Do You Need Car Insurance to Rent a U-Haul?

Last Updated on January 12, 2022

If you’re preparing for a major move, then you might rent a U-Haul. The popular moving trucks are an affordable way to move your possessions across the city or across the country. But do you need car insurance to rent a U-Haul? Can you rent a U-Haul without insurance? Should you purchase U-Haul’s additional, optional insurance when you rent your truck?

Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about whether or not you need car insurance when renting a U-Haul.

Your Car Insurance Typically Doesn’t Cover your U-Haul Truck Rental

do you need insurance to rent a uhaulWhen you rent a car, your existing car insurance policy often covers your rental car as well.

However, this doesn’t hold true when renting a U-Haul. Even if your coverage extends to rental trucks, there are typically size restrictions on those rental trucks. A U-Haul is very likely to surpass those size restrictions.

That means if you don’t buy in-house U-Haul insurance and you cause damage to your rental truck, then you may be required to pay out of pocket.

The same thing applies to rental car insurance through your credit card: most credit card rental insurance policies won’t cover rental trucks.

All of this adds up to a simple conclusion: it’s generally a good idea to purchase additional insurance for your U-Haul.

What Does U-Haul Insurance Cover?

U-Haul offers its own rental truck insurance called SafeMove. The basic rental truck insurance offered by U-Haul offers three basic protections:

  • A zero-deductible damage waiver that covers all accidental damages to the rental truck
  • Cargo coverage that covers any damage to possessions inside the vehicle, including coverage of up to $25,000 (for one-way rentals) or $15,000 (for local rentals) with a $100 deductible; this typically protects your possessions against fires, windstorms, overturned trucks, and other hazards that can damage items inside your U-Haul
  • Medical bill coverage; in the event of an accident, U-Haul’s Safemove insurance will provide up to $1,000 in medical bill coverage; an additional $15,000 in life coverage is available if a passenger dies, plus $25,000 if the lessee dies

When renting your U-Haul, you’ll usually be asked if you want to upgrade to SafeMove Plus, which provides an additional $1 million in supplemental liability insurance (SLI) covering property damage, bodily injuries, or legal action committed by third parties (i.e. anyone not involved with your rental truck). Just like with ordinary Safemove, there’s no deductible for SLI.

U-Haul SafeMove vs. U-Haul Safe-Move Plus

To recap, the table below compares the two different U-Haul insurance plans, the SafeMove and the SafeMove Plus.

U-Haul Insurance CoverageSafeMoveSafeMove Plus
Damage WaiverCovers accident damage to truck (excluding collisions with overhead objects).Covers accident damage to truck.
Cargo CoverageCovers $15,000 to $20,000 in cargo damage from collision, fire, windstorm, or overturn of the truck. Covers $15,000 to $20,000 in cargo damage from collision, fire, windstorm, or overturn of the truck.
Medical / Life ProtectionCovers $1,000 in medical expenses or $15,000 to $25,000 in loss of life coverage resulting from truck accident.Covers $1,000 in medical expenses or $15,000 to $25,000 in loss of life coverage resulting from truck accident.
Supplemental Liability InsuranceN/AAn extra $1,000,000 in liability coverage.
Exclusion Free CoverageN/ANo exclusions to the damage waiver. Includes coverage for collision with an overhead object.

What Isn’t Covered By U-Haul’s SafeMove?

U-Haul’s SafeMove insurance covers everything listed above. However, there are certain restrictions against what’s covered.

For example, if you’re towing your vehicle behind your U-Haul truck, then your vehicle will not be covered. Essentially, anything inside the truck is included, while things outside the truck are not included.

Certain mechanical damage is also not covered under the policy. If you cause mechanical damage to the vehicle through your own driving – say, by pushing or rocking the truck if it gets stuck in ice or mud – then Safemove may not cover the cost of repairs or replacements.

SafeMove exclusions vary from state to state. U-Haul doesn’t provide identical insurance to customers in every state. Make sure you clarify the terms with your local U-Haul office before you get on the road.

Final Word – Do You Need Insurance to Rent a U-Haul?

The majority of credit card rental car insurance policies will not cover U-Haul truck rentals. The same goes for ordinary car insurance plans. Generally speaking, your policy will cover ordinary car and truck rentals, but not U-Haul truck rentals due to size restrictions.

That means if you get into an accident while driving your U-Haul, or if your truck is damaged for any reason, then you could be on-the-hook for any damages.

U-Haul won’t just charge you for the costs of repairing or replacing your vehicle. The company will also charge you for lost revenue while the truck is in the shop.

Ultimately, talk to your insurance company to determine if your policy covers U-Haul truck rentals. Drivers with comprehensive insurance policies might receive more coverage than drivers with liability insurance. Clarify the terms of your policy before you get on the road. Generally speaking, however, it’s a good idea to buy U-Haul’s Safemove insurance prior to renting your truck.

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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