No liability – no way, no how
Collision is only half the auto insurance story, of course, and neither travel insurance nor your credit card rental protection provide liability coverage, which protects you in case the rental car the rental car you are driving damages other property (or even worse, people).
Your own automobile insurance coverage may include liability, but again, if you’re using your auto insurance to cover your rental car when you travel, get your hands on the coverage details and understand the benefits and limitations. Plus, check your limits because if you drive a 15-year-old car at home and rent a nice, new minivan on vacation, your limits may not be enough to cover damage to the rental car. If liability insurance isn’t available as part of your travel insurance or credit card insurance, see if you can add a third-party liability (often called an “umbrella” rider to your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance).
See the full details about car rental collision coverage.
Without a credit card, rely on travel insurance
While the protection you have with a credit card is typically included in your annual fee (unless you purchase a specific insurance product from your credit card issuer), travel insurance collision coverage costs (on average) $7-$9 dollars per day, which is a lot less than the $18-$21 per day often charged by car rental agencies.
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