AutoInsurance.com
Icon CheckLast updated: December 13, 2022

The Best Auto Insurance for Rentals

The best rental car insurance coverage options after an accident, for your business, or for personal use

Best Overall Auto Insurance for Rentals
American Family Logo

With a robust rental reimbursement plan, affordable rates, and a partnership with Enterprise Rent-A-Car, American Family offers everything you need to stay protected in your rental.

Best Rental Auto Insurance for Military
USAA Logo

If you’re a veteran, active military member, or spouse/child of a military member, you can take advantage of USAA’s many car rental perks and discounts.

Most of the time, your personal auto insurance coverage will extend to rentals if you have liability insurance, comprehensive, and collision (full coverage). Beyond using your own car insurance for your rental, there are a number of ways to prepare for an accident or gain extra coverage that can make renting car insurance that much easier.

Rental car reimbursement, 24/7 roadside assistance, new car replacement/better car replacement, international rental insurance, and accident forgiveness are all valuable coverage options if you’re on vacation or want to be prepared if you need a rental. Below we’ll get into the best providers for rental car insurance, including their rates, policies, additional coverage options, and discounts.

Summary of the Best Auto Insurance for Rentals

  1. 1.

    Best Overall Auto Insurance for Rentals: American Family

  2. 2.

    Best Rental Auto Insurance for Military: USAA

  3. 3.

    Best Rental Auto Insurance After an Accident: Liberty Mutual

  4. 4.

    Best Rental Insurance for Commercial Vehicles: Nationwide

  5. 5.

    Best Auto Insurance Rentals for Seniors: AARP

Comparison of the Best Auto Insurance for Rentals

Insurance company Average annual rates for drivers Bundling discounts (multi-policy) Rental partnerships J.D. Power overall customer satisfaction index (out of 1,000)1 Review
American Family $1,400 Yes Enterprise Rent-A-Car 855 Coming soon
USAA $1,151 Yes Avis, Budget, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and Hertz 884 USAA review
Liberty Mutual $1,637 Yes Rental Beast 860 Liberty Mutual review
Nationwide $1,614 Yes N/A 858 Nationwide review
AARP (The Hartford) $1,520 Yes Avis, Expedia, Budget, Payless Car Rental, Zipcar 889 AARP review

Detailed List of the Auto Insurance for Rentals

1. Best Overall Auto Insurance for Rentals - American Family
American Family Logo

What We Like Most:

  • Add-on roadside assistance
  • Will pay for a rental car if yours is in the shop
  • Diminishing deductibles

American Family has some of the lowest average annual rates in the country ($1,400) and offers liability coverage and full coverage plans that extend to your car insurance rentals. You can obtain several coverage features with American Family, like rental car reimbursement, that will keep you prepared in the event of an accident. Additionally, American Family has a number of car rental partnerships so you can find the best rental company that works for you and enjoy a seamless payment process.

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    People looking for affordable rates
  • pro
    People who want rideshare reimbursements
  • pro
    Young people
  • pro
    People who want to use public transportation as part of their rental reimbursement add-on
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
    People who do not live in one of the following states:
    • Arizona
    • Colorado
    • California
    • Idaho
    • Illinois
    • Indiana
    • Iowas
    • Kansas
    • Michigan
    • Minnesota
    • Missouri
    • North Carolina
    • Nebraska
    • Nevada
    • North Dakota
    • Oregon
    • South Carolina
    • South Dakota
    • Texas
    • Utah
    • Virginia
    • Washington
    • Wisconsin
  • con
    People who have a DUI

Robust Rental Reimbursement Coverage

Rental reimbursement is an optional coverage feature that helps you pay for a rental when your car is in the shop, totaled, or undrivable after a covered loss. American Family’s rental reimbursement plan provides you with coverage up to your personal policy’s limit, which means you can drive a rental with a similar price tag to your original car. If you get into an accident or your car is damaged in a covered loss, you can get reimbursed for the following modes of transportation:

  • City buses
  • Commuter trains
  • Light rail
  • Rental car costs
  • Rideshare services
  • Taxis

PRO TIP:


There’s usually a per-day, per-accident limit for your rental reimbursement coverage, which means your coverage will end once you’ve reached your per-accident limit. If you expect to use a rental for a long period of time, you can make the most out of your rental reimbursement plan by selecting a low-cost rental car.

