Skip nav to main content.
Mobile App
Find it for free on the App Store.
Get The App
Mobile App
Find it for free on the App Store.
Get The App

Personal Finance

Automobile Consideration FAQS

Frequently Asked Questions

  • If you have the right coverage, your auto insurance should cover the repairs to your car, as well as any injuries you or your passengers may have received. In general, to be fully covered for an accident with an uninsured motorist, you'll need to have both uninsured motorist coverage, which may be optional in your state, and collision coverage.

    Uninsured motorist coverage will insure against any bodily injury that you receive in an accident caused by an uninsured driver, an underinsured driver, or a hit-and-run driver. (An underinsured driver carries insurance limits below those required by state law.) This coverage will cover bodily injury to any passengers in your car and may also cover earnings that you or your passengers lose as a result of the accident.

    In some states, you can buy uninsured motorist coverage that will pay for property damage as well as bodily injury. But if you don't have this type of coverage, that's OK. Your collision coverage should cover your claim, regardless of who was at fault, once you've satisfied any deductible that applies.

    Review your insurance policy and call your insurance agent to file a claim or get more information.

  • You don't need automobile insurance before you buy a new car, but you will need it before you can drive the car home from the dealer's lot.

    If you know ahead of time the exact car you're going to buy, you can call your insurance agent with the information. After asking you several questions and getting all the necessary information, the agent will add the new car to your existing insurance policy.

    If you're at the automobile dealership and want to buy a car and immediately drive it home, call your agent from the dealership. Give the agent all the necessary information over the telephone, and the agent will issue an insurance binder that is effective immediately. This binder will serve as your insurance policy for the new car until your agent can add the new car to your existing policy.

    If you do not have an insurance agent, the car dealer may be able to refer you to one. Chances are, though, that the agent will not insure you over the telephone. Most agents require that you visit them in person to fill out an application and put down a deposit. The best thing to do is to establish a relationship with an insurance agent before you buy a car. This is to your advantage, as the agent will have time to research the best markets for you.

    Never drive a car without insurance. If you were in an accident and had no insurance, you could quickly be in severe financial and legal trouble. If you cannot get your new car insured right away, leave the car at the dealership. Get the insurance as soon as you can and then go pick up your car.

  • A standard auto insurance policy protects you from liability, property damage, and medical payment claims. Most states require car owners to purchase some level of liability and medical payments coverage (e.g., personal injury protection), while collision and other-than-collision (also known as comprehensive) coverage, which provide protection for damage to your car, remain optional.

    If you still owe money on your car, the financing company may require you to keep this optional coverage. But if you own your car, you may want to consider skipping the optional coverage altogether, since the deductible and premiums you'll pay may amount to more than what your car is actually worth.

  • That depends on where you go. If you visit Canada, your stateside auto insurance will offer you the same protection there that it does here. But if you decide to take a trip South of the Border, that's a different story.

    In Mexico, your automobile liability insurance--and generally your collision and other-than-collision (also known as comprehensive) coverage--is not valid. If you're in an accident, you may wind up in jail until you can prove that you can pay for any damages. So you'll probably want to purchase a Mexican auto insurance policy that will provide liability coverage and, if necessary, collision and other-than-collision coverages. If you're traveling to Mexico, ask your insurance company or travel club for information on these policies.

  • Insurers usually base their auto insurance rates on criteria such as your age, driving record, and the type of car you drive. Rates vary from company to company, however, so a good way to save money is to shop around--you may find that another insurer offers the same coverage at a lower rate.

    Some of your coverages may be subject to deductibles (money you must pay before your insurance kicks in). Raising your deductibles can also help you save money. For the most part, the higher your deductibles, the lower your premiums. Before you raise a deductible, though, you'll want to be sure you can cover the out-of-pocket expense should an accident occur. Are you more concerned with lower premiums or full insurance coverage?

    Many insurance companies offer credits or discounts. For example, an insurer might provide discounts to those who have safe driving records or to those who insure more than one car with them. Check to see what types of credits and discounts your insurer offers.

    To save money, you may also want to rethink your optional coverages. For example, if you have an older car in poor condition, it may make sense to drop your collision and comprehensive coverage if possible. A claim paid by your insurance company on such a car may be minimal and might not even exceed what you'd pay in premiums and deductibles.

