Renting a car can be a confusing process. The additional fees and services offered by car rental companies are often tacked on the bill followed by paragraphs of legalese. Supplemental liability insurance is one of these extra fees. While the name implies importance, it may be an unnecessary fee when renting a car. To determine whether you need supplemental liability insurance on your next car rental, start by assessing your current coverage.
What is Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLP)?
Most states require that rental car companies provide drivers with minimum levels of liability insurance during the rental period. Supplemental insurance provides additional coverage above the state minimums, up to $1 million in liability protection.
For some drivers, this additional coverage is a great deal that can cover additional costs associated with an accident. For other drivers, this coverage is already included in other areas and duplicating this service through the rental company is a waste of money.
Using a Credit Card?
Many credit card companies offer bonuses that customers are not using. Charge backs and reward points are often scrutinized and compared when searching for a new credit card but many cards also offer secondary rental insurance which consumers fail to use.
Did You Call Your Insurer?
Most drivers do not need supplemental liability insurance for the simple reason that they already have coverage under their current auto insurance. In addition to covering the driver while driving other people’s cars, rental cars are covered by basic auto insurance for the same deductible.
Don’t Want to File a Claim?
Even drivers who have primary automobile insurance may opt to use SLP to prevent their insurance rates from rising in the event of a rental car accident. Rental cars are notorious for being driven recklessly and drivers with a lead foot or those that are particularly harsh on rentals may not want rising rates over a couple of scratches. In this case, SLP is a good way to prevent extravagant bills for car damage without effecting insurance rates.
Don’t Own a Car?
While insured drivers may already carry supplemental liability insurance, drivers who do not own a car may find value in getting additional coverage during their rental period. Without the secondary coverage available from auto insurance, customers with expensive rental cars or valuable assets can protect their money by accepting the nominal daily charge for supplemental liability insurance.
If you’re a non-car owner that travels frequently, the fees associated with SLP can add up fast. Consider contacting an auto insurance company to ask about liability coverage for drivers who do not own a car. Most policies cost less than $300 a year and will provide adequate coverage in case of accident without the additional cost of supplemental liability insurance.
Supplemental liability insurance may not be a great deal, but for drivers with the right prerequisites, it can be a valuable addition to rental insurance. Being underinsured in an accident can have serious consequences. Make sure you understand your coverage before turning down supplemental insurance while renting a car.