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Rental Car Liability Insurance for Uninsured Person?

Rental Car Liability Insurance for Uninsured Person?

Old Sep 4th, 2013, 06:16 PM
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Rental Car Liability Insurance for Uninsured Person?

Hi all,

I'm traveling to the U.S. from Hong Kong and need to obtain liability coverage for my rental car because I do not drive normally and, thus, do not have my own personal auto insurance. I will be picking up the car in Virginia and I do not want to obtain liability coverage through the rental agency because I think what they charge is overpriced.

Is there such a thing as getting short term (16 days) 3rd party liability insurance for a rental? I know credit cards don't cover liability and it seems that most insurers don't offer this type of product. I found some British companies that may cover it for about $150, but this price still seems on the high side for me. Is there anything out there for $5-7 per day?

Thanks!
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Old Sep 4th, 2013, 08:05 PM
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no.
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Old Sep 4th, 2013, 10:08 PM
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None that you're aware of huh? Do any American insurers provide this kind of short term coverage at all, regardless of price?
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Old Sep 4th, 2013, 10:20 PM
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Hertz and other companies include liability insurance in the rates if you note that you are from HongKong. Or check with autoeurope.com or gemet.com for insurance-included rates.

Are you picking up and dropping off at the same Virginia location?
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Old Sep 5th, 2013, 03:00 AM
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Because each state in the US sets its own insurance regulations and requirements, a short-term multi-state policy would cost more than the rental car coverage options.

You might look into a personal liability policy to cover you for any liability exceeding the rental limits. These are cheap at the $1,000,000 level for Americans but I don't know if they are available to non-US visitors and at what price.
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Old Sep 5th, 2013, 03:39 AM
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I wonder if aaa.com would have suggestions. worth a look? anyone?
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Old Sep 5th, 2013, 06:34 AM
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No. Liability insurance is based on a number of factors, including your driving record, what type of car you drive, etc. I can;t see how an insurance company could possibly judge what to charge you - and if such were available - and I don;t think so - they would have to put you in the high risk pool at the highest rates.

I really think that buying from the rental agency is your only choice.
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Old Sep 5th, 2013, 06:59 AM
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I'm trying not to be too blunt here, but I can't get over the idea that you admit you don't have any insurance and you don't even "drive normally", yet you think that someone covering you with insurance is "too expensive". What do you think they should charge to cover someone in an unfamiliar country who doesn't even usually drive? Insurance is a business, after all, so why would they "give away" cheap insurance to a very high risk renter? Just scratching my head here.
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Old Sep 5th, 2013, 09:49 AM
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I love you NeoP
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Old Sep 5th, 2013, 10:06 AM
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"Why would they give away cheap insurance to a very high risk renter".

The car rental companies do it all the time. At least to renters from several foreign countries, especially Australia and U.K.
Did you see the thread about the $199 car rental from Vegas to San Francisco, 7 days, all taxes, fees, collision and liability coverages included?

An American citizen pays $349 for that same car with no insurance or collision waiver. For some reason they practically give the cars away to foreign citizens.
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Old Sep 5th, 2013, 10:34 AM
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I've seen carhire3000 recommended on several other travel forums, but as others have stated it will not be as cheap as you seem to think.
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Old Sep 5th, 2013, 10:38 AM
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somehow I missed the part between coverage and bargain coverage.
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Old Sep 5th, 2013, 10:48 AM
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I'm jumping in just to clarify a few points.

First, in the U.S., all states (except for California), car rental agencies are required to carry blanket liability coverage for drivers, so there's not requirement for you to have excess liability, though these policies are minimal.

Second, as a non-citizen you can easily purchase excess liability insurance from the car-rental company at the desk, but almost all international car rentals require you to purchase an all-inclusive insurance plan to go along with the car rental if you don't live in the U.S. In most cases, the rates you are quoted will include insurance, but that may vary by country.

Third, if you purchase a liability coverage, you generally do so in your country of origin, not in the U.S.

Fourth, U.S. insurance companies including Geico do offer blanket umbrella policies that cover you for liability, but these policies are not meant to be short-term, and they typically do not cover non-U.S. citizens.

The short answer to all of this is that insurance protection best originates in your country of origin, not in your destination of travel.

Further travel insurance is more popular and generally better designed outside the U.S., so you may very well be able to purchase a plan in Hong Kong that will cover you for both medical and other issues while in the U.S. I know that residents of the UK can buy travel insurance with a monthly premium that will cover them for a wide range of issues. Perhaps that's available in Hong Kong.
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Old Sep 5th, 2013, 03:39 PM
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Agree that you will probably get the best deal by buying a package with insurance from your local agencies (even if a branch of Hertz or whatever).

However, you may want to look at what the coverage is - and what the deductible. If you are in an area with expensive cars and a car is totaled the cost may well be more than the minimum that might be provided - perhaps $25,000 or so. (We carry $300K/$500K to protect assets in case of an expensive accident.) There is also often a deductible - which may be as much as $500 or $1000 - and you would have to pay that out of pocket if you don;t have complete coverage.
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