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Car Rental Coverage

IRWIN KRAMER: When you rent a car they are going to offer you the opportunity to buy additional insurance coverage. Sometimes you think well wait a second am I covered under my personal auto insurance policy?

JOHN DOETZER: In many personal auto insurance policies if you have physical damage insurance on the vehicles that you own and operate then you have an automatic extension of coverage for vehicles that you rent on a short term basis in your own personal name.

IRWIN KRAMER: You are even covered when you drive that vehicle south of the border into New Mexico.

JOHN DOETZER: Most personal auto policies have the New Mexico extension endorsement for liability coverage when you go across the border.

IRWIN KRAMER: But do not take to the Autobohn thinking that you are covered under your personal auto policy.

JOHN DOETZER: No, Europe is completely different. The European laws vary by country. There is no extension of liability for claims that occur over in Europe, particularly if they are litigated in Europe.

IRWIN KRAMER: If you are in Germany and about to take the wheel you need to take the additional insurance they will offer you at the rental agency.

JOHN DOETZER: All of the rental car agencies in Western Europe will provide what they call minimum limits coverage which is the minimum limit required by the host country that you are in. What you will want to do is to encourage them to tell you what the cost will be to increase those limits and how high can you buy.

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