Do you need a car for a month or longer? If you don’t usually accept the insurance offered at the rental car counter, it’s important to know how long your car insurance or credit card will cover the full amount of a long-term rental.
The car insurance and credit card companies set limits, but the details vary. To be on the safe side, always check with your airline for bookings longer than two weeks.
DOES YOUR CAR INSURANCE COVER LONG-TERM RENTALS?
Not sure if your car insurance covers long-term travel? The best thing to do is to call your insurance company directly. You can also check online to see if your car insurance covers long-term rental.
Most insurance companies cover car rentals for up to 30 days. The term can vary, and policies are not always easy to understand. Geico, for example, usually covers private cars rented for 30 days or less. Meanwhile, Allstate’s car rental policy covers two-week rentals, and longer rentals are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Do you need a long-term rental car because your car has been in an accident? The cost of the rental car may be covered if you opt for rental car reimbursement insurance. Insurance companies often offer this to cover your expenses while you buy a new car or while you wait for repairs. This rental car reimbursement insurance has a daily limit for a certain period of time, such as $30 a day for 30 days.
Bonus: If your insurance company covers the cost of your rental car, it will probably cover it no matter how long you have the car. (But, as always, check with your insurance company).
PRO Tip: Want to make sure your personal car insurance covers your entire long-term rental? Split your rental agreement into two consecutive agreements of less than 30 days each. For example, if you need a car for 45 days, book two separate rentals. The first rental would be for the first 30 days and the second for the last 15 days. If you were to have an accident with any rental car, your personal car insurance would still be in force because each rental period is less than 30 days.
DOES YOUR CREDIT CARD COVER THE COST OF A LONG-TERM RENTAL CAR?
But what if you don’t have a car? Your credit card will likely cover the cost of a car rental, but rental terms vary by card, so it’s always best to check your card’s policy before booking.
A WalletHub study found that around 38% of credit cards cover domestic rentals for 15 days and international rentals for 31 days. Just over half of credit cards (52.3%) cover domestic and international car rentals for at least 30 days, and about 9% only cover 15 days.
Some, but not all, Visa cards offer coverage against damage, vandalism, and theft of a rental car for up to 15 days. Overseas rentals (excluding Jamaica, Israel, and Ireland) are usually covered for up to 31 days. Some premium cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve, cover car rentals for up to 31 days.
MasterCard policies vary, but most card issuers cover car rentals up to 31 days. For example, the HSBC Premier World MasterCard offers coverage during this period.