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Do I Need to Buy Auto Insurance if I Rent a Car in South Carolina?

Do I Need to Buy Auto Insurance if I Rent a Car in South Carolina?

Most people will have to rent a car here and there. It’s common to rent cars when you travel for business or pleasure when your car is in the shop being repaired, and when you’re “in-between cars” because your old car was totaled in a crash.

Since all states require that drivers purchase auto insurance in order for them to drive legally, what does the law say about insuring rental cars? Does the car rental company insure the car for you, or do you have to purchase auto insurance for rental cars?

Do You Already Have Auto Insurance?

When you stand at the counter at a car rental business, one of the first questions the car rental staff will ask you is, “Do you have auto insurance on your personal vehicle?” or something of that sort. If you do have auto insurance, it may cover you when you drive a rental car. Since insurance policies differ, it’s wise to find out ahead of time. You can look at your insurance policy or call your insurance agent or the company itself to find out.

If you don’t have rental car coverage, but it’s an option, we recommend adding it to your policy. If you do have rental car coverage, that’s good! You will not have to purchase a separate policy from the car rental company but beware: if you are in an accident with the rental car, you are on the hook for your deductible.

“What about my credit card company?” If you use a credit card to pay for the rental car, the credit card company probably has some form of coverage in case you’re in a crash. However, that coverage would not be used first. Instead, your auto insurance policy would be used first and the coverage from the credit card company would be secondary.

When You Don’t Have Insurance

Maybe you take public transportation to work. Maybe you ride a bicycle to work, or maybe you’re in between vehicles for the meantime and you don’t have auto insurance. In that case, you will have the option of purchasing auto insurance from the car rental company directly – a seamless process that takes only seconds to complete.

If for some reason you don’t have your own personal vehicle, but you do find yourself renting cars often, we recommend buying rental car insurance. It can be more convenient than having to buy a new policy every time you rent a car for work or travel.

Did you get into a car accident while driving a rental car? If so, contact our firm to file a claim for compensation.


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