What Insurance Do I Need for Renting a Moving Truck?

Last Updated on January 12, 2022

If you are renting a moving truck, then you may be concerned about insurance.

Your personal auto insurance policy does not cover moving trucks like it covers other rental cars. Your homeowners or renters insurance will cover your belongings in transit. However, you may still have gaps in coverage.

moving truck insuranceWhat insurance do I need to rent a moving truck? How much coverage should I get? Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about what insurance you need for renting a moving truck.

Table of Contents:

Contact Your Auto Insurance Company to Determine Coverage

Most personal auto insurance policies cover you when renting a vehicle. Unfortunately, because moving trucks are over a certain weight, your personal insurance may not cover you.

Many people rent a moving truck and assume they have full auto insurance. However, your policy may exclude coverage because the moving truck is over a certain weight limit. Some personal policies also specifically exclude rental trucks.

Check your policy or contact your insurer to determine if your personal policy covers a moving truck. If not, then you may need to buy insurance from the moving truck company or from a third party.

Homeowners and Renters Insurance Policies Cover Items During the Move

After checking your auto insurance policy to verify coverage for the moving truck, check your homeowners and renters insurance policy to make sure your items are covered.

If you have homeowners or renters insurance, then your insurance should cover items during the move.

While your items are in transition between homes, they remain covered by your renters or homeowners insurance.

Your renters or homeowners insurance covers items up to a certain limit. You may need to add coverage for high-value items, for example, or provide additional proof.

How Rental Moving Truck Insurance Works

Most rental moving truck companies offer their own insurance. If your personal auto insurance policy does not cover moving trucks, or if you want added peace of mind and protection, then you may want to buy insurance from the rental moving truck company.

By law, truck rental companies must carry insurance that meets state minimum liability requirements.

If you cause an accident while driving the moving truck, then the moving truck company’s insurer will cover certain medical bills (via bodily injury liability coverage) and vehicle repair costs (via property damage liability coverage) that you inflicted on the other party.

However, this coverage does not extend to the moving truck itself. Plus, the limits may be too low. If your state requires just $10,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per person, for example, then even a minor accident can exceed those limits, forcing you to pay out of pocket for remaining expenses.

Because of these limitations, many drivers buy additional insurance through the rental moving truck company. This supplemental coverage can increase peace of mind while protecting you, your passengers, and your possessions.

What’s Covered by Supplemental Rental Moving Truck Insurance?

If you buy supplemental rental moving truck insurance from the rental truck company, it could cover the following:

Limited Damage Waiver: Similar to the collision damage waiver (CDW) from rental car companies, the limited damage waiver covers any damages or losses to the rented truck in exchange for a daily fee.

Supplemental Liability Insurance: This coverage extends the liability coverage beyond state minimums, giving you added peace of mind and protection. Instead of having just $30,000 of liability coverage as required by your state, for example, you could increase the limits to $1 million or more for added protection.

Cargo Insurance: Cargo insurance covers your belongings during the move, up to a certain maximum. Cargo insurance may exclude natural disasters. If you have renters or homeowners insurance, then you may not need cargo insurance. However, if you don’t have renters or homeowners insurance, or if your insurance does not cover items in transition (or has low limits), then you may want to buy cargo insurance. Another advantage of cargo insurance is the lack of a deductible. However, cargo insurance may exclude certain categories of items, including TVs, antiques, jewelry, documents, and business property, among other possessions.

Towing Insurance: If you are towing a car or trailer behind the moving truck, then you may need towing insurance. Towing insurance may cover damage to the vehicle being towed. It could also cover any damage caused to the vehicle while loading or unloading the truck.

Other Coverages: Rental moving truck companies have different names for their insurance products. U-Haul, for example, offers Safetow Protection for around $8 per day that covers you when towing a trailer or transporting a vehicle. Depending on your insurance and any gaps you may have, it may be worth adding extra coverage to your policy.

Is It Worth It?

When renting a car, the supplement coverage is not typically worth it. Many people avoid buying extra coverage when renting a car because they’re already covered by their current insurance policy (or even by their credit card).

However, renting a moving truck is different. When you rent a moving truck, your personal policy does not typically cover you. That means the only insurance you have is your moving truck company’s minimum liability insurance. This liability insurance protects other drivers from damages you cause, but it does not cover you, your passengers, or your possessions.

Most experts recommend:

  • Accepting the damage waiver from your rental truck company. In exchange for $10 to $20 extra per day, you avoid responsibility for any damage to the truck during the rental period, regardless of whether it’s your fault.
  • Buying supplemental liability insurance. Moving truck companies must carry minimum liability insurance on vehicles by law. However, this insurance only meets minimum requirements in your state. That could leave you seriously under-insured after an accident. Experts recommend buying supplemental liability insurance from the moving truck company to raise limits. This may be extra important when taking a long trip.
  • Thinking twice about cargo protection insurance. Moving truck companies try to sell you hard on cargo insurance. Cargo insurance protects items inside the moving truck during the move. However, cargo insurance may not be worth it. It excludes many high-value items (like TVs and jewelry). Plus, you may already be covered by homeowners or renters insurance.
  • Skipping medical coverage and other optional coverages. Moving truck rental companies may offer additional coverages like medical coverage. If you already have health insurance, then you should be able to skip this coverage. Your health insurance will cover any medical expenses you incur during your trip, making this medical coverage unnecessary.

Check your policy and consider your own insurance needs to determine which coverages you need from your rental moving truck company – and which coverages you can skip.

Final Word on Moving Truck Insurance

Renting a moving truck is not like renting a car. Your personal auto insurance policy does not cover a moving truck like it covers an ordinary rental car. Moving truck companies must carry minimum liability coverage, but this coverage can leave you underinsured in an accident. Many experts recommend buying additional coverage from the rental moving truck company for added peace of mind.

However, you may be able to skip cargo insurance from the moving truck company. Cargo insurance covers your possessions, and your possessions may already be covered by homeowners or renters insurance.

Check your insurance policy and consider your insurance needs to determine which insurance products you need when renting a moving truck.

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.
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