What are some alternative Rental Car Insurance coverage options in the United States?

U.S. Federal Law

Do you already have (or have access to) Rental Car Insurance?

You may already have (or have access to) existing Rental Car Insurance coverage that meets your needs by providing sufficient coverage for your risk profile.

Start by considering the following possible alternatives:

✅ In the United States, private car insurance coverage might extend to cover rentals as well, but if a claim is made for rental car damages, your annual car insurance premiums will likely increase, you will most likely need to pay a deductible/excess, and you need to be careful about what is and what is and is not covered.

For example, your private car insurance coverage will most likely not extend to cover a rental car that is rented for business purposes.

There are large variations in what your private car insurance covers when you rent a car.  

✅ Travel insurance might indirectly cover rental car damage (or maybe not as certain rental vehicles are generally excluded from coverage such as motorcycles, vans & campers) and if you are travelling overseas it is recommended especially for medical expenses in the event of a collision or otherwise.

Travel Insurance is still recommended for Australians visiting a country that has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) to provide financial assistance with "medically necessary" care (which incl. emergency care and care for an illness or injury that can't wait until you return home) for Australians visiting the following 11 countries: Belgium, Finland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Republic of Ireland, Slovenia, Sweden & the United Kingdom.

✅ Insurance coverage might automatically apply if you decide to pay the rental fees using your credit or debit card, but care needs to be taken to understand what countries are covered if you are OK with secondary coverage (as this is the norm for this type of insurance), and what is and is not covered;

Expedia or Priceline and many other online booking platforms may include an option to buy collision coverage for circa $11 a day (the coverage is generally provided by a third-party insurance company such as Allianz or AXA); or

✅ Third-party collision coverage such as Bonzah which costs around $10-$20 a day is yet another option to consider, though this is something that most likely requires planning before you pick up your rental car.


This FAQ was written by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

Important Notice:

This FAQ is intended for general interest + information only.

It is not legal advice, nor should it be relied upon or used as such.

We recommend you always consult a lawyer for legal advice specifically tailored to your needs & circumstances.