Any time you get behind the wheel, you’re responsible for the vehicle, the passengers, and others on the road. This is true whether or not the car you’re driving is yours, so it’s sufficient to say that you still need to be properly covered even if you’re handling a rental.
But does personal car insurance cover rentals or do you need to take out additional coverage for it? Some policies include endorsements that encompass non-owned automobiles. It’s best to check with your provider if your personal auto insurance has it; otherwise, you may have to explore other options just to be safe and legally compliant.
Is Rental Car Insurance Mandatory?
Car insurance is mandatory for any vehicle in Canada—even rentals. But before you take out a new plan, check with your insurance provider if you’re already covered. Most personal car insurance policies have optional coverage that includes rentals. Car rental companies also offer certain policies. With either option, it’s best to ensure that you have adequate coverage in case of an accident.
Where to Get Rental Car Insurance
Here are four common options for insuring a rental vehicle:
Personal Car Insurance
Check with your personal car insurance provider to see if you’re already covered for liability and damages to non-owned vehicles, such as rental cars, on your existing car insurance plan. This additional coverage should be similar to what you have for your own car. If you don’t have it, you may purchase it as an extra endorsement, making sure that you have mandatory liability coverage.
Many car rental companies offer coverages you can buy, but it may be costly and carry restrictions. If you choose this option, be sure to read the details of the coverage. Insurance from car rental companies can be expensive, but there are other options.
If you pay for the rental car with a credit card, you may already have insurance as some credit card companies often provide coverage for these vehicles. That said, check the coverage details and conditions to see if it’s sufficient (especially because liability coverage is rarely included).
If you’re traveling outside of Canada or the US, your travel insurance may offer coverage for your road trip. See what’s included and add more coverage as you see fit and as legally required by the place you’re going to.
Tips for Driving Rental Cars in Canada
Here are some tips to keep you secure when driving rental cars in and out of Canada.
Be Mindful When Crossing Borders
Most rental car insurance covers Canada and the US, so if you’re crossing more borders, do a bit more research to see if you need additional coverage.
Bring the Necessary Documents
Always bring your driver’s licence, car rental contract, a copy of your insurance policy (or proof of protection from your credit card company), and the contact details of your insurance provider on your trip.
Driving a rental car can be tricky because it’s not your own. You must be extra careful; have an adequate auto insurance policy to keep you covered for any situation.