Rental Car Dealership Partners

American Family’s partnership with Enterprise Rent-A-Car, which has 9,500 locations around the world, is designed to streamline the car rental process for you. For example, if you choose one of American Family’s Rent-A-Car-approved providers, you can ask the company to bill American Family directly. That way, you don’t have to worry about saving your receipts, filing a claim form, and waiting for your reimbursement.

Big Savings

With an annual average cost of $1,400, American Family’s rates are the second cheapest on our list and well below the national annual average of $2,071. In most cases, your liability and comprehensive/collision coverage will extend to your car rental, so cheap car insurance equates to cheap car rental insurance.

American Family has a variety of discounts that can help you bring your costs down and save on your car insurance. Here are some of its most notable saving opportunities:

  • Up to 20 percent off with American Family’s safe driver tracking program, KnowYourDrive
  • Low-mileage discount for driving fewer than 7,500 miles per year
  • Away-at-school discount for parents whose kids are under the age of 25 and more than 100 miles away from home attending college
  • Paperless discount by enrolling in e-billing and electronic document delivery
  • Multi-policy discount when you bundle your home and auto
  • Multi-vehicle discount when you insure more than one car with American Family
2. Best Rental Auto Insurance for Military - USAA

What We Like Most:

  • Lowest rates for military members, veterans, and their families
  • Rideshare insurance available
  • Usage-based insurance available for low-mileage drivers

USAA is the most affordable large provider in the country ($1,151) and has earned the highest consecutive J.D. Power customer satisfaction rankings. However, its coverage is available to USAA members only, meaning you have to be an active military member, veteran, or spouse/child of a military member or veteran. If you qualify for a membership, you’ll have access to affordable rates, attractive insurance perks, and a variety of USAA-exclusive car rental benefits.

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    USAA members
  • pro
    Safe drivers
  • pro
  • pro
    Deployed service members
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
    Unsafe drivers

USAA Damage Liability Rental Coverage

USAA offers a well-rounded damage liability rental coverage plan that can provide you with coverage in a few different ways. If you aren’t stationed in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or another U.S. territory, you could benefit from the following rental coverage options:

  • Loss damage coverage benefits: USAA members are responsible for the first $5,000 of damage done to a rental vehicle. However, with a loss damage waiver, you won’t be responsible for any of the claim amount, including the $5,000 deductible.
  • Primary liability: This is a basic liability plan for your rental, which provides you with coverage for both bodily injury and property damage.
  • Loss of use coverage: Loss-of-use coverage ensures the rental company won’t charge you a fee if your rental gets damaged and needs to be taken out of service.

Young Driver Fee Waivers

As a military member, especially if you’re a newer rank who has to move more frequently, you often need rentals to meet the demands of your permanent change of station. And because younger drivers are statistically the least safe drivers, rental car companies will often charge you an additional fee if you’re younger than 24. USAA has a unique young-driver-fee waiver that can save you $44 a day in young-driver fees.

DID YOU KNOW?


