Does Nationwide Offer Rental Car Insurance?

Last Updated on October 13, 2023

If you have Nationwide car insurance, then your policy should cover you when renting a vehicle.

Nationwide extends similar coverage to your rental car as you have on your personal vehicle. Whether you have full coverage or minimum liability coverage, you’ll have the same protection when renting a vehicle.

Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about Nationwide rental car insurance and how it works.

Table of Contents:

Nationwide Covers a Standard Rental Car

A standard Nationwide auto insurance policy should cover a standard car rental.

If you rent a car and have Nationwide car insurance, then you have the same coverage on your rental car as you do on your own vehicle:

  • If you carry liability insurance, then your Nationwide policy covers damages you cause to other people and their property
  • If you carry full coverage car insurance (which includes liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage), then your Nationwide policy covers damage you cause to other people and their property along with the cost of repairing or replacing the rental vehicle after a loss
  • If you only have liability insurance (as required in most states), then your Nationwide car insurance policy will not cover any damage to the rental car; you’ll need to pay for any damage out of pocket
  • If you have rental reimbursement coverage, then Nationwide will cover the cost of renting a vehicle while your ordinary vehicle is being repaired after a covered loss

Your Nationwide policy limits extend to your rental car; if you have the lowest minimum liability limits based on your state’s requirements, then your rental car will have the same coverage, and if you have high limits, then your rental car will have those same high limits

Can I Turn Down the Rental Car Company’s Insurance?

When you rent a car, the rental car company asks if you want to buy insurance. Depending on your Nationwide policy and coverage limits, it may or may not be in your best interest to buy insurance from the rental car company.

Rental car companies offer a collision damage waiver (CDW) or loss damage waiver (LDW). In exchange for a fee (typically $10 to $50 per day), the rental car company waives your responsibility for damage to the vehicle and loss of the vehicle. After an accident, you don’t pay anything – not even your deductible. In fact, you don’t deal with your own insurer whatsoever, and you won’t pay higher premiums.

Insurers also offer supplemental insurance like personal effects coverage, which covers items in your rental vehicle. If your luggage is stolen from your rental vehicle, for example, then you could make a claim through the rental car company’s personal effects coverage. However, if you have homeowners or renters insurance, then your luggage should already be covered.

Similarly, some insurers offer personal accident insurance, which functions like health insurance. If you already have health insurance, then you can avoid this coverage, as it would mean you’re doubly insured.

Nationwide Rental Car Insurance Limits and Exclusions

Nationwide should extend your policy to cover a rental car. However, it’s important to be aware of certain limits and exclusions. You could be under-insured, for example, or have limited protection for the rental car.

Here are some of the limits and exclusions to check before renting a car from Nationwide:

Same Coverages and Limits Apply: If you have low coverage limits on your ordinary vehicle, then you’ll have low coverage limits on your rental vehicle. Nationwide raises your liability insurance to match state minimums in your area, if necessary. However, it does not adjust collision and comprehensive coverage based on the value of your vehicle. If you drive a 10-year old vehicle with $15,000 of collision coverage, for example, then you may be severely under-insured when renting a $50,000 SUV.

You Make a Claim Through Nationwide: If you damage the rental car or get involved in an accident, then you make a claim through your own insurer, Nationwide. Nationwide handles the claim as they would handle a claim on your ordinary vehicle.

Premiums Could Rise After a Rental Car Accident: If you cause an accident while driving a rental car, then Nationwide could raise your premiums. Nationwide treats at-fault accidents in rental cars the same way they treat at-fault accidents in your own vehicle.

You Pay a Deductible: If you buy the CDW or LDW from the rental car company, then you do not pay a deductible after a loss. However, if you’re using Nationwide, then you will pay a deductible. You’ll pay a comprehensive coverage deductible for comprehensive claims (typically $250 to $500 per incident) and a collision coverage for collision claims (typically $500 to $1,000 per incident). Then, Nationwide covers all remaining damages.

Country and Territory Restrictions: A standard Nationwide car insurance policy covers you when driving in the United States, US territories, Puerto Rico, and Canada. If you’re driving outside of those countries, you may need added coverage from the rental company.

Does Not Cover Alternative Vehicle Rentals (Like RVs and Moving Trucks): Nationwide covers standard rental vehicles, but an ordinary Nationwide policy will not cover alternative vehicles like RVs and moving trucks. You may be able to add this coverage to your policy prior to a rental. Or, you can buy insurance through the rental company.

Nationwide Rental Reimbursement Coverage

Nationwide has a separate type of coverage called rental reimbursement coverage. Rental reimbursement coverage covers the actual cost of renting the vehicle – it doesn’t provide insurance to you or the rental vehicle.

Nationwide’s rental reimbursement coverage typically costs $5 to $15 per month. It covers you when renting a vehicle after your ordinary car needs to be repaired.

Here’s how rental reimbursement coverage from Nationwide works:

  • You add rental reimbursement coverage to your car insurance policy. Typically, you need full coverage car insurance to add rental reimbursement coverage.
  • If your ordinary vehicle is involved in a covered loss (like a break-in, an accident, or theft), then Nationwide activates your rental reimbursement coverage, allowing you to receive compensation for a rental car.
  • You pay for the rental car upfront, then Nationwide compensates you for the cost of renting the vehicle, up to a certain limit (say, $50 per day).

Typically, Nationwide covers a maximum of 30 days of rental car coverage while your vehicle is being repaired.

Final Word on Nationwide Rental Car Insurance

Nationwide offers rental car insurance to drivers with liability, collision, or comprehensive coverage.

The same limits apply to your rental car as your ordinary vehicle. If you have full coverage car insurance, then your rental car has full coverage car insurance with the same limits.

Nationwide also offers rental reimbursement coverage, which pays for the cost of renting a car after your vehicle is involved in an accident. This coverage is optional.

To learn more about Nationwide’s rental car insurance and how it works, contact Nationwide or check your policy 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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