Exploring the Ins and Outs of Atlanta Auto Insurance Coverage for Rental Cars

If you own and operate a vehicle in Atlanta, then you are required to have auto insurance—at least you do if you’re operating under the law. But what about those times that you may need to use a rental car? Are you covered under your regular Atlanta auto insurance policy?  Are you looking for Atlanta cheap car insurance.

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You may be. Then again, you may not be. It really depends.

For years, the go-to advice for rental insurance was to skip it. However, the rental car industry makes a pretty penny on upselling their version of insurance, so they’ve figured out a way to make you more likely to purchase it: loss of use fees.

What is a “Loss of Use” Fee?

A loss of use fee is a charge that many car rental companies are now assessing for the period of time that a vehicle is in the shop for repair. The amount varies by company, but it can quickly add up to a substantial bill if the car takes a long time to repair. Rental companies claim that they lose income on a non-operative vehicle, and you pick up the tab if you refused their coverage.

If you have a good Atlanta auto insurance policy with comprehensive and collision coverage, then chances are that any rental car that you operate on domestic soil will also be covered for damages through that policy. You should always check with your agent before renting, though.

In addition, if you pay for the total expense of the rental with a credit card, the credit card company probably offers secondary coverage for whatever expenses your regular insurance doesn’t pick up. But again, check with your credit card company to be sure.

These two sources of protection typically cover bodywork on the vehicle, as well as medical expenses for yourself and the other people involved in an accident for which you were at fault. Many do not cover loss of use fees, however.

Making the Decision About Purchasing Rental Car Insurance

The best advice is to know what you’re working with before you face the situation. Many rental car desk clerks are trained to use aggressive scare tactics to get you to purchase coverage that you may not need. Making a decision under this kind of pressure usually doesn’t result in a good choice.

Examine your Atlanta auto insurance policy closely. If you are unsure about how far your coverage extends, give your agent a call. He or she can explain exactly what will and will not be covered when you are using a rental car. He or she can also let you know if additional coverage is available through your regular insurance if you don’t currently have it.

You should also call your credit card company to learn about their coverage if you’ll be paying with your card. If you know going into it exactly how much protection you already have, you’ll be able to make a confident decision when you are asked, “Would you like to add a collision damage waiver to your rental today?”