Military members move approximately every three years. Newer ranks have to move even more frequently in order to train between deployments, finish their education, and fill vacant roles, which means they are more likely to rely on rentals between deployments and relocations.2

Rental Discounts and Benefits

You can take advantage of a number of USAA car rental benefits that can help you save on your rental, garner reward points, and gain access to four different car rental companies, including Avis, Budget, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and Hertz. Below are some of USAA’s main car rental benefits and what you can earn:

  • Rental discounts: USAA members gain 25 percent off their car rentals at participating locations.
  • Prepay discount: Prepaying for your car rental can save you up to 35 percent on your rental purchase.
  • Rewards program: USAA has a free rewards program that allows you to earn points every time you rent a vehicle. You also get front-of-the-line counter access to qualifying car rental locations.
3. Best Rental Auto Insurance After an Accident - Liberty Mutual

What We Like Most:

  • Save up to 30 percent with driver monitoring program
  • Cheap average rates
  • Over 2,000 local agents throughout the U.S.

If you need to use your car every day and want to avoid the inconvenience of being without a vehicle in the event of an accident, Liberty Mutual offers a robust rental car insurance plan with a number of coverage add-ons, rental discounts, and benefits. A lot of these coverage add-ons, like better car replacement insurance and 24-hour roadside assistance, can help you in the event of an accident while you’re waiting for your car to be repaired.

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    People who rely on their cars every day
  • pro
    People with new cars
  • pro
    People who want gap insurance
  • pro
    People traveling to Mexico
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
    People who want the cheapest provider
  • con
    People who do want to use a repair center outside of the Liberty Mutual network

Seamless Rental Reimbursement Plan

Liberty Mutual makes its rental reimbursement plan easy by automating your repair process, offering a rental valet service, and reimbursing you for rental fees. Similar to American Family’s rental reimbursement plan, Liberty Mutual will pay the cost of your rental car after an accident. Below are some of the benefits you’ll gain with Liberty Mutual’s rental reimbursement plan:

  • Unlimited repair time with select providers: If you allow Liberty Mutual to arrange the rental car and select one of its 2,000 approved repair shops, it will pay for your car rental costs for as long as it takes to fix your car.
  • Fee waivers: Depending on your limits, you can get reimbursed for out-of-pocket rental fees.
  • Rental discounts: If you rent a car from Enterprise-Rent-A-Car, you can earn a discount for being a Liberty Mutual customer.
  • Valet service: If your car is drivable after an accident or breakdown, a Liberty Mutual valet service member will drop off your rental at your location and drive your car to the repair shop.

Excellent Coverage Add-Ons

Liberty Mutual offers several car insurance add-ons that can minimize your time with a rental and get you back on the road with your own car. If you want to prepare in the event of an accident, you should consider integrating one of the following optional add-ons to your plan:

  • Lifetime repair guarantee: For as long as you own your Liberty Mutual-insured vehicle, Liberty Mutual guarantees to help you find an approved repair facility after an accident.
  • New car replacement insurance: If your new car is stolen or totaled in the first year, Liberty Mutual will cover the costs for a brand-new vehicle of the same original value (not its current, depreciated value).
  • Better car replacement: If you total your car, Liberty Mutual will pay for the cost of a car one year newer than your original.
  • 24-hour roadside assistance: A roadside service member is available 24/7 with this add-on, helping you with a flat tire, dead battery, emergency fuel, towing, and more.
  • Mexico car insurance: Traveling to Mexico? You can get coverage for your own vehicle or a rental, which is a necessity if you’re driving beyond the border zone (approximately 14 miles from Mexico’s northern border).
  • Original parts replacement: Original parts replacement helps you replace any damaged parts to your vehicle with the highest-quality parts standards. If the original parts are not available or no longer in production, Liberty Mutual will come up with an estimate that includes comparable parts.

Mobile App Management

Liberty Mutual makes managing your policy and the rental process easy through its mobile app. Through the app, we were able to file our mock claim for our accident, locate a rental dealership in the area, and reserve a rental within minutes. The interface is sleek and seamless, and it was easy to find and manage our rental reservation through the car rental tab.

On top of that, the app gave us a bird’s-eye view of the post-accident rental process, so looking for a trusted mechanic or keeping tabs on our repair timeline was as simple as a few taps.