  • According to insurance company statistics, 16- to 24-year-olds (particularly males) are the riskiest drivers on the road; they are responsible for more accidents than any other age group. The claims resulting from these accidents cost insurance companies a lot of money in settlements. To minimize their own risk, insurance companies pass their costs on to you by charging higher rates for these drivers than for any other age group. As a result, you'll want to look for ways to save on your insurance costs.

    Unless your insurance company insists otherwise, you may be able to delay insuring your teenage driver until he or she gets a driver's license. A learner's permit restricts a teen to driving only when a licensed adult is in the car. Consequently, many insurance companies consider teens with learner's permits as low-risk drivers and require little if any additional premium to cover them. Learner's permits are good for 60 to 180 days, so if you're not required to insure a teen with one, you can save two to six months' worth of premium expenses.

    Once your teen has a driver's license, adding him or her to your policy will most often be your least expensive option. You may have discounts on your policy (e.g., multiple-car and safe-driver discounts) that reduce your rates; these discounts might not be available to your teen. Do, however, ask your insurance agent if your teen qualifies for any discounts on his or her own. For instance, some insurance companies honor driver-education and good-student discounts.

    But if you drive a vehicle that's particularly costly to insure, it may be better to buy your teen an inexpensive car and insure him or her separately. If the car you buy for your teen isn't worth a lot to begin with, you may be able to waive the collision and other-than-collision (also known as comprehensive) coverage and save money on the premium. Ask your insurance agent to help you compare the numbers to see which route might be the best one to take.

  • If you have other-than-collision (also known as comprehensive) coverage, you should be covered. That part of your auto policy covers you against losses due to such things as fire, water, and theft. Each peril is listed separately in the contract and is usually subject to its own deductible. Broken glass is covered but, unlike the other items covered under the other-than-collision portion of your policy, it typically comes without a deductible. Your auto insurance company should cover the entire cost of repairing or replacing your windshield. This is relatively inexpensive coverage and usually worth having, since windshields can easily be cracked by debris on the highway.

    Since other-than-collision coverage is optional in most states, there's a chance you don't have it. You'll have to check your policy or call your insurer to find out. If you don't have this coverage, you may have to pay the repair bill yourself.

  • If you're financing all or some part of your new car's cost, and you want to calculate your monthly payment in advance, you will need to know the amount you are financing, the interest rate, and the loan term (i.e., the number of months to full repayment). If you decide to lease a car, it is a little more difficult to estimate the monthly payment because it's based on the car's expected depreciation over the lease term. That amount varies, depending on the make and model of the automobile. In either case, to get a better idea of what your monthly payment will be you can consult one of the many online financial calculators that are available on the Internet.

  • Your friend's auto insurance policy should cover you if you get into an accident. But if you want additional liability protection, you have the option of buying a nonowners policy that covers liability, medical payments, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This would give you added protection in case you cause an accident.

    You should discuss this insurance question with your friend and find out how much coverage he or she carries. Is the coverage just the required minimums, or has he or she purchased higher amounts of coverage?

  • It depends. If you get into an accident with your own car while on company business, your own auto insurance policy will probably cover the damages first. Then, if your company has a commercial auto insurance policy, this policy should probably cover any remaining expenses. In some cases, the commercial policy might provide the first level of coverage, depending on the way it's structured. The first step is to find out whether your employer has a commercial auto insurance policy (it probably does if it requires employees to drive their own cars on company business). If so, find out which policy would kick in first in the event of an accident.

    If you're self-employed, you have a couple of options to protect against the financial risk of car accidents. First, you can increase the liability coverage under your own auto policy. Second, you can purchase your own commercial auto insurance policy. You might want to consider this option if you use your car primarily for business-related driving. For more information, contact several insurers and describe your situation.

  • When you have a car accident, get as much information about the accident as you can right away. If the accident involved another car, you'll need to get the driver's name and address, insurance information, license plate number, type of car, telephone number, and anything else you feel is important. If there were witnesses, get their names and phone numbers, and get a copy of the police report as well. If anyone was injured, it would be helpful to know whether the injured person(s) was taken to the hospital by ambulance.

    When you have collected all the necessary information, immediately call your insurance agent or insurance company claims representative to report the accident. Your agent or company representative will fill out a claim report with you and guide you through any special instructions. The insurance company will assign a claims adjuster to your claim to assess the damage on your automobile and determine the amount of reimbursement you should receive.

