As the holiday season approaches, weather conditions will likely worsen on the roads. Snow, ice and hail will make some drivers miserable on their commutes to work. Additionally, many families will be traveling for Thanksgiving and Christmas, which means roadways will be extra crowded, providing a less-than-stellar driving atmosphere for Americans.
Car accidents can be expected to rise in the coming months as drivers have a tough time adjusting to the weather. In the case that you are in an accident, you won't have to put your life on hold if your car is seriously damaged. In fact, many drivers will opt to rent a car until their vehicles come out of the shop. In this situation, renting a car can be a viable option that's important to keeping your daily routine on track.
However, what about your auto insurance? Many drivers aren't sure about the specific details of their insurance policies. Though liability coverage is mandated in the vast majority of states, this type of policy won't do you much good if you are driving a different car. That's why it's best to speak with your insurance provider and rental company to ensure that you and your vehicle are covered at all times in the event of an accident.
A large number of insurance policies, such as collision and comprehensive, can be applied toward a rental car as well. This makes the transition to a new car seamless and carefree. However, for those who do not have an updated policy that covers rentals, you'll likely have to purchase a temporary policy in the meantime.
Esurance noted there are basically four options for drivers to choose from when renting a car:
Insurance for the most part follows the vehicle but not the person. So when you're driving another car, you'll need a different policy. Liability coverage insures other drivers' damages if you are in an accident. However, this policy doesn't cover your damages.
This type of coverage is a more comprehensive package that will cover your car's expenses if it is damaged. Additionally, repair expenses and other fees will be covered. Because it covers more, this plan is typically more expensive. Many companies label this policy as a damage waiver because you will essentially waive any costs associated with the rental car. However, this doesn't apply to instances where you are at fault for the wreck, intoxicated or driving recklessly.
This plan covers the items that you have inside the rental car in case it is broken into or stolen. However, any damages to you or the car will not be covered. This plan is mostly relegated to people who travel a lot with expensive personal items though it is usually coupled with additional policies.
In the event you are injured and are admitted to a hospital, personal accident insurance will cover your medical costs for the duration of your stay. Ambulance costs and surgeries will also be covered, while any expenses that exceed your policy limit can likely be paid by using your health insurance.
The Insurance Information Institute recommended you contact your insurer and your credit card company before you purchase a rental policy to see how much damage will be covered. Also, most companies have age requirements for drivers, which may limit your capability of renting a car. Ensure you're being safe on the roads this winter by making smart insurance decisions for the benefit of you and other drivers.
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