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Does my car insurance policy cover rental cars?


You’ve got the keys to your new rental car and are excited to put it in gear to officially mark the start of your vacation. But before you drive off into the sunset, ensure you have the coverage you need. You can then enjoy your vacation with the peace of mind that you’re properly protected.
 
When renting a car there are several insurance options for you to choose from. We’ll walk you through each option to help you find the coverage that’s right for you and your next trip.
 
Your current car insurance policy
Your rental car may be covered under your own car insurance policy if you purchased additional liability coverage for damage to vehicles you don’t own. This endorsement is called "Legal Liability for Damage to Non-Owned Automobiles" and is often referred to as the "Rental Vehicle Insurance Endorsement" or "OPCF 27”. Adding this endorsement to your policy extends your existing coverage so it will cover any rental vehicle in your care. You can add this endorsement to your existing policy for a relatively small fee — especially when compared to the rental car company’s daily rates.
 
The Rental Vehicle Insurance Endorsement only provides coverage for vehicles rented in Canada or the United States, so if you’re travelling internationally you’ll need to look at other coverage options. Talk to your insurance provider before renting a car to make sure your endorsement applies and that you have the coverage you need.
 
Your credit card
Your credit card may provide some coverage for damage caused to your rental car in the event of a collision. Typically, for this coverage to apply, you will need to charge the full amount of the rental car to your credit card and decline the insurance offered by the rental car company. In most cases, your credit card company will have additional limitations to the coverage offered and to when it applies. Contact your credit card company to learn more about the limitations of the coverage they can provide you on your next trip.
 
Insurance purchased from the rental car company
The rental company you are renting your car from will offer a collision damage waiver, also known as a loss damage waiver, that will cover damage to the rental car while in your care. This insurance is usually charged as a daily rate, in addition to your daily rental charge. If you buy the collision damage waiver, the responsibility for any damage to the rental car will be transferred from you to the rental car company. However, there are usually exclusions for the type of protection offered and when it applies. Always read the fine print closely to decide if it’s right for you and your travel plans.
 
While car insurance likely isn’t a part of vacation planning you’re excited about, it’s important to know that you have the right coverage. Connect with your insurance provider  to learn more about your current car insurance policy and what coverage options are available to you when renting a vehicle.
 
If you have questions about your current OTIP car insurance policy, contact us at 1-888-494-0090. If you’re shopping for car insurance and would like to get a quote, connect with an OTIP broker today at 1-888-892-4935.

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