Talking to an insurance agent can save money when renting a car

POSTED: Sunday, July 8, 2012 - 6:00pm

UPDATED: Sunday, July 8, 2012 - 6:04pm

A brief chat with your insurance agent can save you big money when it comes time to rent a car.

Renting a car is no small expense.

But when it comes to paying for that car, do you really have to pay all those extra fees?

Knowing what's covered on your rental car can save you money on your vacation.

But don't assume just because you used a credit card or have insurance that the insurance is taken care of.

First you need to call your insurance agent and ask questions.

"You want the liability to extend, the uninsured motorist, comprehensive collision," stated Walt Waggener, State Farm Insurance. " And with most companies everything you have extends to a car on what they call a temporary substitute bases."

If you have a $500 deductible on your personal car that will also extend to the rental.

Another question for your agent.

If there is an accident, will your insurance pay for the car while it's in the shop?

"Ask them. When they tell you that the coverage does extend to a rental car, if that includes lost of use?" Said Waggener. "If it doesn't, ask them if there is something you can purchase in addition and at what cost to take care of that. You usually find that's the best deal."

You also want to call your credit card company.

Many cards offer coverage and allow you to pass on the extra fees but there's an obvious catch.

"One of the critical things when you have a credit card in most of those contracts is that it says you must use that card to rent the car in order for that coverage to extend," explained Waggener.

Another way to save money on a rental car.

Don't get it from the airport.

You can also save money by getting it from a hotel or a downtown location.

Rental fees can be considerably cheaper if you're willing to pick up your car away from the airport.

And finally don't ignore any chips, dents or scratches on the car. Take pictures or video of the car before you drive away.

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