Understanding Rental and Non-Owned Vehicle Insurance

Everyone wants assurance that he or she is fully protected on the road. Most drivers understand the need for comprehensive, reputable insurance when driving their own vehicles. When you must drive a rental vehicle or operate one that is not your own, having a clear understanding of insurance regulations and coverage in these situations is vital. Don’t be blindsided by finding yourself not as fully covered as you thought. Educate yourself on how insurance works for rentals and other non-owned vehicles, and find out why Bieritz Insurance Agency is a strong choice for all of your insurance needs.

Knowledge is Power

This cannot be stressed enough. Do your research before operating any vehicle that is not your own or lending a vehicle to others. Conduct a thorough review of your own policy, and take the time to call your insurance company to review your level of coverage, especially if you are considering lending your car to someone else. Clarify the specifics of your policy, such as deductibles, coverage limitations and coverage for rental vehicles.

Honesty is Key

When speaking with your agent, be forthright. Let your agent know the specifics of your situation, even if you are considering lending your convertible to your second cousin for prom. You may know that seems risky, and may not want to be upfront, but it is critical that you review the situation with your company’s representative as fully and honestly as possible. Factors such as age or the frequency of lending may affect the car’s coverage.

Basics are important

Clarify with your provider about how your insurance coverage works, so that there is no costly misunderstanding. Also, be sure to review how insurance is applied in the main categories of operating a non-owned car:

Coverage for Rented Vehicles:

Many rental companies will lure you in with a great weekly rate, then pressure you to add on rental insurance. If you have already done your homework and thoroughly reviewed your own policy, you will be ready to make a wise decision. Under most comprehensive policies, you have coverage for vehicles that are similar to your own. However, if you are on a blowout vacation that includes a luxury or brand new vehicle, your policy for your ten-year-old sedan may leave gaps. In this case, rental insurance is wise, even if it doubles the cost of the rental. Rental companies can tack on fees and penalties in the case of an accident that won’t be covered by the renter’s insurance. Also, if you are reserving and paying for the rental by credit card, the credit card may provide secondary or gap insurance. Take time to find out.

It is important to weigh out all of these considerations when renting any vehicle. Make decisions ahead of time so that you will not succumb to pressure at the counter.

Coverage for Borrowed Vehicles:

The basic rule of thumb is, insurance follows the car, not the driver. In most situations, the insurance policy on the car will cover the car when it is borrowed. A comprehensive policy should include situations of lending or renting the vehicle. A deductible will be required. It should be worked out ahead of time who will pay the deductible in case of an accident. An awkward conversation at the beginning is better than an angry confrontation later. In all cases, make sure that the vehicle’s registration and proof of insurance is kept conveniently in the glove compartment for easy retrieval.

What if the borrowed vehicle is involved in a major accident, such as causing the pile-up of several cars? In the event that an accident exceeds the limitations of the owner’s policy, a claim can then be filed with the driver’s insurance company in order to cover the gaps. This is why it is important not to lend to an uninsured driver unless you specifically purchase short-term insurance. This insurance, known as Endorsement 27, covers “civil liability for damage caused to vehicles of which named insured is not owner” and is provided by many companies.

Considerations of the proper insurance in times of renting, borrowing or lending a vehicle are important, yet complex. If you have need to rent or hire a vehicle, turn to the professionals for guidance. Call on Bieritz Insurance Agency to provide you with the information and insurance services that you need. We offer a wide-range of vehicle coverage products and possess the knowledge to help you make decisions that will save time, money and headache, even in most challenging situations. We have the ability to offer our clients a multitude of options because we work with over twenty providers to find exactly the right product to fit the need.

Contact Bieritz Insurance today in Cooperstown at 607-547-2951 or by email at agent@bieritzinsurance.com. You may also reach our office in Morris at 607-263-5270 or at agent@morrisinsuranceny.com.