At least once a week I am asked the following question by phone or e-mail:
“Will my auto policy cover me if a I rent a car?”
With the insurance company I represent, the answer is “yes,” but this is not true with all auto policies. There are some insurance companies that do not extend coverage to rental cars, so it is important to call your own insurance company or agent to verify coverage before renting a car.
If your auto policy does extend coverage to rental cars, the coverage is provided through the liability portion of your policy. If you have minimum property coverages in Texas, you would only have $25,000 to repair both the rental car and any other vehicle you might damage in an at-fault accident. In a minor accident, $25,000 could be enough to fix multiple vehicles, but in a major accident, $25,000 might not provide enough coverage.
Some credit card companies offer additional coverage if you use their credit card to pay for a rental car. Again, you should check with your own credit card company to find out coverage limits before renting a car.
Finally, liability coverage that extends from your auto policy to a rental car is not the same as rental car reimbursement, which is an optional coverage on auto policies. Many people assume “full coverage” means automatic rental car reimbursement in the event of an accident. Unless you have extra cars sitting around or have friends and relatives that will loan you a car after an accident, it’s a good idea to have rental car reimbursement on your auto policy.