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At an estimated 20 to 40 dollars per day, car rental insurance can be an expensive part of your vacation budget. Before you sign up for additional insurance from your car rental company, check your regular auto insurance policy. Depending on the type of car insurance you carry, you may already be insured to drive a rental car.

Car rental agencies typically offer collision damage waivers and loss damage waivers, which mimic collision insurance and comprehensive insurance. In many states, car rental agencies are not licensed insurance agents, so the company offers a protection package instead of insurance. These protection packages often function like insurance. They may or may not have a deductible, and you may not be protected if you act recklessly while driving.

In most cases, if you already have collision insurance, you don't need to purchase a collision damage waiver. Collision insurance traditionally covers any car that you're driving. Similar rules apply with comprehensive insurance, which will protect you from liability if your car is damaged in a natural disaster, an act of vandalism, or a fire. If you already have comprehensive coverage, you can probably safely skip purchasing a loss damage waiver. However, if you have a high deductible, it might make sense to double your insurance coverage by buying a car rental policy. Many car rental insurance policies have lower deductibles. In most cases, it will also act as the primary insurance, which will leave your personal auto insurance as secondary coverage.

If you only have liability auto insurance, the policy should still pay for damages if you cause an accident in your rental car. However, without collision and comprehensive insurance, purchasing collision damage waivers and loss damage waivers often makes financial sense. You can purchase additional coverage directly from the car rental company, but your credit card company or your insurance company might offer better rates.  

If you don't have car insurance because you don't own a vehicle, you can also purchase a non-owner's auto insurance policy. These policies are offered by many auto insurance companies, but you'll have to make arrangements for coverage before you begin your trip. Otherwise, check with the car rental business or your credit card company. Keep in mind that many car rental companies will not require proof of insurance before you rent a car. If you're in an accident without coverage though, the financial consequences could leave you bankrupt.

Before making any decision about car rental insurance, it's important to talk with your insurance agent to verify your existing coverage. Even if your current car insurance policy doesn't extend to car rentals, your homeowner's policy might offer you some additional coverage. If you're not already covered, but often rent vehicles, adding collision or comprehensive insurance to your existing policy may make financial sense. 

To discuss all of your summer Oklahoma City auto insurance needs, including car rentals, call Loftis & Wetzel at 855-360-0466.

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