You want to take a summer road trip but you don’t want to put all the miles on your car so you want to rent a car instead. Or, you’re hopping on a plane to Washington for work and you’re going to need to rent a car while you’re there for a week. Or, your car is in the shop being repaired for one of the manufacturer’s safety recalls, and now you need to rent a car so you can get to and from work. In any of these scenarios, you may find yourself asking the rental car agent, “Does my auto insurance policy cover the rental car?”
When it comes to rental cars, they do need to be insured just like any other vehicle on the road. It’s the law in all 50 states. But the question is how? Rental car companies do offer customers liability policies and damage waivers, however, damage waivers are not “insurance.” When you pay for a damage waiver, it means the rental car company won’t bill you if you somehow end up damaging the car that you rent.
Can I Use My Auto Insurance Policy?
Here’s the good news: If you have your own auto insurance policy, you shouldn’t need to purchase a liability insurance policy from the rental car agency. Generally, the customer’s own auto insurance policy covers them while they’re driving a rental car for personal use. However, if you’re on a work trip and you’re renting the car for work purposes, your auto insurance policy probably won’t cover you.
If you’re going on a work trip and you need to rent a car, check with the rental car company to determine if your personal insurance will cover you or if you need to purchase liability insurance from the rental car company (which your employer may cover).
“What if I want to travel to Mexico, will my insurance cover me there?” is a question a lot of Texans ask because so many people have family in Mexico and reason to visit the country. The answer is, no, American policies are not recognized in Mexico. If you’re traveling to Mexico, you’ll need to buy a Mexican liability insurance policy. If your Texas insurance agent can’t sell you one, they should be able to direct you to someone who can.