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Does My Auto Insurance Cover Rental Cars?

If you plan on renting a car in Canada, then it’s wise to ensure you are financially protected should an accident happen. But that often raises the important question of whether you’re already covered by your regular auto insurance.
The answer is that it’s complicated. Thankfully, we’re here to simplify all the information for you. We’ll look at whether or not you need additional insurance and what are your options for getting the right coverage. Read on to find out more!

Does My Auto Insurance Cover Rental Cars?

The very short answer is: maybe. The longer answer is that it depends on your policy, as it may or may not be automatically included in your coverage. The easiest way to find out is to contact your insurer and check if you’re covered for driving cars that aren’t your own.
Of course, the other way to check is by looking at your policy document. In Ontario, this is under the OPCF 27 endorsement that gives you legal liability for driving any non-owned automobiles. If you see this on your policy, you’re good to go.
For many reasons, it’s important to read through your documents to not only see if you have rental car coverage but also to know what inclusions and exclusions are a part of your policy. You never want to be in a situation where you must pay out for damages due to inadequate protection.

How To Insure a Rental Car

So, you’ve checked your insurance and found out that you’re not protected for rental cars. In this situation, you have one of two options. The first is to get insurance directly from the rental company you’re getting the car from.
They will usually be able to offer it, and some of them will even have it automatically included in their rental agreement. Even if they offer it, you’ll want to check with them exactly what is included as, for example, the policy may not include personal belongings.
The second option is to contact your insurance company and get this liability coverage added as an optional extra. This will make your premium more expensive but adding it is usually a simple process. However, as above, double-check you’re getting a level of protection you’re comfortable with.

how to insure a rental car

Am I Covered Outside of Canada?

Another common question is are you covered to drive vehicles outside of Canada, even if you are insured to drive non-owned vehicles? The answer to this is that while you’re most likely covered throughout all the Canadian provinces and the United States, you won’t be in other countries.
For example, if you’re heading over to Europe on vacation, you’ll need to get additional insurance. There is a chance your existing insurance coverage will be enough for driving abroad, but it’s unlikely.

Types of Rental Car Insurance

As we mentioned, there are different types of rental car insurance. If you only get the minimum coverage, you may be liable for some costs in the event of a claim. There are four main types, so let’s check out what they are.
Liability Insurance – This is the most important subset of insurance but one that you don’t need to worry about. That’s because, with being mandatory in Canada, it will automatically be included in every policy. This will give you coverage for any injuries or property damage.
Damage Waiver – Either called a Loss Damage Waiver or Collison Damage Waiver, this will cover you from either theft or collision. This is not mandatory but it’s important to prevent the rental company from pursuing you for damages.
Personal Accident Insurance – Here is another type of insurance that isn’t mandatory but is recommended. This will cover you for accidental death or dismemberment. This is important if you want your own potential medical costs covered as well as anyone else injured after an accident.
Personal Effects Coverage – As you may have guessed, this type of coverage is for your personal belongings. If you’re not travelling with anything valuable it’s unlikely to be required but if driving with plenty of personal effects in the car, it can be a wise choice.

Getting The Right Coverage for You

Before signing up to any agreement, make sure you know what is covered and what isn’t. If you’re unsure, then it can be a great idea to use an insurance broker. You’ll be able to tell them what you need, and they can advise you on the best policy that matches your requirements.
It’s also important to remember that the extent of your coverage isn’t the only important factor. With each policy, there will be coverage limits and a deductible. Make sure you are comfortable with them, and they match your budget and circumstances.

getting the right coverage for you

Final Thoughts

If you need to use a rental car, then your existing auto insurance policy may not be good enough to give you financial protection. The best step is to contact your insurance company or broker to check if you’re free to drive non-owned vehicles.
If you aren’t covered, then you can either get an add-on to your existing policy or get insurance from the rental company. Either way, you’ll want to ensure you’re getting the right level of coverage for your circumstances.
Need better auto insurance or looking for further advice? If so, then give Marathon Insurance a call today. We’ll get you the right policy so you can drive with confidence.

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