Jessica Sautter is a Content Writer for with a Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Michigan University in Elementary Education with a Major in Reading and a Minor in Mathematics.

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager

UPDATED: Nov 3, 2020

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Key takeaways...

  • All rental car companies offer automobile renters the option of buying insurance protection from them
  • Stand-alone rental car insurance covers you in case your rented car is damaged or stolen
  • You may be declined rental car insurance if you’ve been convicted of DUI

In one word, the answer to the question about being able to buy stand-alone rental car insurance policy is “yes.”

All rental car companies offer automobile renters the option of buying insurance protection from them.

This form of car insurance protects the rental car driver in case of costly repairs from an unexpected car accident that happens while driving the rented vehicle.

To get the best quotes for stand-alone rental car insurance, enter your zip code into the FREE box above!

Understanding Stand-Alone Rental Car Insurance Policies


According to a 2007 study of U.S. consumers and car rental insurance by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, 42 percent of the respondents said they were confused about getting insurance coverage while renting a car.

Given such a high degree of confusion, it is hardly surprising the study also found that 34 percent of the respondents bought rental car insurance just to make sure they were covered in case of an accident.

While this is an understandable move, it might be unnecessary if you already have full coverage through your personal car insurance company.

Simply put, stand-alone rental car insurance covers you in case your rented car is damaged or stolen.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, car rental companies also offer supplemental products such as Additional Liability Insurance (ALI), which usually costs $7-$14 per day, and covers the driver for up to $1 million in damages.

If you have low liability coverage on your personal auto insurance policy, the rental car insurance policy will become your primary protection against damages.

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Important Details

Keep reading for important details and tips on getting rental car insurance. Rental car insurance can be a boon if you are in an unfortunate car accident during your travels.

However, be careful and read the fine print. In many cases, your coverage is likely to be canceled if you caused the accident while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or if you were speeding or driving recklessly.

According to this article from Yahoo! Finance, drivers should be aware that even though they are called insurance policies, rental car insurance offered by a car rental agency is not a product of the insurance industry.

It is a copy of the auto insurance industry’s collision and comprehensive coverage.

In some cases, the driver might be required to pay a deductible!

Also, read the fine print very carefully before you sign on the dotted line of the rental car insurance agreement. The policies vary widely from company to company.

More Questions to Ask Before Buying


A Chicago Tribune article on rental car insurance suggests that prospective travelers make two phone calls before making a decision on rental car insurance.

The first call should be directed to their personal car insurance company or insurance agent. It is imperative that they ask if their own insurance policy covers their rental car.

Usually, the personal insurance with its deductibles and coverage should transfer to the rented car.

If you do not have adequate insurance or low coverage, you should ask if a rider could be added or if your insurance company could offer any form of gap coverage.

Also, remember to ask them about any stipulations about the length of the rental period. Some auto insurance companies might not cover your car rental beyond a certain designated number of days or weeks.

The second question should be directed to your credit card issuer. Many credit card companies offer you rental car insurance coverage if you charge the rental amount to that particular credit card.

In some cases, the credit card company might not offer personal liability coverage for bodily injury or death.

If you are traveling on business, you should ask your company if your car rental will be covered by the company’s insurance policy since your personal auto insurance policy will not be applicable.

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Who Should Buy

Whether you are on vacation or traveling for business, driving in a new place makes you more vulnerable to accidents.

This is more so if you are traveling to a new country, which has different road and traffic rules, as well as insurance requirements.

In most European countries, the rental costs are likely to cover insurance costs.

This is not applicable to American car rental agencies.

If you do not own a car and don’t have any non-owner car insurance, it is imperative that you buy rental car insurance from the rental agency or other trusted insurance source.

For a few dollars a day, not only will you have peace of mind, but in case of an accident, you will be covered for repair and medical bills.

If your personal car insurance policy has low liability limits, you should look into the option of buying additional insurance from the rental company or other insurance sources.

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Why You Should Buy

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If you are well covered by your personal auto insurance policy, homeowner’s policy, or credit card, it does not make financial sense to get rental car insurance.

Many car insurance companies will not cover any loss-of-use charges that the rental company will incur and pass on to you as the damaged car undergoes repair.

If you are driving out of the country, it might be necessary to purchase rental car insurance since your insurance company is likely to have limitations on coverage.

With most homeowner’s insurance deductibles being relatively high, it makes sense to spend a small amount per day to cover the replacement costs of traveling necessities.

How to Buy Rental Car Insurance

Most people buy rental car insurance at the counter of the rental car agency. Waiting your turn standing in line behind sometimes irritated and impatient people can be a sweaty, nerve-wracking experience.

Many people are also using the Internet to buy stand-alone rental car insurance from online insurance vendors.

Consumers must examine all the terms and conditions thoroughly, research the company, and get answers to all questions that arise before signing the dotted line.

For a stress-free driving holiday or busy business travel, enter your zip code below into the FREE search box below to save on all types of quotes now!