from a car rental company is no cause for panic. As long as you are willing to gather information before you travel, you can be sure you have the right coverage without paying too much.

If you any questions about car insurance, give Summit Insurance Agency a call at 330-655-0655. We’d love to answer any questions you have.
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