Should you purchase extra rental car insurance?

Click to play video: 'Is rental car insurance a necessity or a luxury?'
Is rental car insurance a necessity or a luxury?
WATCH: Car rental companies may pressure you to buy insurance, but do you really need it? Anne Drewa explains what you need to do for the best protection, before it's too late – May 23, 2016

If you are renting a car while on vacation, checking your coverage before you travel could save you money.

Many of us are already covered by our personal auto insurance and credit card as long as both provide sufficient coverage.

“You don’t want to pay for something you don’t need,” says Aaron Sutherland from the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

BC residents who have Roadside Plus or the Road Star package through ICBC are covered for rental cars in Canada and the U.S., including  Hawaii and Alaska.

ICBC coverage does not cover car rental insurance in Central America, Europe, Australia or Mexico.

ICBC spokesperson Sam Corea says, “the basic insurance doesn’t cover the rental side of things. If you have Road Star or Roadside Plus, which is optional insurance you can purchase when you renew your insurance every year, you do have coverage for rental vehicles.”

Story continues below advertisement

For third party liability coverage, the limits are provided by Road Star up to $1 million and Roadside Plus up to $2 million.

Should you purchase the optional collision damage waiver or loss damage waiver, the expensive ad-on coverage which limits or eliminates your financial liability for any damage to the rented car? Industry experts say it’s unnecessary when you have ICBC ‘s Road Star or ICBC’s rental vehicle coverage, unless you’re renting overseas or in Mexico.

Credit cards may also provide coverage as long as you book the rental car with your credit card under your name. “It can be more costly at the rental counter and oftentimes your credit card will protect you, but give your credit card company a call and find out what you are protected for,” says Sutherland.

Remember not all credit cards offer rental car protection.

Also, outside of North America, your credit card may not cover you.

Credit card companies have their own restrictions and exclusions, so check with your card company before you arrive at the rental counter.

Sponsored content