Under your homeowners or renters policy, your liability coverage may cover these situations. These losses could also exceed the liability limit on your home policy. Purchasing an umbrella policy, providing anywhere from $1,000,000 to $10,000,000 of additional liability coverage, can be very helpful and offer great peace of mind for minimal premium.
This question is one of the most common we receive: you are heading out on vacation and plan to rent a car so you want to know if your current auto insurance will cover you. Since each company can vary, we definitely recommend you give us a call to discuss your specific policy. In general, your liability coverage extends to a rental car used for pleasure (not a business trip) in the U.S., its territories, and Canada. If you have comprehensive and collision coverage on your personal vehicle, this will likely extend to a rental car as well, with a few limitations. However, if that rental car is in France, Belize, or even Mexico, you likely have no coverage provided by your personal auto policy.
For international rental cars, you will want to make sure that liability coverage is included through the rental car agency. Damage to the rental car is available in a few different options. The rental car agency will likely offer this coverage, commonly called Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) for an additional cost. If you are purchasing travel insurance, you may be able to include CDW in your travel insurance package. Many credit cards will provide coverage if you pay the entire rental car cost on that credit card, but be sure to talk to your credit card company and learn their limitations. Finally, Safeco provides coverage for the rental car damage worldwide if you have either the “Superior” or “Ultra” level of coverage on your policy.
Depending on where you obtain the collision damage coverage (including from your personal auto policy), you may not have coverage for loss of use or diminished value of the rental car after an accident. Loss of use is charged to you when the rental car is in the shop for repairs and, therefore, cannot be rented to another party. Diminished value is claimed when the rental car agency indicates that the resale value of the rental car is lower now that it has been in an accident.
CONTACT US FOR HELP:
Again, coverage really does vary by policy so please contact us with your specific travel situation. We can review your policies to determine what coverage does apply and what coverage you need to purchase elsewhere. You can call us at 303-232-3100 or find your agent’s email address on our Contact Us page.
Source: autoeurope.com has lots of great resources if you are planning a trip to Europe. I specifically liked their guide, “Renting a Car in Europe.”