How Much Is Budget Rental Car Insurance?

Last Updated on April 23, 2022

Budget offers multiple types of rental car insurance.

Depending on which insurance products you choose, you could pay as little as $9 per day for Budget car insurance – or as much as $500 per day. Costs vary depending on your location, the value of your vehicle, and the options you select.

How much does Budget rental car insurance cost? Do you need to buy Budget rental car insurance? Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about Budget rental car insurance and its pricing.

Table of Contents:

How Budget Rental Car Insurance Works

Budget, like all rental car companies, offers several insurance products and protection plans.

When you rent a vehicle through Budget, you can buy Budget’s car insurance for added protection. Budget offers insurance to limit your liability after an accident, for example. They also offer coverage for possessions within the vehicle, among other insurance products.

Budget’s loss damage waiver (LDW) plan starts at $9 per day. The LDW absolves you of most liability after an accident. Instead of paying for damages out of pocket or making a claim through your own insurance company, Budget covers everything through its own insurance.

If you already have auto insurance (say, through GEICO on your personal vehicle), then you may not need to buy Budget’s rental car insurance. Most personal auto insurance policies extend to cover a rental vehicle. That means your rental vehicle has the same coverages and options as your personal vehicle. If you cause an accident with your rental vehicle, then you make a claim through your own insurer.

Budget Car Insurance Products

Budget offers four main types of car insurance coverages, including a loss damage waiver (LDW), personal accident and effects (PAE), supplemental liability insurance (SLI), and an emergency sickness plan (ESP).

Loss Damage Waiver (LDW)

Budget’s loss damage waiver (LDW) starts at $9 per day. If you buy this coverage, you are not responsible for damage to the rental vehicle or loss of the rental vehicle, regardless of fault.

Some drivers buy Budget’s LDW for added peace of mind. Others buy the LDW because they don’t want to deal with their own insurance company after a loss.

Budget’s LDW is not insurance and it’s not mandatory. You pay a daily fee, and Budget covers most damage to the rental vehicle.

Budget’s LDW does not cover damage to the rental vehicle that occurred while you were in violation of the rental agreement. If you were driving the vehicle recklessly or illegally, for example, or if you were driving a vehicle off-road or in a forbidden area, then you may be liable for any damage.

Partial Loss Damage Waiver (PDW)

Budget also offers a partial loss damage waiver (PDW) in certain states.

In exchange for a smaller daily rate, Budget covers damage to the rental vehicle up to a certain limit. Instead of covering the entire value of the rental vehicle, for example, Budget may only cover damage up to $5,000. If you cause damage to the vehicle in excess of that amount, then you need to pay. Or, you can make a claim through your own insurance.

Personal Accidents and Effects Insurance (PAE)

Budget bundles its personal accident insurance (PAI) and personal effects insurance (PEC) into one policy called personal accidents and effects insurance (PAE).

Available in most states, PAE functions similar to health insurance. It covers medical expenses and ambulance costs resulting from an accident involving your rental vehicle.

PAE also covers your personal effects. If your personal effects (like your luggage) are destroyed in an accident, or if someone steals your luggage from your vehicle, then you can make a claim through Budget’s PAE to receive compensation up to a certain limit.

Here’s how Budget’s PAE coverage works:

  • Covers accidental death and dismemberment up to $175,000 (for the renter) and $25,000 (for passengers)
  • Covers accident medical expenses up to $10,000
  • Provides hospital accident benefits of up to $500 per day for 30 days
  • Provides personal effects coverage of up to $1,000 per item and a maximum of $3,000 for all items in the rental vehicle

Specific limits vary from state to state based on insurance laws.

Personal Accident & Effects Insurance Plus (PAE Plus)

Budget also offers PAE Plus for added protection and peace of mind. In exchange for a higher daily fee, Budget provides additional coverage for you and your passengers.