    If you were in an accident involving another automobile and you were not at fault, you may have to call the other driver's insurance company to report the claim. But always call your own agent or company representative first.

    Some people hire their own independent claims adjuster. This adjuster represents you and works with the insurance company to be sure you receive a fair settlement.

    Many insurance companies are required by their state to settle claims within a certain period of time. Most automobile claims are routine and can be settled quickly.

  • ou should look for a company that has been selling auto insurance for a number of years and has a strong reputation in the industry. You can learn a lot about different companies simply by talking to people you know and trust. How satisfied have your friends, family members, and coworkers been with their insurance companies' level of customer service and handling of claims? A company's reputation for paying claims in a timely manner will be very important when you have an accident, theft, or other loss. Word-of-mouth references will help you narrow down the field to the most service-oriented companies.

    There are several other issues to consider when shopping for an insurance company. For example, is the insurer financially stable? This is important because you want to be certain that the company you choose will be around for a long time and have no trouble paying its claims. A number of independent firms rate insurance companies based on their financial strength and other factors. Of course, you also want to make sure that a company can provide the auto insurance coverage you need at a good price. Premiums for the same coverage often vary widely among companies, so it pays to shop around. You should also find out what discounts and optional coverages are available from each insurer.

    In most cases, your best bet is to work with a good insurance agent or broker. One of these professionals will help you find a reputable company that can meet your coverage needs without straining your budget. However, be aware that you may be able to save money by buying auto insurance from a company that sells policies directly to consumers. If you choose this path, a variety of on-line and print resources are available that you can use to research companies and coverages. You can also contact your state insurance department for information on different companies.

  • First, check with your insurance agent to be sure you really are considered a risky driver. Of course, you'll want to avoid the classification if possible, and such definitions vary by company and by state. The classification of risky driver includes the number and type of accidents that you're involved in, whether you are at fault in the accidents, and the type of automobile you drive. The last three to six years of your driving history will determine the classification.

    Some private insurance companies specialize in providing automobile insurance for risky drivers and those who drive racing or sports cars. This insurance is very expensive, however. If you can't buy insurance from a private company, you may be able to buy it through your state program, but again, it will be expensive. The available coverages and amounts of insurance will probably be far more limited than those in the regular or preferred market. Check with your state's insurance department.

    There are ways you can avoid the label of risky driver. The most important is to become a safe driver. You can also change the car you drive--premiums for sports cars are much more expensive than for regular sedans. You don't have to sell your favorite sports car, but you can save money by limiting the miles you put on it annually.

    Your insurance agent will know the best markets for risky drivers and can guide you.

  • Along with your regular automobile insurance, you should consider purchasing guaranteed auto protection (GAP) insurance for your leased car. GAP insurance pays the difference between what you owe on your lease or auto loan and what your insurance pays if your vehicle is damaged beyond repair (totaled) or stolen.

    Why is this important? If your vehicle is totaled or stolen, your auto insurance policy will pay only the actual cash value (ACV) of your vehicle. That's the depreciated value of your car. The ACV may be substantially less than what you owe on your loan or lease. You must make up the difference out of pocket unless you have GAP insurance.

    GAP insurance can provide valuable protection during the early years of your car, when it depreciates the fastest. GAP insurance may also be required by some lenders or lessors. However, once the outstanding balance on your lease or loan drops below the value of your car, you'll no longer need GAP coverage. At that point, you should cancel your GAP policy.

    The cost of GAP insurance will vary from one insurer to another, so it pays to shop around. The cost will also depend on the type of car you buy or lease, and its value.

  • You may be able to, but it's not always a good idea. Many bad things can happen to your car, even when it's not being driven. The other-than-collision (also known as comprehensive) coverage portion of your auto policy insures you against damage to your vehicle caused by fire, flooding, theft, vandalism, and other events. And it's also important to remember that you may continue to need auto insurance coverage if you drive while on vacation. But if you're confident there's little risk that your car will be damaged or stolen while you're gone, it may be possible to temporarily suspend or reduce your coverage.

    Suspending or reducing your coverage may be difficult, though. Your state probably requires that you carry a minimum amount of insurance coverage while your vehicle is registered. So, unless you intend to suspend or cancel your registration, you may not be able to completely suspend your auto insurance. However, depending on the laws in your state, you may be able to suspend parts of your policy--ask your insurer. But if you have a car loan, the lender may require that you keep your car fully insured. Check your loan documentation carefully before you take steps to suspend any portion of your insurance coverage.

