Renting a car can provide you with the freedom to travel at will and convenience. Insurance against accidents and any eventuality can enhance that experience. In most cases, rental companies have minimal coverage on their vehicles. The first question you should ask yourself when renting a vehicle is – Do I need additional insurance when renting a car?
You can choose from the many types of insurances to protect the rented car or the occupants in case of an accident. Along with these insurances, there also is third-party insurance which protects the driver from any liability outside the car.
What is Supplemental Liability Insurance?
Generally, most rental vehicles come with minimum third-party liability insurance (also known as TPL). This means that if in a collision or accident with your rented car another driver or person is injured or any property including vehicles is damaged, this insurance will cover the claims made by the other person i.e., the third party.
In some cases, the basic TPL is quite low and you can purchase Supplemental liability insurance (SLI) to cover you up to the mandatory limits in case of an accident. SLI is also known as accidental liability insurance (ALI) and is offered as a separate product by car rental agencies.
What are the coverage limits provided by SLI?
The SLI coverage limits depend upon the rental agency and also the statutory limits of the country. In the U.S. for example, the maximum combined single limit of liability is $1,000,000 or $2,000,000. The final amount will depend on the type and class of vehicle, or the type of physical injury, death, or the extent of property damage for each accident.
Do You Need Supplemental Liability Insurance?
In most countries, third party liability is mandatory and included in the car rental. You need to check on the statutory amount covered by this insurance before going for SLI. If you are not comfortable with the statutory amount then it is better to buy excess insurance or SLI.
If you are hiring a car in the USA and/or Canada:
Most states in the US do not require SLI and so the car rental prices reflect that. However, you need to check the states you intend to travel to for more information. In Canada too, third-party liability is included in the car rental and you can opt-out of buying SLI. Please note that SLI will not protect you from paying the excess in the event that the rental car is damaged. The USA and Canada Car Rental Excess Insurance offered by CarInsuRent offers a piece of mind and reduces your excess to zero in the event that the rental vehicle is damaged.
When you hire a car in Europe:
SLI is mandatory in all EU countries, and car rental charges include the insurance premium. You can still be charged extra as you are liable for high excess costs in the event of a claim. CarInsuRent’s European Car Hire Excess Insurance provides a complete piece of mind when renting a vehicle in Europe, and covers the parts of the rented car that are not covered by the rental company.
See How Much You Can Save on Your Car Rental Insurance
If you are driving a rental car in other Worldwide territories?
You need to check in the SLI requirement in the country you wish to travel to. Most car insurances offer a worldwide SLI coverage which comes out cheap compared to individual countries. This is particularly helpful to frequent travellers or if you are planning to cover many countries or planning for a long stay in a place. Since you might still be liable to the high excess costs in the event that the rental vehicle is damaged, it is recommended to purchase CarInsuRent’s Worldwide Car Hire Excess Insurance that covers damage to the rental vehicle, including damage to Tires Mirrors and Windscreen, even if the damage is resulting from single-vehicle accidents.
What does Supplemental Liability Insurance cover?
SLI covers all claims made by a third party for the physical injuries or death or damage to the third party’s property, in case of an accident or crash where you were not at fault.
What exclusions apply to SLI?
You should check with your rental agency for the detailed exclusions to SLI but the typical exclusions can be –
- Irresponsible handling like drunken driving by you
- if you are underage or driving with valid or false papers
- you cause the accident deliberately
- the rented vehicle is used for any illegal activities or any prohibited use (check the rental guidelines)
- the vehicle gets stolen
if you are worried about liability then SLI is a safer and better way to protect yourself, irrespective of the fact whether it is mandatory or not. This also provides greater peace of mind and freedom. Drive safe and stay insured!
Do rental cars need liability insurance?
Most rental cars come with liability insurance for the third party, and it is included in your car rental. If you need additional coverage than the minimum statutory coverage, then you can buy excess or supplemental liability insurance from the rental agency.
Do I need SLI when renting a car?
If your rental car comes with third party liability insurance then you can opt-out of buying additional or supplemental insurance. But you need to check on the minimum coverage in different countries and depending on that, you should buy supplemental liability insurance.