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Car Rental Insurance for Non Residents

Planning on taking a road trip through the USA? It can be an appealing idea to drive through the red canyons of Arizona, or along the sunny Florida coastline. However, before you arrive to pick up your rental car, it is important to make sure it is properly insured. You do not want to find yourself financially liable to pay costly damage fees. If you are traveling to the US from another country, this affects how your car rental insurance works. Firstly, you need to understand how the process works in the United States. 

Are US rental cars insured?

In the USA, rental cars are not insured. This means that local renters generally rely on their personal car insurance, credit card or travel insurance to cover them. Without any of these, renters are also given the option to purchase insurance products through the car rental company. These include:

  • COLLISION DAMAGE WAIVER (CDW) / LOSS DAMAGE WAIVER: This is an additional amount charged per day which lowers a renter's financial liability, in some cases to nothing. However, renters still must comply with the terms and conditions of their rental agreement, otherwise their insurance may not cover them.
  • PERSONAL ACCIDENT INSURANCE: This covers passengers for any medical expenses . In some cases, travel insurance may also cover this.
  • PERSONAL EFFECTS COVERAGE: This protects renters from any damage caused or theft of personal items left inside their rental car.
  • SUPPLEMENTAL LIABILITY INSURANCE: This provides coverage for renters if a third-party is injured as a result of an accident.

Traveling from Canada?

Canadian residents may be covered in the United States for their rental car by their personal car insurance. It is important to check the inclusions and exclusions of their policy to make sure. Without insurance, Canadian's are also given the option to purchase Collision and Loss Damage Waiver, as well as any other insurance products offered at the rental counter. 

Cars being driven in the US need to be insured. If you are renting a car in Canada and traveling to the US by road, you must have the necessary documents to present at the border to show the car is insured. 

Visiting from Australia, New Zealand or the UK?

Generally, residents of these countries are prompted to automatically purchase CDW as part of their car rental rate. This is why it is important at the reservation stage to specify your country of origin. Without CDW, renters are liable for the full cost of the rental vehicle, and travel insurance generally only covers foreign travellers for a limited excess amount. Renters can also purchase Personal Accident Insurance, Supplemental Liability Insurance and Personal Effects Coverage if it is not included already in their existing travel insurance policy.

Travelers can also purchase car rental insurance from their country of origin to cover them for damage caused to their vehicle. If you are visiting the US from Australia, you can purchase Hiccup insurance so you will not be liable to pay any additional costs. 

Read more about car rental insurance in the USA here

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