    But don't just stop paying your premiums and let your policy lapse while you're away. If you do, you may have trouble getting affordable auto insurance in the future, because this type of cancellation will be listed in the insurance company records and may even show up on your credit report.

  • Yes. The other-than-collision (also known as comprehensive) coverage section of your auto insurance policy protects your vehicle against damage caused by something other than an accident, such as a natural disaster like hail.

    Of course, what you get as a settlement may not cover your full loss. You'll be responsible for paying the out-of-pocket deductible first. After that, the insurance settlement kicks in to reimburse you for some or all of the remaining balance. The amount you get depends on whether your coverage is based on the replacement cost or on the actual cash value of the damaged parts. Unless your policy specifies that you have replacement cost coverage, you'll be reimbursed based on the actual cash value.

    As you might guess, replacement cost is the total cost of repairing the damage to your vehicle using parts of similar type and quality. The actual cash value is the replacement cost less depreciation (i.e., the decrease in the value of the parts due to age and wear and tear). The older the car when the damage is done, the greater the deduction for depreciation. Although replacement cost coverage is more expensive, the extra protection may be worth it in the long run if your car is particularly valuable.

  • What you pay for auto insurance depends on quite a few variables, including your:

    • Sex
    • Age
    • Residence
    • Driving record
    • Level and type of coverage

    As a result, a driver in his or her 20s who lives in the city will generally pay more than a middle-aged, suburban soccer mom for the same coverage on the same make of car. But that doesn't explain why one sport utility vehicle (SUV) could cost either one of these individuals more to insure than another, similar SUV.

    In addition to the factors listed above, insurance companies consider statistical data available to them. By doing so, they can estimate how likely it is that a particular type of vehicle will be involved in an accident, vandalized, or stolen. They can also analyze their own and industrywide data concerning the average amounts of claims paid for different types of vehicles. To minimize their risk, insurance companies adjust their rates accordingly. So, the SUV on every thief's wish list is likely to cost you more to insure than the one even known felons will pass by. Similarly, the SUV known to cost the most to repair when it's involved in a fender bender will increase the premium you'll have to pay to insure against that potential loss.

    The experiences that affect insurance rates can sometimes vary from company to company. If one company has paid more claims on a particular type of SUV than another company has, the first company's rates to insure that type of SUV might be higher than the second company's rates. As always, in your efforts to get the best deal you can, shop around and get quotes from several insurers.

    Note: In some states it is the state, not the insurer, that decides how each vehicle is rated.

  • Like anything else, the cost of your auto insurance can vary depending on where you purchase your policy and what state you live in. As a result, you'll want to get quotes from more than one insurance company. How many do you need? That's in part up to you and your own comfort level, but three or four should be enough for comparison purposes.

    When you get your quotes, you'll want to know you're comparing prices for like products. Before you start asking for numbers from the insurance companies, decide on a few numbers of your own. Determine what deductible you want, and remember that you can reduce your premium if you're willing to choose a higher deductible. Find out if your state requires any minimum amounts of liability and other types of coverage. Then decide if you need to carry more extensive coverage than your state requires. Whatever you decide, make sure the quotes you get are all for the same coverage amounts so you can compare apples to apples.

    Ask each company if you qualify for any discounts. You might be eligible for a reduction in your premium if you insure several cars under one policy or if you carry all your insurance (e.g., life insurance, homeowners insurance) with one company. If you've taken a driver's education class within the last five years, you may qualify for a lower rate. Low annual mileage, an antitheft device, or air bags may also entitle you to a break on the price. These are just a few examples of discounts that many insurers offer.

    When you're ready to get the quotes, you might do this through an independent insurance agent or broker. In addition to reviewing your needs and offering advice, the agent will get quotes from several companies for policies tailored to your situation. If you want to do more of the work yourself, you can contact insurance companies by telephone or on the Internet. You can also use an on-line quote service to help with your shopping.

  • Simply put, yes. You can get out of a car lease, but it won't be cheap. A lease is a contract, which means it's a legally binding agreement. Some contracts contain loopholes or escape clauses. However, leasing companies pay attorneys big money for these carefully drafted, loophole-free agreements. Leasing companies are in the business of leasing cars. Technically, the dealership sells the vehicle to the leasing company. You then lease the vehicle from the leasing company, not from the dealership.

