Protective Plans

 
Peace of Mind for Your Next Car Rental  
In Summary:  A personal policy or credit card coverage may not be enough to protect you in case of a mishap during your car rental — you could still be responsible for damage. Ask your insurer if you'll have adequate coverage, then consider purchasing these peace-of-mind protections. Don't risk a personal policy premium increase.  
  

As with any optional insurance or protection plan, smart renters will want to do some research and consult with your personal individual insurer before before purchasing these options with your rental. Budget recommends that you decide whether or not you need coverage before you pick up your car, and if you don't need it, don't buy it.

Budget offers several types of optional insurance plans to protect you during the rental period. The benefits of the coverages described below vary by location. If available for your rental, the coverage will appear as a selection on step three of the budget.com reservation process. You always have the opportunity to change your coverage selections at the rental counter when you pick up your car.

These plans are provided by independent insurance companies, and are subject to the provisions, limitations and exclusions contained in the actual policies, which are available for review upon request. Other rental companies may offer similar coverages under different names and at varying limits and costs. If you have questions about a specific coverage, please check with the renting location or contact us.

Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) as low as $9/day

LDW isn’t insurance – it's an option that relieves you of financial responsibility if the rental car is damaged or stolen. LDW is highly recommended for the uninsured but even if you own a car and have automobile insurance, you should consider accepting Loss Damage Waiver to better cover yourself.

 

  • Alleviates your responsibility for up to the full fair market value of the car if it is damaged, vandalized or stolen during the rental;
  • Alleviates your responsibility for reimbursing the car rental company for any revenue lost during the period that the company is unable to use the car while it is being repaired, or in the event that the car is not recovered due to theft (loss of use).

If LDW is available for your rental, it will appear as a selection on step three of the budget.com reservation process.

Some additional things to note about Loss Damage Waiver

  • LDW is not available in all states, and certain restrictions may apply in some states, Please ask your counter representative for details;
  • Using the vehicle in violation of any of the use restrictions listed on the rental agreement could void LDW and leave the renter fully responsible for any damage to the vehicle.
  • At non-U.S. locations, LDW is not available but Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) coverage may be available which is similar.

When renting for business, check with your corporate travel manager to see if the company provides coverage in the event of loss.

If you're renting for personal reasons, check your own automobile insurance policy for coverage limitations before you pick up your rental car. Many policies do cover rental cars, but even if you have personal automobile insurance, you may not be totally protected.

  • If you decline LDW and rely on your own insurance, you may be responsible for up to the full fair market value of the car if it is damaged, vandalized or stolen during the rental and you probably would be responsible for paying your usual deductible;
  • You also may be responsible for reimbursing the car rental company for any revenue lost during the period that the company is unable to use the car while it is being repaired, or in the event that the car is not recovered due to theft (loss of use). A loss-of-use fee for a damaged rental car is not normally covered by personal auto insurance policies;
  • Personal auto policies may only provide a coverage limit equal to the value of the vehicle scheduled on that policy. If the value of the renter's personal auto is less than that of the rental vehicle, the renter could still incur some damage responsibility.

Credit Card Coverage
Some credit card companies offer protection if you present their card at the time of rental, and if you use the same card to pay for your rental at the time of return. Renters should closely examine the terms of this coverage because the protection is often supplemental, and certain limitations or restrictions may apply. Remember - if the insurance doesn't cover your loss, you will remain personally responsible for any difference.

Travel Package Coverage
Many companies that sell online travel packages (airline, rental cars and hotels) offer insurance protections that claim to cover rental cars. Renters should closely examine the terms of this coverage because the protection is often supplemental, and certain limitations or restrictions may apply. Also, some of those packages might not protect you entirely for any loss or damage to the rental vehicle. Remember - if the insurance doesn't cover your loss, you will remain personally responsible for any difference.


Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI) no more than $15/day

SLI, available at many locations, is excess automobile liability insurance that protects you and all authorized drivers against third-party bodily injury and property-damage claims for which you’re legally liable. When SLI is purchased:

  • Liability protection provided by Budget and the SLI carrier becomes primary, and applies before other liability protection available to you;
  • You probably won't have to call upon your other protection unless the loss exceeds the SLI limit or results from your use of the vehicle in violation of the terms of the rental agreement;
  • By not having to file a claim under your own policy, you can probably avoid possible premium increases or even cancellation;
  • Provides a high limit of liability protection that might not otherwise be available to the renter. By accepting SLI, the limit of liability protection available to the renter or authorized driver is $1 million combined single limit;
  • If you are renting in California or Nevada, exclusions and/or limitations of coverage may differ from the SLI described above. Please check with your Budget location for details.

If SLI is available for your rental, it will appear as a selection on step three of the budget.com reservation process.

Enhanced Supplemental Liability (ESL), also available at participating locations, covers the difference between basic SLI protection up to $2 million per occurrence. This enhanced coverage is available only at the rental counter, and the per-day cost will vary by state. If your rental car rate includes SLI, that coverage is the standard coverage (up to $1 million). Areas that don't offer ESL include Alabama, Alaska, Georgia, North Carolina, North Dakota, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Vermont, Virgin Islands and Washington State.

Personal Accident and Effects (PAE) as low as $7/day

PAE protects you and your passengers against accident, injury, and loss to personal property.

  • Provides renters and occupants of the rental vehicle with accidental death benefit and coverage for certain medical expenses resulting from an accident;
  • Renters are protected both in and out of the rental vehicle during the entire rental period, and others are covered while occupying the vehicle;
  • Provides protection against loss of, or damage to, certain personal property of the renter and individuals traveling with the renter and being transported in your Budget car.

If PAE is available for your rental, it will appear as a selection on step three of the budget.com reservation process.


Emergency Sickness Plan (ESP) as low as $5/day

ESP provides international renters visiting the U.S. with coverage for medical expenses resulting from sickness. At most locations, other liability protection available to the renter from any source will be primary, and will apply first in the event of an accident.

  • Protects renters possessing a non-U.S. passport against certain medical expenses resulting from sickness occurring during the rental period;
  • Covers other members of the renter's traveling party who also have non-U.S. passports;
  • Purchase of PAE in combination with ESP protects renters who might otherwise have no medical coverage available to them while in the U.S. against medical expenses that result either from accident or sickness.

If ESP is available for your rental, it will appear as a selection on step three of the budget.com reservation process.

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