Budget’s PAE Plus covers the following:

  • Covers accidental death and dismemberment up to $250,000 (for the renter) and $125,000 (for the passengers) for vehicles with a capacity of up to 15 occupants
  • Covers accident medical expenses up to $15,000
  • Provides hospital accident benefit of $500 per day up to 30 days
  • Provides personal effects coverage of up to $1,000 per item and a maximum of $3,000 for all items in the rental vehicle

Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI)

Budget offers supplemental liability insurance (SLI), which increases your liability limits on the rental vehicle.

Liability coverage protects you when you injure someone or damage someone’s property when driving. When you cause damage, you are liable for that damage.

All personal auto insurance policies include liability coverage. However, your Budget rental car has the same limits as your personal vehicle. If you have $1,000,000 of liability coverage on your personal auto insurance policy, then Budget’s supplemental liability insurance may be unnecessary. If you only have a minimum liability insurance policy, however, then you could be under-insured, in which case you may want to buy Budget’s supplemental liability insurance.

Here’s how Budget’s supplemental liability insurance works:

  • You pay a daily fee (outlined on your rental agreement) in exchange for added liability insurance from Budget
  • Budget increases your liability insurance limits to $1,000,000 to $2,000,000, depending on the jurisdiction of your rental
  • Budget’s supplemental liability insurance covers you when driving the rental car within the United States and Canada, but only if the car is rented and returned in the United States; coverage does not extend to Mexico
  • Budget’s supplemental liability insurance covers bodily injury liability (injuries you cause to other people when driving the rental vehicle) and property damage liability (damage you cause to others’ property when driving the rental vehicle)

Emergency Sickness Plan (ESP)

Budget offers a unique car insurance policy called the Emergency Sickness Plan (ESP).

This coverage is exclusively available to non-US resident renters. You pay a daily rate, then get covered against illnesses you experience when renting the vehicle.

ESP covers the driver and traveling companions. If you want to protect your trip against unexpected illnesses, then Budget’s ESP may be worth it.

Factors that Impact the Price of Budget Car Insurance

Budget’s car insurance prices vary widely based on many factors, including:

  • Location of the rental
  • Type of rental vehicle
  • Value of the rental vehicle
  • Insurance coverages you select

Budget does not disclose pricing upfront. However, they may disclose insurance pricing on your rental agreement. Check your rental confirmation to view available coverages in your rental location.

Budget’s loss damage waiver (LDW) starts at $9 per day. Most drivers pay $10 to $50 per day for Budget auto insurance. However, Budget’s auto insurance prices could range from $5 to $500 per day based on all of the factors above.

Do I Need Budget Car Insurance?

All Budget car insurance products are optional. You do not need to buy any of the coverages listed above.

Your personal auto insurance policy extends to cover your Budget car rental. If you already have car insurance, then that car insurance extends to cover a standard Budget car rental.

However, your car insurance policy has the same limits and coverages on your rental vehicle as your personal vehicle. This could leave you under-insured. If you drive a $10,000 personal vehicle and are renting a $60,000 SUV, for example, then you could be under-insured, and you may want to buy Budget’s rental car insurance for added protection.

A standard auto insurance policy also does not cover non-standard vehicles. It does not cover you when renting a moving truck or certain types of vans, for example.

You may also have insurance through a credit card. Most major credit cards provide secondary insurance for car rentals, giving you added protection. However, some credit cards function as primary insurance for rental cars.

Final Word – Budget Rental Insurance Cost

Check your Budget rental car agreement to determine how much your Budget rental car insurance will cost.

Most drivers pay $10 to $50 for Budget’s rental car insurance, with the loss damage waiver (LDW) starting at $9 per day.

To learn more about Budget’s rental car insurance options, check your rental car policy or contact Budget today.

James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for and a well-seasoned auto insurance industry veteran. He has a deep knowledge of insurance rules and regulations and is passionate about helping drivers save money on auto insurance. He is responsible for researching and writing about anything auto insurance-related. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bentley University and his work has been quoted by NBC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.
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