Does GEICO Offer Rental Car Insurance?

Last Updated on January 13, 2022

GEICO is America’s second-largest car insurance company. Depending on your GEICO policy, GEICO could cover rental car insurance.

If you have liability insurance with GEICO, then your insurance should extend to any cars you rent. That means you can avoid buying car insurance from the rental car company. However, carrying only minimum liability coverage could leave gaps in rental car coverage, and you may want to buy insurance from the rental car agency regardless.

Additionally, GEICO policyholders with rental car reimbursement coverage, which is optional, may receive compensation for renting a car while their main car is being repaired after a covered incident.

Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about rental car insurance with GEICO.

Table of Contents:

How Rental Car Insurance Works

When you rent a car, that car always has insurance. Rental car companies carry insurance across all vehicles.

However, the rental car company’s insurance provides limited protection to drivers. That’s why many drivers carry additional rental car coverage through their auto insurance provider (like GEICO) or their credit card company (like VISA, American Express, Discover, or MasterCard). Alternatively, some drivers buy rental car insurance through their insurer (in the form of a collision damage waiver or CDW).

If you have liability car insurance with GEICO, then that insurance should extend to cover any cars you rent.

If you only have minimum liability insurance with GEICO, however, then your policy could leave you under-insured when renting a vehicle. Your liability insurance rises to match the state in which you’re renting the vehicle. However, your insurance may not include a collision damage waiver, personal effects coverage, medical payments coverage, or other types of coverage.

For maximum protection, you may want to upgrade your GEICO policy to a full coverage plan (which includes collision or comprehensive coverage). Or, you may want to buy additional car insurance from the rental car company (or use a credit card with added rental car coverage).

Types of Rental Car Insurance

Auto insurance companies like GEICO offer two main types of rental car insurance, including:

Full Coverage Rental Car Insurance: If you have full coverage car insurance on your ordinary vehicle and you rent a vehicle, then your GEICO policy should provide full coverage car insurance to that vehicle. Although this policy applies in different ways, it should cover damage to your vehicle, theft of the vehicle, and any damage you cause to other people or property when driving that rental vehicle.

Rental Car Reimbursement Coverage: Rental car reimbursement coverage is different. It covers the cost of renting the vehicle itself. If you crashed your ordinary vehicle and it needs repairs, for example, then GEICO will cover the cost of renting a new vehicle until your ordinary vehicle is repaired. Rental car reimbursement coverage is available as an optional add-on.

Check Your GEICO Policy to Determine Adequate Coverage

Does GEICO offer rental car insurance? The answer depends on your policy. Some GEICO policies cover rental cars, while others do not.

  • Check your policy to make sure you have adequate car insurance. Liability car insurance should extend to any rental cars. Some drivers carry full coverage car insurance for better protection. Full coverage car insurance includes collision and comprehensive coverage. Collision and comprehensive coverage are optional in all states, but they provide added protection for your own vehicle after accidents and outside of accidents. If you have full coverage car insurance, then GEICO should extend that full coverage car insurance to your rental car.
  • Look for rental reimbursement coverage on your policy. GEICO offers rental reimbursement coverage as an optional add-on. If you have rental reimbursement coverage, then GEICO will cover the cost of renting a vehicle when you are unable to drive your ordinary vehicle after a covered accident (say, if your ordinary vehicle was destroyed, damaged, or stolen).

Contact GEICO If Unsure About Rental Car Coverage

If you can’t find the right part of your GEICO policy to determine rental car coverage, then contact GEICO to verify coverage.

Having the right rental car coverage is important. If you drive a rental car without the right coverage, you could be exposed to significant liability.

By contacting GEICO and explaining the situation, you can determine if you have the appropriate coverage for your upcoming rental car (or current rental car). If you don’t have adequate coverage, then you may be able to add it to your policy.

Your Credit Card May Provide Rental Car Insurance

If you bought your rental car with a credit card, then that credit card may extend rental car insurance to your vehicle. In this situation, you can get rental car insurance without relying on GEICO.

Many major credit cards cover rental car insurance. Check your credit card documentation to verify coverage.

Additionally, many major credit cards fill in the gaps in rental car coverage. GEICO may leave gaps in rental car coverage, for example, that your credit card will cover. This can give you added protection after an accident.

What Does Rental Car Insurance Cover?

Your rental car company may offer to sell you car insurance for your rental car. In exchange for a daily fee, you get predictable insurance coverage for your vehicle.

By checking your GEICO policy in advance, you can determine if you need to buy insurance from the rental car – or if you’re already covered.

Here’s what is typically covered when you buy rental car insurance from a rental car company:

  • Liability coverage (including bodily injury and property damage liability, which are required in most states)
  • Personal accident insurance
  • Collision damage waiver (CDW) or loss damage waiver (LDW), which means you pay nothing or very little after a claim
  • Personal effects coverage

Insurance You May Already Have with GEICO

As GEICO.com explains, your GEICO policy may overlap with the rental car company’s policy. Coverages included on a typical full coverage GEICO policy include:

Liability Coverage: If you have liability insurance with GEICO (which is required in most states), then that liability insurance should extend to your rental car. If you have the minimum liability requirements in your state, then your GEICO policy will rise to meet the minimum liability requirements in the state where you’re renting the vehicle. If you have higher liability limits, then those limits should extend to the rental car.

Personal Accident Insurance: If your GEICO policy has medical payments coverage or personal injury protection (required in some states but optional in most), then your GEICO policy could provide personal accident insurance when renting a vehicle. In this situation, GEICO could cover certain medical bills after an accident involving your rental vehicle.

Insurance You Might Need

Even if you have a valid GEICO insurance policy, that policy could leave gaps in your rental car coverage. Insurance coverages you may need from your insurer include:

Collision Damage Waiver or Loss Damage Waiver: A collision damage waiver (CDW) is not an insurance product. Instead, it’s a waiver that means you don’t need to pay anything when making a claim on your rental car. If your rental car is damaged or stolen, for example, then your rental car company assumes all of the risk. Even if you have GEICO car insurance, this insurance will not waive collision or loss damage. You need to buy a collision damage waiver or loss damage waiver from the rental car company to avoid paying a fee. Even with valid GEICO insurance, you’ll pay after a claim. The rental car company may charge you a fee for the length of time it takes to repair the vehicle, for example, if you did not buy the collision damage waiver from the insurance company.

Personal Effects Coverage: GEICO does not provide personal effects coverage automatically. If someone breaks into your rental car and steals your luggage, then GEICO will not pay to replace that luggage (unless you have a separate homeowners or renters insurance policy with GEICO). Some rental car insurance policies provide personal effects coverage for added peace of mind.

Final Word on GEICO Rental Car Insurance

Contact GEICO to ensure your policy extends to a rental car. Generally, GEICO extends liability insurance to any vehicles you rent. As long as you have a minimum liability insurance policy with GEICO, that policy should extend to cover a car you rent.

However, GEICO’s minimum liability policy could leave gaps in coverage, which is why many drivers carry additional coverage, buy rental car coverage through a credit card, or buy a collision damage waiver from the rental car agency.

To learn more and to ensure you’re adequately protected when renting a vehicle, contact GEICO today.

James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for InsurancePanda.com 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.
Back to Top