    Most agreements contain acceleration clauses stating that the remainder of your lease payments will be due immediately if you break your lease. If that's not enough to deter you, the leasing company will also tack on a heavy penalty. Early termination fees generally range between $200 and $400. In general, that doesn't mean you simply pay the fee and walk away. The leasing company may require you to make all of the remaining payments, whether you have 2 or 22 payments left. So be certain you understand the terms of the lease before you sign anything. You have a right to this information under the federal Consumer Leasing Act, and obtaining it from the leasing company should be easy.

    Keep in mind that the leasing company bases your lease payments on the car's expected decrease in value, known as its depreciation. The depreciation value is the difference between the manufacturer's suggested retail price and the estimated residual value (i.e., the value of the car at the end of the lease term). The estimated residual value is usually stated in your contract. The cost of depreciation is spread out in equal payments over the term of your lease, but a car depreciates much more rapidly in the early years. So you can see how it would be to the company's detriment to let you just walk away early from your lease. Therefore, it's important to think about your leasing needs before you sign the contract. Once you sign on the dotted line, you could be in it for the long haul. You'll pay dearly if you choose to terminate early.

  • If you're in an accident, and your insurance company decides that your car has been totaled, that means the company believes the cost of repairing the car is greater than the car's value. The insurance company is then obligated to "make you whole." This means that it has to put you back into essentially the same financial position you were in before the accident happened. To do this, the insurer writes you a settlement check for the actual cash value of the car, less your policy's deductible. If you think the insurance company has assigned your car an actual cash value that's too low, you can try to negotiate a higher settlement amount.

    You can have your car independently appraised at your own expense. Get a detailed written inspection of the car and give this information to your insurance company. If the independent appraisal is significantly higher than the insurer's own, the insurer may be willing to increase your settlement amount.

    Finally, if you're still dissatisfied with the settlement offer, you can take the insurance company to arbitration or to court. Doing so (particularly court) can be costly, so you'll have to decide if the increase you might expect in the settlement offer will be worth the expense of trying to get it.

  • If you're dissatisfied with the repair work done on your car, the first thing to do is speak with the manager of the repair shop. Explain what your complaint is and what you'd like done to resolve your problem. A reputable establishment will stand by its work and ensure that the job is done right. Also, the laws in some states hold registered auto repair and body shops legally responsible for the safety and road-readiness of their work.

    If the repair shop refuses to cooperate, don't sign anything indicating that you're satisfied with the work. Contact your insurance agent or your insurer's claims department. They may be able to intervene directly and work something out with the repair shop. This is especially true if the shop is a preferred establishment recommended by the insurance company. If you have your repairs done at such a shop, the repair and claims-paying process may be sped up. Some insurers guarantee the quality of the work performed by preferred shops.

    If neither the repair shop nor your insurance company is of any help, contact your state insurance commissioner's office and ask for assistance in resolving your complaint, perhaps through arbitration. Finally, if all these avenues fail, you may need to go to small-claims court or hire an attorney.

  • It is, as long as your daughter is listed on your insurance policy as either a principal driver or an occasional driver. You should check with your insurance company to see which designation it prefers. Typically, a driver will be considered a principal driver on the policy if that person is the registered owner of the car, drives the car to work or school, or drives the car more than anyone else. Keep in mind that once your child is listed on your policy, your premiums will increase.

  • Medical payments coverage is one of several coverage parts found in your automobile insurance policy. It insures against medical bills that you, your family members, your passengers, or any pedestrians incur as a result of an accident involving your car. It also covers any medical bills incurred if you or your family members are injured as pedestrians. Medical payments coverage pays regardless of fault.

    Whether you should buy medical payments coverage depends on how your policy provides coverage, which varies by state. In some states, your medical payments coverage will pay only after certain other automobile coverage parts and your health insurance have been exhausted. If you have adequate limits for the other coverage parts, and your health insurance is sufficient, you may not need medical payments coverage. Before you decide if it's necessary, check to see when the medical coverage begins in your state and how it coordinates with your health insurance.

    Something else to consider is the type of vehicle you drive. For example, if you own a motorcycle, your automobile insurance policy can be much more limited in coverage than if you own a car. As a result, you may need medical payments coverage to fill the gaps.

    If you frequently drive passengers who are not members of your family, consider adding medical payments coverage to your policy. If you have an accident and your passengers do not have adequate health insurance, the medical payments part of your auto policy could be required to pay their medical bills.

