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Summer Travel Planning
By David Miller
As we head into the summer months and people are planning their vacations, a common question we are asked is whether or not one should purchase the insurance offered by the rental car company. The simple answer to this question is “no.” You do not need to purchase insurance if:
1. You have collision and comprehensive insurance coverage on at least one of your vehicles. The Bensman Group represents insurance companies that provide coverage as if the rented car was your own.
2. You are renting the car in the United States and will be driving it solely in the United States. If you are renting a car in a foreign country or are planning to drive into Canada or Mexico from the United States, you must check with the rental car company.
3. You are renting a “private passenger-type” vehicle. In general, this means a car, SUV, or van that is intended to be used for personal transportation. A “U-haul” truck is not categorized as such and requires additional coverage.
4. You are renting a car for less than 90 consecutive days. If you are renting for more than 90 consecutive days, you will need to return the vehicle prior to 90 days and start a new rental agreement for any days beyond 90.
However there are some factors to consider when weighing this decision.
First, driving a rental car is new and unfamiliar. As every car is designed differently, you may have trouble locating some controls which may result in an untimely distraction, or the size of the car may affect your judgment in navigating certain situations. Second is just the added stress of driving in an unfamiliar area and trying to locate unfamiliar landmarks or street signs.
With this in mind, you should think about the potential for accidents and the implications that would follow. Do you really want to call your insurance agent to report a claim while you’re on vacation? Or do you want to call the rental car company and get a new rental car and no claim reported on your auto insurance?
Ideally, summer traveling should be enjoyable and stress-free, a time to enjoy good company and forget day-to-day worries. When renting a car, it is important to compare your risk tolerance and the financial penalties associated with it, with the cost of the additional insurance. The convenience and peace of mind you obtain may be worth the additional cost.
As always, the staff at Bensman Risk Management is here to provide you with information that better enables you to make wise decisions. If you have any questions regarding renting a car or purchasing insurance, please call me or your Bensman Representative at 847-572-0800 to discuss how we can help.
All the best,
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