Who’s responsible for damages regarding an accident with a loaner?

My auto company gave me a loaner but had no insurance on it.

Asked on November 29, 2011 under Accident Law, North Carolina

Answers:

L.P., Member, Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Thank you for submitting your question regarding liability insurance for a loaner car or rental vehicle.  Usually when you go to rent a vehicle, the sales personnel at the rental dealership will ask you if you want to add rental insurance for a small additional charge.  While all states require drivers to carry some type of car insurance, taking out a rental insurance policy is not always necessary.  This is a personal choice left up to the person renting the vehicle.  Depending on the type of car insurance that you currently have will dictate whether or not you should think twice about turning away rental coverage.

There are a number of insurance policies that write into their regular motor vehicle insurance policy to cover the insured drivers when they rent a vehicle.  In turn, the rental vehicle will get the same insurance coverage as your other vehicles under your policy.  You should check with you current car insurance policy, or even give a phone call to your insurance policy to see if your current car insurance is considered an “all-inclusive” policy which would cover your rental vehicles. 

Additionally, if you paid for your car rental with a credit card, your credit card company may participate in programs that provide collision coverage for your rental vehicle.  However, these insurance policies usually do not cover all costs, as would a general insurance policy, which will leave you with out-of-pocket costs, but it will at least provide you with some insurance coverage. 

Lastly, you can obtain rental coverage from the rental company, but not all insurance coverage is


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