As much as we would like travel to be spontaneous, it involves a lot of decision making. From researching and booking, to making itineraries and creating checklists. Trip planning is often exciting, but also stressful. This is especially true as we become our own travel agents and decide on areas where we have little experience.

One such area is car rental insurance; and while it’s confusing at the best of times, the last place to decide whether you need it is at the car rental agency.

Whether you’re renting a car to drive out-of-province or out-of-country, here’s how to evaluate if you need to purchase insurance coverage for your rental car and the key benefits you should look out for:

Do I need rental car insurance?

When you rent a car, you’re liable to pay in case of theft, accidental damage or third party claims. The last thing you want is to be unprepared while you’re in a foreign country, and the subsequent financial liability in case of an accident or damage to the rental car.

Regardless of where you get your car rental coverage , it’ll ensure peace of mind and you’ll know what to do in case of an unexpected event like an accident or medical emergency.

car rental insurance coverage
Ensure a worry-free road trip by doing your homework about rental vehicle coverage before you go.

To identify what kind of rental car insurance you may need, start by researching your options:

  • If you have personal car insurance or an auto insurance policy, the coverage transfers to your rental car. But coverage rates vary by province and they might not cover you wherever you travel. For example, if you’re a BC resident and have a Roadstar or Roadside Plus package with ICBC, you’re automatically covered for rental vehicles, but only in Canada or the U.S., but not in Mexico or any other country. Remember to confirm and clarify your existing plan or terms and conditions with your auto insurer before you go.
  • Your credit card may also include rental car insurance, but don’t just take it at face value. Contact your credit card company to learn more about how or when they’ll cover. Many will only guarantee coverage if the car rental is paid using the card and if the rental is in the name of the cardholder. Here are some key questions to help you evaluate credit card insurance coverage.
  • You could always get your insurance through the rental agency, but it’s not the cheapest and can easily double the daily cost of your rental. Besides, the collision damage waiver only covers the value of the car and you’ll still have to ensure coverage for any personal injury or loss of property.

Whether you use your own vehicle insurance, credit card or the rental company’s supplementary insurance,  you’re responsible for the car you rent. So, take the time to understand your options and coverage.

How TuGo’s Rental Car Insurance protects you

As you plan your road trips this year, check some of the key benefits of Rental Car Insurance that can help protect your rental vehicle against damage or loss in Canada or internationally.

TuGo’s Rental Car Protection provides up to $50,000 in coverage and offers worldwide coverage, including Mexico. Perfect for both Canadian residents & visitors to Canada, it can be purchased as an add-on optional coverage to  Single Trip Emergency Medical Insurance, Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption Insurance, Trip Interruption Insurance, Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance, Non-Medical Package, an All Inclusive Holiday Package, Visitor to Canada plan or Visitor to Canada Package. Benefits include:

  • Coverage per trip, per vehicle for loss due to physical damage to a leased/rented automobile while it is in your care or control. Damage can be due to theft, collision, fire or even inclement weather such as a windstorm or hail.
  • Also includes coverage for expenses such as towing, salvage, fire department charges, custom duties and reasonable loss of use. (Loss of use is the amount that rental car companies can claim from you based on their rental income loss while the car is in repair after an accident)

Hopefully you won’t have to use your insurance. But if you have an accident or other issue requiring a claim, make sure that you have copies of the police accident report and the lease or rental contract. You’ll need to provide both of these documents to your assistance/claims provider to get your claim processed.

car rental office at airport
Remember to keep your lease contract, maintain records or receipts and take photos where possible in case you need to make a claim during or after your trip.

In case of any motor vehicle accident, three types of insurance may come into play. Check out this guide to learn more about each, along with step-by-step information on how to make a motor vehicle accident claim.

Note that TuGo provides coverage only for physical damage to the rental car. You’ll still need third party liability insurance in case of any accidents on the road and resulting claims from other people due to medical injuries or damage to their car/property. You can purchase this through the rental car company or as an add-on to your auto insurance.

Along with benefits, also read the conditions and exclusions in the policy wording so you can be more informed. For instance TuGo’s Rental Car Protection won’t cover you if you don’t have a valid driver’s license, if you operated the car as a commercial vehicle or purchased collision damage waiver from the rental or leasing agency.

If you have any questions, ask your broker or call our Customer Service toll-free at 1-855-929-8846  and we’ll be happy to explain!  Car rental insurance may not be the top thing on your mind, but savvy travellers know how to make the most of available options in advance to save both time and money on their trip.

Now that you’re ready to hit the road, check out these 5 car rental tips and bookmark some ideas for your next road trip!

Happy road tripping!


Car Rental Insurance: What You Need to Know Before You Buy

Apr 16 2018