Rented vehicles can be a source of catastrophic uninsured loss, from liability claims as well as direct damage to the vehicles, and responsibilities are highly unpredictable. (Rental agreement terms and judicial precedent vary widely across the country.)  

Most rental contracts contain language placing every possible responsibility on the rentee and to the extent courts will enforce them, the agreements impose enormous risk on customers. Hired car insurance, available usually as an endorsement to business packages or fleet policies, insures the risk of liability claims. In order to insure against responsibility for damage to the rented vehicle itself, additional physical damage (Fire, theft, collision, etc.) insurance is also needed. Both of these liability and physical damage coverages are relatively inexpensive additions to business vehicle policies. (Ordinary personal auto policies will often cover rental vehicles, however general business insurance policies do not.)

Credit-card insurance benefits for the use of rental vehicles can occasionally be responsive, however keep in mind that eligibility is subject to a host of unpredictable and often unlikely conditions.  In addition, the rental car company may tap your credit card for an inflated estimate of damages until such time as they actually have been reimbursed for whatever amount they claim.  The credit card insurance benefit for rental cars was a great marketing ploy for awhile, but the incidence of claims soon brought restrictions and reversals.


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