You have to be extremely careful when you drive rental cars. You will have the option to purchase insurance from the rental car company. You may or may not need this coverage. You need coverage, but some people may be covered by their primary auto insurance policy. Or they may not, depending on the circumstances.
Many of the policies out there cover rental cars being driven if their primary vehicle has broken-down or is otherwise being worked-on or out of commission. However, many of those same policies do not cover rental cars being driven if the policyholder’s primary vehicle is operational – for instance if you rent a car while on vacation. This means that if you choose not to purchase the insurance on the rental car and you are involved in an accident, you may be liable to the rental car company for the complete property damage to the rental car. This is because you will be signing a contract with the rental car company agreeing to pay for any property damage that is not covered by insurance.
Thus, the wise course of action is to either be aware of the terms of your primary policy, and to know whether or not you will be covered ahead of time, or to be extra safe and purchase the policy when you rent the vehicle.
– John H. Bryan, West Virginia Car Accident Attorney.