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Rental car insurance ratesSome Americans are instinctively trained to purchase car insurance whenever it is offered, but when renting a car that additional policy may not be necessary, according to MSNBC. In some cases, a driver’s auto insurance policy will protect them against theft or damages to a rental vehicle.

What is and is not already covered?

Personal insurance policies may offer coverage, but they can also include specific conditions. Some will not cover rentals that are associated with business trips, while others could limit coverage on long-term rentals. Rentals out of the U.S. are also often not covered by an individual’s insurance policy, USA Today reports. There may also be deductibles associated with these insurance plans, costing the driver out-of-pocket expenses anyway in the event of an incident.

Additionally, the credit card used to purchase the rental may also have an insurance aspect included. However some credit card protection is only secondary to personal auto insurance or the coverage sold by the car rental company, according to the media outlet.

Contact personal insurance companies first

Experts believe the best way to avoid paying extra charges for unnecessary car insurance quotes is for the individual to contact their insurance company and credit card provider directly. Also, credit card insurance benefits can change at any time so it is important to check with the company every time a car is rented, the MSNBC reports.

“More often, these prestigious cards are starting to change the advantages they offer to their cardholders, and often times the cardholders are unaware,” Carolyn Gorman, vice president of the Insurance Information Institute in New York, told the news source. “You could be driving uninsured and not even know it, until you get into a bad accident and have no insurance to cover you. It’s a dangerous, scary thing.”

Experts from Consumer Reports have discovered that most of the add-on insurance plans are simply ways for rental companies to make more money off of their customers. There may be several different policies are offered to renters, possibly confusing them on what exactly they need.

Additional coverage options

Most companies will offer a collision damage waiver, which will shift liability from the individual renting the car to the rental company. This policy may also cover the amount of money the company loses while the vehicle is being serviced, according to the news source.

Liability and personal accident insurance will cover protection and medical bills, but drivers usually have this coverage under their own policy.