4. Best Rental Insurance for Commercial Vehicles - Nationwide

What We Like Most:

  • Discounts for taking a defensive driver course
  • Network of local agents
  • Usage-based insurance program for low-mileage drivers

Nationwide is our top choice if you’re a business owner who uses rental vehicles, especially trucks and fleets, for your day-to-day operations. Whether you’re using your personal car, a truck, or a fleet of trucks, it’s important to be prepared in the event of an accident and to help encourage safer driving habits from your drivers. Nationwide offers a variety of solutions, like the Vantage 360 Fleet program, that can help encourage safer driving habits and enable you to reduce the chance of an accident.

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    Business owners with fleets or truck rentals
  • pro
    People who need quick claims for their businesses
  • pro
    People adding kids to their policies
  • pro
    People with poor credit
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
    People who want rideshare coverage
  • con
    People living in:
    • California
    • Delaware
    • Massachusetts
    • New Jersey
    • New York
    • Washington (Vantage 360 Fleet is not available in these states)

Fleet Tracking Incentive

Nationwide’s Vantage 360 Fleet program is a great way to save more on your insurance, encourage safe driving, and keep track of your drivers and rentals. Vantage 360 Fleet is a telematics program that requires you to give Nationwide access to the telematics tag in your rentals to collect fleet data and track your vehicles.

You can earn up to 10 percent off your commercial car insurance premiums by signing up for Vantage 360 Fleet, and your drivers can accrue reward points for safe driving that they can redeem as gift cards.

Interesting Statistic


Nearly 75 percent of drivers who used telematics apps had 47 percent fewer claims and 49 percent less severe claims.3

Great App Monitoring System

As a business owner, you can use Nationwide’s app monitoring system to track your rental mileage, optimize your routes, and analyze your drivers’ trends. We accessed both the mobile app and web portal, which showed us different aspects of the fleet center. The app had options for us to look at:

Through the web portal, we gained deeper analysis into route optimization suggestions, driver scores, trip histories, and live status reports of drivers. Both platforms were easy to use; gave us key insurance-related and business insights, like driver efficiency and route optimization; and helped simplify fleet management into a seamless user experience.

Additional Support Services

Beyond business rentals, Nationwide also offers a unique support program, Nationwide Private Client. Nationwide Private Client is essentially a bundle of several coverage add-ons and options that can give you more peace of mind while you’re on the road. It comes with:

  • Rental car reimbursement
  • No time limit or daily dollar limit for rental coverage if your car is being repaired under a covered claim
  • Rental coverage for you and your relatives
  • Roadside assistance
  • $500 reimbursement in trip interruption expenses in the event of a vehicle breakdown (if you’re 100 miles away from your residence)
  • Car lockout reimbursement up to $100
  • Battery service
5. Best Auto Insurance Rentals for Seniors - AARP
AARP logo

What We Like Most:

  • Best option for seniors
  • RecoverCare adds more coverage
  • Discounted policies from The Hartford

The American Association for Retired Persons (AARP) car insurance from The Hartford is our top provider for older Americans looking for auto insurance rentals. The AARP has more rental car company partnerships than any other provider on our list. As an AARP member, you’ll also have access to several rental discounts, benefits, and coverage features, which we’ll take a closer look at below.

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    Americans over the age of 50
  • pro
    People who use Expedia for their car rentals
  • pro
    People who want to bundle their home and auto insurance
  • pro
    New-car owners
ConsWho It's Not Best For

AARP Car Rental Discounts

The AARP offers some of the most sizable and extensive discounts for car insurance, including rentals. With several car companies and travel-related partnerships, you can gain discounts by using an approved AARP rental company or travel incentive. Some of those savings include:

  • Up to 30 percent off the base rate when you rent a car with Avis
  • Discounts when booking with the AARP Travel Center by Expedia
  • Up to 30 percent off the base rate when renting with Budget
  • 10 to 20 percent off when renting a truck with Budget
  • 5 percent off when renting with Payless Car Rental
  • $20 off an annual Zipcar membership

