Does Car Rental Insurance Cover Scratches? Complete Guide

Does Car Rental Insurance Cover Scratches? Everyone loves to travel, but unless you have friend or family at the location you are going, or you drove there, you most likely have to rent a car. …

Does Car Rental Insurance Cover Scratches?

Does Car Rental Insurance Cover Scratches?

Everyone loves to travel, but unless you have friend or family at the location you are going, or you drove there, you most likely have to rent a car. Or deal with the always questionable public transport. But, what if you are renting a car and it gets scratched under your watch? Does car rental insurance cover scratches? Well, that depends.

If you already own car insurance, and that insurance policy has collision and comprehensive coverage, you should be good to go. Your normal car insurance will cover the damages; given you have met your deductible. However, what is covered under this policy can vary, so you will need to double-check with your insurance agent.

Traveling can be extremely stressful, so make sure you aren’t adding to that by not having the rental car insured. And rental car companies know this, and that is why they are quick to offer coverage for just a few dollars a day. A small price to pay for peace of mind, one might say. However, is it right for you, or just another source of revenue for them?

Should you Purchase Car Rental Insurance from the Rental Office?

Chances are, if you already have State Farm car insurance, or insurance from other companies, with collision and comprehensive coverage, it’ll carry over to your rental car. But what’s covered can vary on your specific policy and multiple other factors.

For most people, who are traveling for personal reasons, paying extra for coverage from a car rental company will probably waste your money. But as always, there are a few arguments for when you should consider it:Does Car Rental Insurance Cover Scratches?

  • Your personal car insurance has a very high deductible, doesn’t include adequate collision or comprehensive coverage, or doesn’t cover rental cars.
  • You have no other source of coverage. Meaning, you don’t own a car or car insurance policy, and you’re not using a credit card that offers rental car coverage.
  • When an accident might cause your insurance rates to go up or lead to cancellation.
  • You’re traveling for business, and your personal insurance policy won’t cover you.
  • You’re traveling in another country and the insurance agreement or local laws prevent you from leaving until you’ve fully paid for any damages that might occur.

Alternative Car Rental Insurance

To many people’s surprise, credit card companies do offer rental car insurance, as a perk. You can fin doubt if yours does by contacting your card issuing company. Simply ask if they provide this car insurance coverage, how much they cover, and what limitations there may be. There is no reason to pay extra for coverage if it is already provided. And you are already paying for it.

What Policies Car Rental Offices Offer

At any rental car office, you’re likely to be asked about a certain insurance-related term. “LDW,” which stands for Loss Damage Waiver. This Loss Damage Waiver limits the amount you’d be responsible for if your rental vehicle is damaged or stolen. “CDW” is similar, but it only covers losses caused by collisions.

While these options are usually referred to as “insurance” by the car rental offices, they are not. In fact, they are really “waivers.” Since the rental car company is waiving its right to hold you accountable for certain types of loss. And these types of losses could be scratches. So, Does Car Rental Insurance Cover Scratches? In this case, yes it may! Just ask the Rental Office.

You may also be offered “PEC,” which stands for Personal Effects Coverage. Personal Effects Coverage covers personal effects, or “PAI.” Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) covers personal injuries while renting a vehicle.

All these are offered at the Car Rental Office. But as we have said, you may already have these policies in your personal car insurance. Or, if you are a credit card user, this could be a perk that you are given.


Which Car Rental Insurance Should You Get?

Does Car Rental Insurance Cover Scratches?

Before you make any choices on which to go with, always contact your insurance agent. Ask them what is covered, if any is. In addition, if you do not have the coverage you need for your car rental, ask how much it should be to get this included if you are a frequent traveler.

And for the professionals who are traveling for business, asking your insurance agent if this is included in your personal car insurance coverage, how much it would be to add it, or ask your employer if they are the owners of the car insurance policy. Simply asking can get you a long way.

However, if you do not have any car insurance, because you do not have a car, look into your wallet. Do you use credit cards? Or maybe you do not, but have been thinking about it. Either way, call the provider of your current or new credit card and ask about the perks. If you are already paying for it, use it! And if you are signing up for a new one, see how much it would be to have this perk. It may just be worth it for the frequent traveler.

But let’s say you do not have either car insurance or a credit card with this perk. Well, then you should always see how much it would be to get this coverage from the Car Rental Office. While something may not happen while on your trip, something could always happen. And if something does, do you have the money to pay for the replacement and the time it takes to do so? Cause let me tell you, it is going to be expensive. It may just be worth the day to day charge of getting covered by the Car Rental Office.

How About Those Scratches on Your Rental?


We have been sharing a lot of information with you, and the specifics may have been lost. So to help wrap this up. Yes, scratches can be covered by Car Rental Insurance. It just all depends on either your personal car insurance policies, what perks you have from your credit card provider, or if you decided to get the coverage offered by the rental office themselves.


If you know you do not have the coverage when going to get the rental car, ask the office if this can be included in their “CDW” coverage. If so, great! If not, ask them how you can be protected. At the end of the day, they want the car in tip-top shape, so they can keep leasing it. If they have to take it out for repairs, they will be losing out on possible income. So, just ask! It cannot hurt.


This article was sponsored by Chris Lile, State Farm Agent in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Chris specializes in Auto, Home, Business, Property, Life and Health Insurance. You can visit Chris’s website here to learn more about him and his insurance coverage.