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Two Minute Money: Should you get insurance when you rent a car?

Welcome to Two Minute Money, Yahoo Finance’s new personal finance series offering quick explanations for some of the most important questions involving your money.

Road trip! You’ve mapped out your route and picked your stops along the way. The only thing left to do is figure out your rental car situation.

You head to your local rental car center and score a great deal on a convertible. You’re ready to hit the road, right? Not quite. You’re offered a bunch of insurance options to cover your rental—and get downright confused.

One option is a collision damage waiver. This prevents you from having to pay the rental car company if the car gets damaged or stolen. If you have your own car and car insurance, your policy might also cover the rental. You can also check with your credit card companies. Some premium credit cards also offer this coverage. If you do sign up for this waiver, you’ll be cleared from charges like a loss of use fee, which is a fee the companies may charge for lost income while its car is being repaired.

Most rental companies also offer what’s called supplemental liability insurance. This kind of insurance covers damage to other people’s property, such as their cars, homes and medical bills you might be responsible for.

You could also get an umbrella liability insurance, a low-cost policy addition to your existing auto or homeowner’s insurance.

You might also be offered personal accident insurance, which covers your medical bills, ambulance costs and provides death benefits to your beneficiaries. If you already have health insurance or life insurance then this option is likely redundant.

About 64% of millennials have car insurance, so if you already have your own plan, you can decline most of these additional insurances. Just know that you’ll probably have to pay the deductible on your plan if an accident occurs. Make sure you know what they’re offering so you can cruise off knowing you’ve made the right decision.

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