Rental trucks might not be covered under your personal policy or credit card company, even if these companies usually do cover rental cars. Know your policy, coverage needs and options ahead of time so that you and your belongings get proper protection.
What kind of coverage do I need for a rental truck?
The kind of coverage you need when you rent a moving truck or pickup depends on what your personal auto policy already provides.
However, most policies don’t cover moving trucks and trailers, even if rental cars and pickups are covered.
Consider adding protection you may need to fill in coverage gaps:
Bodily injury and property damage liability. Pays for vehicle or property damage and medical bills for others involved in an accident you cause. This is covered by some personal policies.
Collision. Pays for physical damage to the rental vehicle from your personal insurance policy, if covered.
Supplemental liability. Offers the same coverage as your personal auto policy, often up to $1 million. Required by state if not covered by your personal insurance.
Personal and cargo. Protects specific cargo and covers expensive medical bills. Doesn’t usually cover damage caused by shifting cargo.
Personal damage or collision damage waiver (PDW or CDW). Relieves you of responsibility to the rental company for vehicle damage caused by collisions, theft or vandalism.
Limited damage waiver (LDW). Similar to above, but may require a deductible.
Credit cards cover rentals. Your credit card may offer rental vehicle coverage if you pay for the rental with the card. However, the company may not cover large vans, flatbed trucks or moving trucks, depending on its policy.
Also, coverage through your credit card company is usually limited to a collision damage waiver and sometimes includes towing costs or loss of vehicle use. You’ll need to ensure you have proper coverage for liability and personal items from your policy or from the rental car company.
Credit card coverage often applies as secondary insurance, covering only what other policies exclude. It’s best to find out where you’re covered ahead of time to avoid any surprises if you need to make a claim.
What additional coverage should I consider?
Rental companies offer add-ons to help you cover your belongings, especially when moving homes.
Auto tow protection. Get coverage from the rental company for a car you tow behind the rental truck, including accident and weather damage coverage.
Roadside assistance. Gain extra peace of mind during long trips for minor roadside needs, such as a flat tire or battery jumpstart. Purchased from the rental company.
Personal effects. Opt for coverage from the rental company to protect personal belongings like a laptop if it’s stolen. May also be covered by homeowners or property insurance.
Get the right insurance for your rental truck
How much does moving truck insurance cost?
Average base cost
Average cost per mile
Budget Truck Rental
Enterprise Truck Rental
Does it matter what kind of rental truck I get?
While you’ll find similar coverage no matter which type of rental truck you use, you might see a few differences including:
Personal accident coverage. Coverage for rentals from a traditional rental car company. Helps with medical payments for you and your passengers but excludes cargo protection.
Proof of insurance. For rental pickups from hardware stores, you’ll likely just need proof of your own auto insurance policy at check-in. You may need to ensure this rental is covered by your policy beforehand.
Moving truck package. Some moving truck companies bundle their most popular coverage into one insurance package. You may find savings this way.
What if I’m moving to a different state?
Because nearly every state has minimum insurance requirements, you’ll find little difference between moving your personal items around town or across state borders. You’ll have to meet state minimum requirements either way.
However, consider adding extra protection to match the increased risk of an accident while driving a truck long distance. Extra coverage to consider:
Liability. May need higher limits than provided by personal policy or credit card company.
Medical payments. May be helpful but not necessary with adequate health insurance.
Personal belongings. Keeps your cargo safe from theft and accident damage.
Roadside assistance. You’re more likely to break down on a long-distance trip.
Also, consider that pickup rentals from hardware stores often are required to be returned to the same location and charge based on time rather than mileage. These may not work well for using them out of state.
Must read: Is it a good idea to switch car insurance after a move?
Yes, consider getting new car insurance quotes after moving addresses for a few reasons:
Location affects rates. Moving to a new location may mean lower theft rates or risk of car accidents.
New discounts available. Now, you might qualify for additional savings like a homeowners discount or another discount offered only to certain states.
New provider options. Your move might open up new choices for insurance companies.
Better value for money. You might find more coverage for the same or better rate, based on your new life situation.
How do I make a claim after an accident in a rental truck?
Go to the company website homepage or insurance information page. Click the provided link to online claims.
You can also call the company’s claims or general customer service phone number to speak with a representative.
Enter accident details, including vehicle information, insurance details from other involved drivers and description or photos of accident damage.
Complete additional forms or documentation required.
Pay your share of deductibles or damage expenses.
What should I watch out for?
When you rent a truck, look out for several sticky situations when your coverage might be limited:
Assuming you have coverage. Make sure you know what’s covered, the limits and any deductibles involved so that you can fill in gaps where needed.
Preventable damage. Many companies exclude damage caused by reckless behavior or failure to maintain safe conditions, such as cargo theft due to an unlocked trailer door.
Specific damage exclusions. Both rental and credit card companies may limit coverage under certain situations, especially weather conditions.
Rental period limits. Credit card companies may include a maximum number of days to get coverage for a rental car.
Shifting cargo. Most cargo coverage plans don’t include damage caused by cargo shifting around during transport.
Moving truck, flatbed or van coverage. Your personal insurance or credit card company likely excludes these vehicles from receiving rental car insurance, even if it’s provided for other rental cars.
Your personal auto policy or credit card company may not cover a rental truck, even if they do cover rental cars. For wide protection during your move, consider supplemental liability as well as the optional collision damage waiver and personal effects.
Frequently asked questions about rental truck insurance
Yes, in many cases, you’ll need to add supplemental liability and opt for other preferred coverage. This applies when your personal auto insurance or credit card company doesn’t provide the coverage you need. Many times, these companies don’t cover moving trucks or vans, even when other rental cars are covered.
Insurance for a moving trailer is often provided by the rental company and includes a collision damage waiver, coverage for specific vehicles towed using the trailer and limited coverage for personal possessions.
Alternatives to renting a moving truck include hiring movers, using a personal van or truck or shipping your belongings. Although not always required, you may want insurance protection for your belongings.
A moving company may offer several plans, including a basic plan that reimburses you by the weight of the item or optional plans that use an item’s full replacement value. When moving your items in a personal vehicle, your homeowners or renters insurance may offer protection.
Sarah George is a writer at Finder who unravels complicated topics about insurance, business and finance. She's been wordsmithing for nearly five years, after earning an English education degree. Her insurance know-how has been featured on CarInsurance.com. You can usually find Sarah sipping hot tea and talking through movie plots in her downtime.
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