All drivers in Canada are legally required to have car insurance, and everyone gets it for their personal vehicles. But what happens if you’re using a car other than your own? Does personal auto insurance cover rentals?
Depending on the coverage you’ve purchased, your personal auto insurance may already cover rentals; it’s best to check your coverage to see if it’s already there by default. That said, you can add an optional endorsement of liability coverage for damage to non-owned vehicles, which covers vehicles in your care, custody, and use, including rentals. You may also have auto insurance coverage for rentals included in a travel insurance policy or if you’re making the rental using a certain credit card.
Do I Need to Get Car Insurance for Rentals in Canada?
If you rent a car, you need to get car insurance for it to protect yourself, the vehicle, and others in the car and the road. Driving without car insurance is illegal in Canada. Plus, without auto insurance, you’ll have to pay for any damages out of pocket, which could mean significant financial losses.
Where to Get Car Insurance for Rentals
Here’s where you can get car insurance for rentals in Canada:
Personal Auto Insurance Provider
Generally, you can get car insurance for rentals through your personal auto insurance provider. As mentioned, check if your existing policy already has third-party liability coverage for non-owned vehicles. If not, ask for your options to have it on top of your plan. Apart from them, there are other providers from where you can get car insurance for rentals.
Credit Card Company
Credit cards may provide damage insurance for rental vehicles, so if you pay for your booking with a credit card, you may already have coverage. However, these policies are usually limited. For example, civil liability is rarely included.
If you’re relying on the car insurance provided by your credit card company, be sure to check the scope and the conditions of the coverage. Does it have limited validity? Do you have to pay for the whole rental using the card? Does the duration or location of your trip fall under exceptions?
If your coverage is insufficient, shop around for better options.
Car Rental Agency
Car rental companies typically offer car insurance when you book a vehicle. However, these are often costly and are best avoided if you’re already sufficiently covered by your personal auto insurance or credit card. But if you don’t have a choice, buy early as prepaid plans are cheaper than if you get a policy right when you pick up the vehicle.
In Canada, drivers generally don’t need additional coverage for rentals because their personal auto insurance already covers non-owned vehicles. Still, it’s best to check that your policy includes this additional endorsement. If not, you can have it tacked onto your existing plan through your provider or get car insurance for rentals from your car rental agency or credit card company.