Post-Accident Benefits

If you’ve been in an accident and want to find a rental so you can get your car back on the road as quickly as possible, the following AARP benefits can simplify and quicken the claim and repair process:

  • Lifetime car repair assurance: Guaranteed lifetime repair from over 1,600 authorized repair shops
  • New car replacement: Guaranteed car replacement with the same make, model, and equipment
  • RecoverCare: Up to $2,500 to help pay for transportation, cleaning costs, and other household needs if you’ve been injured in an accident
  • Roadside assistance: Towing and labor support if you need help on the road with a flat tire, dead battery, empty fuel tank, or other mechanical issues

AARP Membership Benefits

On top of car rental discounts, you can access a number of membership benefits when you’re on holiday or preparing for that long-awaited retirement trip. If you’re planning a trip somewhere, you can save on your expenses with the following discounts and benefits:

  • Exclusive AARP cruise tours
  • Flights and vacation packages
  • Hotel and resort packages
  • Shopping and grocery deals
  • Restaurant discounts
  • The AARP Social Security Resource Center for help with retirement
  • Access to the AARP magazine

Methodology

  • Car rental features: Because your personal car insurance usually covers your car rentals in the U.S., we wanted to highlight the providers that provide car rental discounts, add-ons, and services that help your car get repaired quickly and with less hassle. Car rental reimbursements, dealership discounts, efficient claims structures, post-accident assistance, and repair services were all features we looked for from the top providers on this list.
  • Third-party ratings: At AutoInsurance.com, we rely on the most credible third-party ratings and public studies to accompany our proprietary data. We look at accredited sources, like AM Best, the Better Business Bureau, Moody’s, J.D. Power, S&P Global Ratings, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and other trusted industry leaders, to gather information on customer satisfaction and the financial strength of insurance providers.
  • Insider guidance: We consult directly with Paul Ford, the president of insurance services at Centerfield, AutoInsurance.com’s parent company. Paul has spent three decades in the insurance industry with tenures at Capital One Insurance Services, NetQuote, Bankrate, Datalot, and Canadian Access, among others. Paul’s extensive institutional knowledge and expert guidance help us provide customers with everything they need to find the perfect policies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will my car insurance cover my rental outside of the U.S.?

Most auto insurance plans do not cover rentals outside of the U.S. unless you are in a U.S. territory. However, many insurance providers provide a rental coverage option if you’re traveling to Mexico or Canada.

When do I need rental reimbursement car insurance?

We recommend rental reimbursement coverage for people who need to drive every day. Whether you need a car for work, family, or other personal needs, rental reimbursement will make sure you have a reliable source of transportation when you’re left without a car because of a covered loss.

Do I need my own car insurance to rent a car?

No, you do not need your own car insurance to rent a car in the U.S. However, you may want to add extra protection when renting a car. For example, personal effects coverage can help reimburse you if someone steals your personal items or if you damage your belongings in an accident.

How long will my insurance pay for a rental car?

Some companies, like Liberty Mutual, have no time limit or cap on how long they will reimburse you for a rental. Most companies, however, have an overall dollar cap and daily dollar cap. Nationwide, for example, has a $30-per-day cap and a $600 overall cap for rental reimbursements while your car is being repaired.

Citations

  1. Auto Insurance Rate Hikes Erode Price Satisfaction, Drive Surge in Value Shopping, J.D. Power Finds. J.D Power. (2022).
    https://www.jdpower.com/business/press-releases/2022-us-insurance-shopping-study

  2. WHY DO MILITARY FAMILIES MOVE SO MUCH? Armed Services YMCA. (2022).
    http://www.asymca.org/blog/why-do-military-families-move-so-much

  3. Nationwide Vantage 360 Fleet offers a simple view of your fleet and your drivers. Nationwide. (2022).
    https://www.nationwide.com/business/insurance/telematics/vantage360fleet