Should I Purchase the Physical Damage Waiver When I Rent a Car?
There have been all sorts of horror stories as to what happens with a rental car. When you are in an area that you are unfamiliar with, parking the car on the side of the road or in a dark parking lot can be risky. Purchasing a physical damage waiver is an option when you go to the car rental counter. The question is whether it is financially worth it or not.
Rental car companies generally make their money on this physical damage waiver because it does not often come into play. The average driver does not experience any kind of physical damage that is not considered “normal wear and tear” while driving a vehicle. However, in the event that you park your car somewhere where it is mutilated, spray-painted, or significantly damaged otherwise, you will want the coverage.
What rental car companies often don’t tell you is that the physical damage waiver is not actually necessary. If you read the fine print of your auto insurance policy, it may protect you against car rentals. This means that you are protected against physical damage on any car that you drive, not just the car that is within your policy. This means that you would simply need to place a claim with your current insurance company as opposed to purchasing the physical damage waiver from the rental car company.
Prior to purchasing any kind of waivers from the car rental counter, you want to call your insurance company and find out what is and is not covered. After that, you may also want to call your credit card company as they will often provide additional coverage because you are paying for the car with your credit card.
If you don’t have coverage from your insurance company or your credit card, then it may be advantageous to purchase the physical damage waiver so that you are not on the hook for any damages that occur.