Who is responsible for including liability insurance for rental cars?

Seminoe to Alcova Byway 9, Nebraska: BLM Wyoming BY CC 2.0

An important question, one that we investigate further in this article. Regular vehicle owners should know that individual state laws require that they insure their wheels at least to the relevant state minimum liability levels set down. Similarly, it makes sense that the owners of rental car vehicles - specifically rental car companies - should make sure the minimum state liability level is in place for their rental vehicles when renters collect their hire.

Quick Buck

Rental car operators are in business to make money, and one way they do this rather well is promoting their insurance products. Unless specifically asked by the renter, and it seems few actually do ask, rental companies are not renowned for being open and fair when it comes to answers. Well-trained rental agents are great actors when it comes to the fact that all rental car hires have state minimum liability insurances included. That is the law.

However, while reviewing the Rental Agreement, you can bet your bottom dollar that the rental agent is going to do their utmost to convince the renter to take their expensive Supplementary Liability Insurance (SLI) coverage. Some call it up selling; those in the know label it ‘extortion’.

One to Keep in Mind at the Rental Car Kiosk

Having established that the rental companies are quite slick when it comes to charging, there’s one thing they certainly won’t tell renters. Since liability coverage is optional, it is available through third-party specialists at a fraction of the premium you would have paid the rental giant. Click on this link and connect with a friendly Bonzah.com agent. No more smoke and mirrors, and that is our promise!

How State Liability Limits Work in Nebraska (For Example)

The following limits apply to renters using rental cars on Nebraska’s road network:

# Bodily Injury (BI) and Property Damage (PD) Minimum liability limit (Mll) is $25,000

# Uninsured motorist (UM) the minimum liability limit is $50,000

# Under Insured motorist (UIM) equates to $25,000

Reminder:  state liability limits differ from state to state - find out more by clicking here.

State minimum limits are insufficient compared to actual risk events, when compared to personal auto insurance or umbrella liability coverage available in the market. However, if your risk appetite is robust in nature, go with minimal limits for the state in which you reside. State coverage is better no liability coverage whatsoever.

Dispelling the Myth

Renters should be street wise when signing the RA, especially when armed with the knowledge that all insurance products offered by rental companies are optional.

Armed with this knowledge renters should:

  1. Know that state liability coverage applies to all rental car hire - limitations do apply
  2. Pay less and arrange your own insurance coverages through Bonzah.com - our comprehensive coverage includes affordable SLI
  3. Safely decline all options offered by the rental agent when using third party coverage
  4. Never opt for no insurance coverage at all - we call it the ostrich approach (head in the sand)

Wise Advice

Understanding insurance coverage in the rental car space makes excellent sense. Know the products offered, the costs applying, and understand the Ts & Cs. This really puts you in the driving seat. One last piece of sage advice; we recommend uploading your policies on your smartphone. This is just in case the agent asks for proof of the policy numbers and insurers before signing the RA.

Related Posts:

Why You Need Auto Rental Liability Insurance Coverage