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Madison WI Car Accident Attorneys | Rental Car Coverage

Madison WI Car Accident Attorneys Explain 2 Alternatives To Rental Car Companies’ Insurance Add-Ons

Have you ever rented a car and been subject to the rental insurance upsell that so many rental agencies love to give? Yes? We thought so. Rental agencies make big bucks on these insurance add-ons – typically called Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) or Loss Damage Waiver (LDS). This is not a surprise when you consider that the sale is made right when you’re picking up the rental car and are likely tired, confused, and in a hurry to get the paperwork completed so you can get going. Rates are also relatively inexpensive, so many renters will say yes thinking the added protection is worth an extra $15/day.

But is the insurance necessary?

Two Alternatives To Rental Agencies’ Insurance Coverage

1 – Your Personal Auto Insurance Policy. Many Wisconsin drivers don’t need to purchase this additional insurance because they are already covered for rental vehicles under their own auto insurance policy. Most collision, liability, and comprehensive car insurance policy options cover the insured person regardless of the vehicle they are driving. You’ll still have to pay your deductible if you are at fault for an accident, but this is no different than if you’d been found at fault for an accident that happened when driving your own car. Before you head out to rent a car, double check your auto policy coverage and make sure the coverage follows the driver.

Of course, if you don’t own a vehicle and, thus, have no auto insurance, it’s a good idea to say yes to the rental company’s insurance offer as you won’t have your own coverage to fall back on if there is an accident.

2 – Your Credit Card. Another way you could be covered is through your credit card company. Some credit card companies, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover offer rental car insurance services that can protect you from fees charged by the rental company if an accident occurs if you used their card to rent the vehicle.

When a rental vehicle is involved in an accident, the rental car company may allege that the accident resulted in a loss of use and diminished value of the vehicle. They may try to charge you for those losses. If your personal auto insurance policy does not cover these sorts of fees, and you did not buy the insurance offered by the rental car company, you may have to pay for them out of pocket. This is where your credit card company can help.

Credit card companies may offer primary or secondary insurance coverage. Primary insurance works the same way as your personal auto insurance policy. If you get into an accident, you can file claims under the primary policy and avoid having to report the incident to your auto insurer. This can help protect you against rate hikes that may result from the accident. Secondary credit card insurance only covers costs and fees that are not covered by your auto insurance policy.

Madison, WI Car Accident Attorneys Recommend Research Before Your Trip

Our Madison, WI car accident attorneys recommend checking with your auto insurance provider and credit card companies to find out if you are covered for accidents that occur in rental vehicles. Do this before you leave on your trip to save time and avoid hassles at the rental car counter. In most cases, you will be happy to discover that the rental car agency’s insurance is totally unnecessary.

For additional questions about auto accidents and insurance coverage, contact the Eisenberg Law Offices Madison, WI car accident attorneys at 608-256-8356.