Renting a car can be a stressful experience, especially when it comes to insurance. You want to make sure you have adequate coverage in case something happens, but you don’t want to overpay for unnecessary add-ons. That’s why it’s important to understand exactly what rental car coverage you already have through your existing National General auto insurance policy.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explain:
- What standard insurance typically covers for rental cars
- National General’s rental car coverage options
- How rental reimbursement works
- Who needs extra rental car coverage
- How much rental coverage costs
- Tips for renting a car with National General insurance
What Does Standard Car Insurance Cover for Rentals?
If you have a personal auto insurance policy with liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage, this standard insurance will usually extend to a rental car as well. However, there are some important caveats:
- Coverage is typically limited to your personal policy limits, which may be insufficient for some rental vehicles.
- Your deductibles and exclusions still apply.
- Rental coverage may be limited if traveling internationally.
- Some insurers require notification or additional fees to extend coverage to rentals.
Liability insurance from your personal policy protects against bodily injury or property damage to others when driving a rental car. This coverage is required by law.
Collision and comprehensive coverage are optional on personal policies but cover damage to the rental vehicle itself. Collision covers accident-related damage, while comprehensive covers theft or damage from other hazards like fire, floods, vandalism, etc.
Personal injury protection and medical payments coverage also extend to rental cars, providing medical expense coverage for you and your passengers after an accident.
Without collision and comprehensive coverage on your personal policy, you could be 100% responsible for all physical damage to the rental vehicle. And even if you have this coverage, your deductible still applies.
National General Rental Car Insurance Options
National General auto insurance will extend liability, collision, comprehensive, PIP, and medical payments coverage from your personal policy to a rental car by default. But there are some additional rental car options you can add to a National General policy:
Rental Car Reimbursement
If you file a collision or comprehensive claim, rental reimbursement helps pay for a rental car while your personal vehicle is repaired. You select a daily limit ($15 to $60) and maximum coverage period (typically 30 days). The cost is usually less than $10 per month.
Rental reimbursement provides backup coverage if the rental period exceeds what your auto policy or credit card covers. It also reimburses you for rental expenses instead of paying the agency directly.
Rental Vehicle Physical Damage
This optional coverage adds or supplements physical damage coverage for the rental vehicle itself. It begins when you pick up the rental car and ends when you return it. There is usually a per-day deductible.
Rental physical damage makes sense if you want higher coverage limits or lower deductibles than your regular auto policy provides. It also covers theft or damage if you reject the rental company’s collision damage waiver.
Personal Accident Insurance
Personal accident insurance provides medical and death benefits to you and your passengers if injured in an accident while driving the rental vehicle. It may reimburse deductibles or pay benefits above regular health insurance coverage limits.
This coverage is worth considering if you don’t have sufficient medical payments coverage on your existing National General policy.
How Does the Reimbursement Coverage Work?
National General’s rental reimbursement coverage provides payment toward the cost of renting a replacement vehicle while your personal car is out of commission due to a covered claim. Here are some key points about how it works:
You must have collision and comprehensive coverage on your National General policy to qualify for rental reimbursement. Liability-only policies won’t cut it.
The coverage kicks in after you file a claim under your collision or comprehensive insurance and pay the applicable deductible.
National General will reimburse up to the daily limit you select, for up to 30 days, as long as the rental car is in service. Common limits range from $15 to $60 per day.
In some states, National General has an arrangement to bill Enterprise Rent-A-Car directly if that’s where you get your rental. Otherwise, you pay out of pocket and submit receipts for reimbursement.
The coverage has a maximum payout per loss/accident. For example, 30 days at $30 per day would cap at $900.
Rental reimbursement does not apply to rentals while your car is in the shop for routine maintenance or repairs not caused by a covered claim.
Who Really Needs Extra Rental Car Coverage?
Sometimes your best bet is to decline extra insurance at the rental counter and rely on existing policies. But certain situations call for extra rental coverage from National General or another provider:
You Only Have Liability Insurance
Without collision/comprehensive coverage on your personal auto policy, National General liability won’t apply to damage to the rental car itself. Buying additional coverage is wise.
Standard policies may limit or exclude rental coverage outside the U.S. and Canada. Supplemental coverage ensures you’re protected abroad.
Renting an Expensive Car
If your personal policy has low limits or you’re renting a luxury or sports car, extra coverage can prevent huge out-of-pocket expenses if it’s damaged or stolen.
Using Your Car for Business
Personal auto policies may not cover rental cars used for business purposes. In this case, extra rental coverage or a business policy could be necessary.
Due to age restrictions, drivers under 25 may need to purchase additional coverage since regular policies may not apply.
How Much Does Rental Car Coverage Cost?
National General provides sample rates on its website to give you an idea of how much extra rental car coverage costs. Here are some example prices:
Rental reimbursement coverage runs about $5 to $10 per month. For $10 monthly, you could get 30 days of coverage at $30 per day ($900 max).
Rental vehicle physical damage starts around $7 per day for intermediate SUV coverage with a $500 deductible. So a week-long rental would cost roughly $50 for this optional coverage.
Personal accident insurance that covers medical costs starts around $2 per day, also with a $500 deductible.
Rental coverage costs vary based on factors like car type, deductible amount, coverage limits, length of rental, and state. It’s cheapest when bundled with an existing National General auto policy. Get a personalized quote for your situation.
Tips for Renting With National General Insurance
Follow these best practices when renting to ensure you have sufficient coverage and avoid surprises:
Review your National General auto policy to see what rental car coverage you already have.
Understand your liability limits, deductibles, and exclusions before renting. Are they sufficient for the car you’re getting?
Consider extra protection like collision/comprehensive or rental reimbursement if holes exist.
Compare prices of National General rental coverage vs. the rental company’s insurance.
Use a premium credit card that provides rental coverage when available.
Document all rental vehicle damage before driving off the lot.
Avoid high-risk behaviors like racing, off-road driving or overloading the vehicle.
Report any rental car accidents to National General immediately.
Save rental car receipts and documents to submit for reimbursement claims.
Extend your rental agreement if it appears your car will take longer to repair.
Return your rental car on time and check for any new damage before leaving.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to some common questions about National General’s rental car insurance options:
Does National General offer rental car insurance?
Yes. National General auto insurance extends liability, collision, comprehensive, and medical payments coverage to rental cars by default. You can also purchase rental-specific add-ons like reimbursement coverage, physical damage insurance, and personal accident benefits.
What if I only have liability insurance through National General?
Liability-only policies do not cover damage to the rental vehicle itself. Without collision and comprehensive coverage on your personal policy, you should consider purchasing extra rental insurance through National General or another provider.
How does National General rental reimbursement work?
If you file a covered collision or comprehensive claim, rental reimbursement covers part of the cost of renting a car while yours is repaired. You select a daily limit up to $60 and coverage period up to 30 days. National General then reimburses you up to the limits after you submit rental receipts.
Do I need rental insurance if I have a National General auto policy?
It depends. Review your National General policy details. If you have collision/comprehensive coverage with sufficient limits for the rental vehicle, then you may only need liability insurance. But those with liability-only policies should strongly consider extra rental coverage.
What is the best rental car coverage from National General?
Rental reimbursement is a relatively affordable option that provides backup coverage if your regular policy falls short. Rental physical damage is also good if
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