After you have searched and compared rental car companies for the best price and car for your needs, you need to ensure you are protected before you drive out of the parking lot.
When renting a vehicle, there are a number of options available to ensure you're covered in case of an accident.
The Auto Rental Company
The majority of car rental companies offer a product called a "collision damage waiver" that covers some loss or damage to the rental car.
The collision damage waiver protects you in the event that you damage an automobile that you have rented. It protects you by transferring the responsibility for the cost of the damage from you to the auto rental company.
However, you must read the fine print as these waivers vary from company to company and often come with exclusions that you need to be aware of. For instance, it may provide no protection while you drive on unpaved roads.
You can purchase the collision damage waiver from the rental company at a daily rate that is in addition to the rental charge.
Your Credit Card
You may also have collision damage coverage on automobiles that you rent through your credit card.
Your credit card coverage will be subject to certain limitations and conditions. For example, the collision damage coverage may only apply when renting automobiles from auto rental companies approved by your credit card company.
Contact your credit card provider to learn about all limitations and restriction and how you will be protected prior to renting the car.
Your Current Auto Insurance Policy
Most Ontario auto insurance companies offer the Legal Liability for Damage to Non-Owned Automobiles, which is additional liability coverage for damage to automobiles you don't own.. This coverage is only valid for non-owned automobiles driven in Canada and the United States and can be added to your existing policy for a yearly additional fee. If you will be driving internationally, you will have to purchase additional coverage.
Contact your insurance agent or broker for more information and to add the Legal Liability for Damage to Non-Owned Automobiles to your policy.
If you are not already covered under your Ontario auto insurance policy, through your credit card, or otherwise, and you choose NOT to purchase the collision damage waiver from the auto rental company, you will be responsible for the costs resulting from any at-fault damage to the automobile while it is in your care. This can be very costly, so make sure you are protected.