The most common types of car rental insurance are personal effects coverage, personal accident insurance, collision damage waiver and supplemental liability protection. Many unscrupulous car rental companies sneakily include some form of insurance into your bill. Those are exactly the kind of rental companies to avoid, as you will come to learn that the insurance you may be charged may not be entirely necessary.
Personal effects coverage protects you from loses of personal items that have been lost or stolen from your rental car such as a laptop, maybe your wallet, passport etc. The normally protects you and registered dependents and family en-route to some location with the rental car or while the rental car is parked at some location. Depending on the car rental company, personal effects coverage can cost from 2 to 7 dollars and include exclusions and deductibles (normally not more than 40 dollars). Excluded items may be such things as pets, perishables, documents, furniture to name just a few.
Personal accident Insurance will cover any medical costs incurred by you and any passengers in the rental car in the event of an accident. The very real risk of being involved in a car accident makes having this type of insurance absolutely essential to have. The pay out is normally in cash up to a specified limit decided upon by the car rental company. The cost of this type of insurance is usually between 3 and 5 dollars though the deductible varies significantly from company to company.
Collision damage waiver exempts you from all liability of the costs of repair of a rental car if you are involved in an accident. Technically, this is not considered insurance, but it is the most expensive type of cover offered by car rental companies and can reach almost 20 percent of your total bill. In some countries you may get this type of cover offered to you if you pay for your rental by credit card, though this may not always apply if you travel outside your country; another option is adding this type of cover to your regular car insurance policy if you own a car which will increase your yearly premiums slightly. The supplemental Liability protection is final type of cover offered for roughly 5 to 10 dollars per day of rental. This insurance is basically a promise that the rental company will supplement the minimum level of protection that must be offered by law to you in the event of an accident, death or 3rd party incident involving you and passengers within the rental car. It is not usually very necessary, however SLI vamps yours coverage to close to 1 million dollars so if for whatever reason you feel you will need that amount of coverage during your rental period then it probably is the best way to go.