  • There is no definitive answer--you must determine which option works best for you. Use these simple guidelines to help you decide. How long will you keep the car? Leases typically run two to four years. If you like the idea of driving a new car every few years, consider leasing. If you prefer to keep a car until you drive it into the ground, or like the idea of ownership because it gives you equity in the car, consider buying. How large of a monthly payment can you afford? When you buy a car, your payments are based on the total purchase price of that car. Compare this with leasing, where your payments are based on the car's expected decrease in value over the term of the lease (its depreciation). The lease payments may be low enough to put you behind the wheel of your dream car, without the need to worry about a down payment. Usually, you will only need to come up with your first payment and a security deposit to secure a lease. How will you treat the car? Analyze your driving habits. A typical lease will include 12,000 to 15,000 miles per year. If you exceed this amount, you may have to pay extra (e.g., $0.15 per mile) at the end of your lease. Therefore, if you travel great distances for work or intend to take any cross-country trips, buying may be the better option. Also, consider your surroundings. Most lease agreements allow only normal wear and tear. If you know you are tough on your car, or if you live in a neighborhood with only on-street parking, a lease may not be right for you. Remember, if you lease a car, you must pay for any nonwarranty repairs (e.g., a dent in the door), but those repairs benefit the leasing agency, not you. When you buy a car, it's yours to do with as you please--you decide if the dent in the door gets fixed.

  • The least expensive way to buy a car is to pay cash for it, because with cash, you can buy only what you can afford, and you avoid paying the finance charges associated with a car loan. Nonetheless, the reality is that you may not be able to afford to pay cash for a new car. If you buy a used car with your cash, you may be saving the purchase price and the interest payments. However, you run the risk of the potentially higher cost of repairs, and you could also be buying someone else's car problems.

    Conversely, financing your car allows you to pay off other debts with your cash. For example, suppose you have credit card debts charging interest at the rate of 18 percent and you can get a car loan at the rate of 10 percent. Here, it makes good financial sense to use your cash to pay off the debt with the highest interest rate and then take out a car loan at a lower interest rate.

  • In most states, the auto insurance industry operates under a traditional fault-based system. Under this system, insurance companies make payments based on each person's degree of fault in an accident. However, long and costly court battles are often required to determine who was at fault in many accidents. In an attempt to reduce this problem, 12 states (Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Utah) have adopted an alternative no-fault system of insurance.

    Under this no-fault system, your insurer automatically pays for your damages, regardless of fault, up to a specified limit when you have an accident. In exchange for this guaranteed payment, you forgo some of your rights to sue the other driver involved in the accident. By the same token, you are protected from being sued if you are at fault in an accident. Elements of no-fault exist in all auto insurance coverage. For example, medical payments and property damage are typically paid regardless of fault.

    Under a pure no-fault system, your insurer pays for any economic damages such as medical bills and lost wages up to the policy limit, and you are completely prohibited from suing a negligent driver for noneconomic damages (e.g., pain and suffering, loss of companionship). Currently, no states operate under a pure no-fault system, and the no-fault states listed above have adopted a modified no-fault system. This means that your insurer still pays for your economic damages up to the policy limit, but you may be allowed to sue for noneconomic damages if the amount of these damages exceeds a specified threshold.

  • You may already be covered under your own automobile insurance policy for collision damage that occurs when you're driving a rented car. The best way to find out for sure is to call your insurance agent or insurance company representative.

    Many auto insurance policies automatically cover collision damage to a rented vehicle. Other policies cover the damage only if you purchase an endorsement from the insurance company. Such an endorsement provides additional coverage for your auto and is attached to your main policy.

    Even if your auto policy provides collision coverage for rented vehicles, be careful about the policy language. Read the policy carefully and go over it with your agent. The language is very specific about who is covered and who is not. The policy will also specify what types of vehicles are covered, in which geographic locations they are covered, and for what purposes they should be used for the coverage to apply. For example, one policy may cover collision damage to a car you rent only if the vehicle is a private passenger automobile that you rented in the United States or Canada. Other restrictions could be that the auto has to be driven by you or a member of your family who lives in your house. Companies can further restrict coverage by requiring that the auto be driven only for personal--as opposed to business--use.

    If you rent a vehicle that your own auto policy does not cover (e.g., a truck), there is probably a way to insure it temporarily. Check with your agent well ahead of time.

How can we help you succeed?