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Do I need to add insurance when renting a car?

Since the State of Illinois requires all drivers to carry auto insurance, you will most likely already have insurance before renting. The big question, however, is if it extends its coverage to rental vehicles.

Some insurance companies in Illinois already have some sort of built-in rental coverage along with the primary policy so long as the rental was for personal use. The insurance, however, may be available if you have comprehensive or collision coverage. You will have to verify this with your insurer to make sure you are covered before renting.

If car rental insurance is not included in your personal policy, you may contact your credit card company if they cover rental insurance if you charge the cost to your credit card. If they do, this will most likely be just physical damage coverage and not liability coverage. This means they will not cover the “diminished value” gap – the value of the car before and after the accident – and the “loss of use” which is the rental’s daily lost income while under repair.

If you’ve exhausted the other two options and are left with getting rental insurance, make sure you read the agreement. Car rental insurance may get relatively higher than your daily base rental fee, ranging from $9 to $30 daily additional expense on top of the daily rent. While car rentals may offer insurance in the agreement, stolen vehicles may not be covered.

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