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Republished: May 2023

Where you travel, the vehicle rented, the rental contract and other factors can all impact coverage, so it really depends on the situation. Below is a general overview, as it relates to a Massachusetts Auto Policy (MAP), of issues to consider.

  • rental vehicle insuranceA MAP is not worldwide. It only covers you in the U.S., it’s territories, Puerto Rico and Canada.
  • As long as you have comprehensive and collision coverages on any of your own vehicles, it would cover physical damage to the rental car. Note that this only applies to a 'private passenger vehicle'. A U-Haul truck or 10 person passenger van are commercial vehicles and would not be covered.
  • Some rental companies limit where a vehicle can be operated. Driving the car beyond these limitations violates the contract, and your insurance would not cover.
  • Most rental agencies require all drivers to be listed and paid for at time of rental. If you allow anyone else to drive and there is an accident, there is no coverage.
  • Most rentals consider the rental contract void if driving under the influence. This also voids coverage. MAP excludes “regular use” of another vehicle. If you rent for an extended period, it’s best to check with your insurance company. To avoid this issue, you can add a “Use of Other Autos” endorsement for the rental period and then have it removed.
  • Many rental companies often require the auto to be replaced with a new one if a total loss occurs. The MAP only pays for Actual Cash Value not Replacement Cost, which is something to consider.
  • If you damage a car and it can’t be rented to others, the rental agency may expect you to pay for lost rental time. Loss of use is not covered by a MAP.

The Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) offered by the rental company can be a solution for situations not covered by your auto policy such as "loss of use". However, you should never assume that the CDW absolves you of all issues. Always read the contract and clearly understand  what is and what is not covered. Also, if you rent a car using a credit card that offers some type of insurance protection, be sure to read the contract and understand coverage limitations.

If you’re planning to rent a car, our Associates are always glad to review specifics of your auto policy protection. However, it’s ultimately your responsibility to understand the terms and requirements of the rental contract and determine if your policy provides the coverage you need.

Showing 2 Comments

9 years ago

With rental cars and coverage, it depends on the coverage you’ve purchased or that is provided with the car when rented. There may be some coverage via the rental company for bodily injury, so it’s best to start talking to the rental company first even if you didn’t purchase coverage depending on the accident/damage situation. Then, talk to your credit card company. <br /><br />If you don’t have coverage through these other parties then contact your insurance agent regarding coverage on your auto policy. By exhausting other options first before going back to your Mass. Auto Policy, you may be able to avoid surcharge points. The good news is that you can come back to your MAP if there isn’t coverage elsewhere as long as you are driving in covered territory. This can be extremely important in cases of bodily injury.<br /><br />With credit cards be sure that you read the fine print agreements of how that coverage works before you rent a car and/or decline optional coverage from the rental agency. You may have to decline coverage from the rental company and/or they may only pick-up secondary to that coverage. Credit card companies are constantly changing their agreements, so call them if you have questions. And, before you rent a car, call us and one of our Associates can review your coverage. <br />

Ronald Vavruska 9 years ago

The article explains the MAP covers damage to rental cars in the US.<br />My credit car company also covers damage. Which is primary and who should I contact first if I have an accident with a rental car and what procedures should I follow.

b i u quote

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The information provided in these articles are only general descriptions and should not be relied upon as complete, correct or accurate for your specific situation. All coverage informaiton is subject to policy provisions, endorsements and may be  subject to your meeting underwriting qualifications. Murphy Insurance Agency is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other noninsurance professional services. Consult an appropriate professional for advice regarding your own situation.