Truck rental insurance?
June 11, 2011 11:42 AM   Subscribe

I am renting a 16' moving truck and moving across the US. I don't have car insurance. What are my insurance needs?

I don't have car insurance because neither my wife nor I own a car. Although I plan on paying with a VISA card I don't think the card's CDW covers trucks. Budget (the rental company) offers a variety of protection plans but I am not sure in my case which are prudent and which are a waste. I believe on my last move it was about $150 for a Limited Damage Waiver and I would like to spend less than that this time around.

I would like to be protected if someone hits me or if I hit someone else. I believe the contents of the truck are covered by our renters insurance policy already.

I've read a bit about non-owner car insurance policies, could I get something like that for a month and be covered? Is the LDW

If this sort of question is best asked to our renters insurance agent, what should I know going in?
posted by ChrisHartley to Work & Money (8 answers total)
In your position, I went for the limited damage waiver- which was a lifesaver when a rock cracked the windshield 10 miles away from my destination. If it's affordable, I think that will probably be your simplest plan.
posted by Zophi at 11:51 AM on June 11, 2011

Several years ago, a friend of mine rented a big truck to move himself and got the damage waiver. It came in handy when he tore open the top edge of the truck on a carport overhang. It looked like he had taken a huge can-opener to the side of the truck.

It's relatively affordable and, if your CC doesn't include truck rental, it would be a good thing to have.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:05 PM on June 11, 2011

Also...I wouldn't just assume your stuff is covered by your renters insurance while it's on the truck. Ask the insurer.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:09 PM on June 11, 2011

Be sure to look into Liability insurance. It's one thing to be on the hook for a $25,000 truck; it's another to be on the hook for $500K+ of medical bills if you were to injure someone else.
posted by reeddavid at 4:19 PM on June 11, 2011

Best answer: Here's the thing: the link you provide lists four types of insurance products: Damage Waivers, Supplemental Liability Insurance, Personal and Cargo, and Auto Tow Protection.

Damage Waivers cover damage to the vehicle you're renting. Think physical damage coverage on a traditional personal auto policy.

Personal and Cargo looks like some version of "medical payments" coverage, i.e. a small amount of no-fault coverage for the occupants of the vehicle.

Auto Tow Protection does what it says on the tin.

But Supplemental Liability Insurance is "an 'Excess Vehicle Liability Insurance Policy' that provides additional liability insurance, within specified limits, above the limits provided in the Budget Rental Agreement." Which suggests that some liability insurance is provided by the actual rental agreement. So you're going to want to find out 1) how much insurance is actually provided by the agreement, and 2) whether they're going to want to rent you a vehicle at all if you don't have your own insurance. They may not.

Either way, you want to make sure you're adequately covered here, and Budget isn't likely to be cost competitive on any of this. Call your renter's carrier and ask for "non-owned/hired auto" coverage to be added to your renter's policy. It's basically everything you'd get in a standard personal auto policy, only for vehicles you don't own. This coverage type is frequently included in personal auto policies, so renter's policies generally don't have it, but should be available as an endorsement for extra premium. You can even have it on the policy just for the policy period--or even potentially just the month--that you're renting the truck, though you'll probably hit a minimum premium charge at some point. Also, Thorzdad is right: property in transit like this is kind of a grey area for renter's policies. You should investigate that while you're on the phone with them.
posted by valkyryn at 4:41 AM on June 12, 2011

Response by poster: Thank you for the answers and advice. I called State Farm and they suggested that I buy the damage waiver and liability coverage offered through Budget Trucks. They apparently can't sell temporary non-owner car insurance and non-short term coverage would be significantly more expensive then what Budget offers ($150 or $200 with liability). Budget's coverage excludes damage to the windshield and tires so it won't help in the event of a rock strike.

This wasn't really what I wanted to hear but apparently there is not much that can be done about it. If I owned a car I could get car insurance for $30/month that would provide coverage but without it

Our household contents are protected against the standard named threats (fire, wind, etc) the same in transit as when they are sitting at home but damage from a wreck (unless, presumably, the wreck starts a fire) would not be covered.

Unless someone chips in with a last minute piece of advice I guess I'm stuck paying $200 for Budget's seemingly overpriced insurance.
posted by ChrisHartley at 4:22 PM on June 14, 2011

damage from a wreck (unless, presumably, the wreck starts a fire) would not be covered.

Actually... that's questionable. I obviously can't say for sure, but loss from a covered peril, e.g. a fire, which results from an excluded peril, e.g. a wreck, isn't always covered. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. Policy- and fact-specific.
posted by valkyryn at 12:41 PM on June 20, 2011

Response by poster: Quick followup - Our local budget didn't actually have the truck on moving day and sent us 50 miles away to pick one up. As compensation they gave an additional 20% discount (on top of the 20% off coupon I already had) which exactly covered the cost of the Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI) and Limited Damage Waiver (LDW).

For future reference to anyone renting a truck from Budget, the local dealer can give up to 20% off the rental price. To get more than that you will need to negotiate with the national customer service number. They can't directly discount the insurance and damage waiver products but they can discount the rental rate an equivalent amount. It pays to call and complain if something is wrong.

Thanks again for the answers.
posted by ChrisHartley at 9:44 AM on July 15, 2011

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