Important facts described briefly below:
The most important insurances for your rental car are fully comprehensive theft and liability insurance. There are some differences in the fully comprehensive and theft insurance packages, depending on the selected offer, the provider, the vehicle category, and the actual country in which the rental takes place.
Liability insurance can vary from the minimum legal liability up to the provider-dependent liability insurance. For more detailed information, please refer to the respective car rental offer.
In the USA, liability insurance is regulated by the state, so pay close attention to where you are and what is the minimum coverage. If necessary, you may need to book extra insurance with the supplier. Within the EU, liability insurance for rental cars is obligatory. However, there are differences in insurance coverage. Read here what the rental car liability insurance in other countries covers, and which additional insurances are useful.
Fully comprehensive insurance, theft protection, and liability: Which rental car insurance is necessary?
In the USA and most other countries, no rental cars are allowed on the road without liability insurance. Nevertheless, you should make sure that you know exactly which insurance coverage is included in the respective rental car offer. There are differences both in the minimum coverage amounts, the extent of the insured damages, and deductibles.
Liability insurance for rental cars offers basic protection. It covers personal injury and property damage to other vehicles caused by you - up to the agreed coverage amount.
Fully comprehensive insurance also covers damage to your rental car. This coverage includes damage caused while parking, during an accident, or by unknown persons. Theft insurance is also usually included in the fully comprehensive insurance, but make sure to check this.
When booking with HAPPYCAR, all three of these insurances can be included. However, in the event of damage, the local supplier will withhold your deductible even with fully comprehensive insurance and theft protection.
What damages are covered by the liability insurance for rental cars?
The liability insurance regulates damages caused to other road users or property during an accident caused by the driver. Liability insurance may include:
- Repair costs of third-party vehicles, buildings, and objects
- The medical, hospital, and care costs of injured persons
What the rental car liability does NOT cover:
- Damage that is caused by negligence or grossly negligent behavior of the driver, for example, using a telephone, smoking, or overtiredness while driving.
- Costs of objects and medical treatment of persons in the rental car
What should the amount of coverage be for car rental liability?
HAPPYCAR recommends rental car liability insurance with coverage of at least one million Euros. With a lower amount of coverage, you take on a high financial risk. In the event of damage, you would have to pay any costs exceeding the amount of coverage.
The amount of coverage of the rental car liability insurance can vary depending on the country of travel and the provider. In most destinations within the EU, the legal, minimum liability offers sufficiently high amounts of coverage. Outside the EU, insurance coverage often covers only small amounts of damage.
In Turkey, for example, liability insurance for motor vehicles is limited to just under 22,419 dollars per accident for property damage and 554,572 dollars for personal injury. The statutory sums insured are even lower in Russia and Moldova. Albania also does not reach the recommended minimum coverage level. In these countries, it is highly recommended to take out additional liability insurance for the rental car.
With some rental car companies, rental car liability insurance only covers the legal, minimum protection. With others, you are automatically covered up to a higher damage sum. More detailed information can be found in the corresponding rental car offer and the general terms and conditions of the insurance provider.
In which countries should I pay special attention to car rental insurance?
In a few countries, rental car liability insurance is not legally required.
Brazil and Chile, for example, have no compulsory insurance. Also, in Kenya, India, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Mauritius, car rental offers do not always include liability insurance. You should, therefore, make sure you have sufficient liability insurance when booking.
Special attention is worthwhile in the USA. On the one hand, the regulations for rental car liability insurance differ in each state. On the other hand, the amounts of coverage fixed by the states are significantly lower than those prescribed in Europe. Those who do not have a car insurance certificate or a so-called Mallorca or traveler policy should therefore take out additional liability insurance in the USA.
When is passenger insurance for rental cars advisable?
Whether passenger insurance for rental cars is advisable depends on the country of travel and the driver's desire for safety. The policy covers damage suffered by fellow passengers in the vehicle. In the USA, you have to expect very high claims for compensation if other passengers are injured through your fault. When traveling with unknown passengers, passenger insurance is advisable.
Tip: If you have international health insurance, passenger insurance is not necessary.
What is the Mallorca Policy or Traveler Policy?
The so-called Mallorca policy is a supplement to the motor vehicle liability insurance, which protects you in case of damages with rental cars abroad. The Mallorca clause raises the coverage of foreign liability policies to the level prescribed in Germany. If, after an accident, the amount of damage should exceed the coverage sum of the rented car liability, the Majorca or Traveler policy applies.
The Mallorca clause intervenes in all EU states, and with some insurers, it includes all European countries. For journeys into the USA or to Asia, however, it is advisable to take out the so-called traveler policy from the ADAC. This traveler policy applies worldwide.
Who does rental car liability insurance apply too?
Rental car liability insurance usually covers the renter of the vehicle and all registered additional drivers. In the USA, the spouse is usually also insured.
Do you have further questions? The HAPPYCAR service team will be happy to help you!