Does USAA Offer Rental Car Insurance?
Last Updated on November 14, 2023
USAA is one of America’s best-rated insurance companies. Like most insurers, USAA should extend your personal policy to a rental vehicle.
If you are renting a vehicle in the United States, Canada, or Mexico, then you should be covered by USAA throughout the rental period. The same coverages and limits apply to your rental car as your personal car.
Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about how USAA covers rental car insurance.
Table of Contents:
- Yes, USAA Offers Rental Car Insurance for Standard Vehicle Rentals
- How USAA Rental Car Insurance Works
- Can I Skip the Rental Company’s Insurance Coverage?
- USAA Coverage Limits and Exclusions
- How USAA Rental Reimbursement Coverage Works
Yes, USAA Offers Rental Car Insurance for Standard Vehicle Rentals
If you have an auto insurance policy with USAA, then that auto insurance policy should cover you when renting a vehicle.
USAA extends its car insurance coverage to most car rentals in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, United States Virgin Islands, or United States territories and possessions. According to USAA.com, your USAA policy also extends to cover rental cars in Canada and Mexico.
Whatever coverage you have on your personal vehicle also extends to your rental vehicle. If you only have minimum liability coverage, for example, then your rental car only has liability coverage, which means you will need to pay out of pocket for repairs.
Similarly, if you have full coverage car insurance on your personal vehicle with USAA, then your rental vehicle has this same coverage.
The same limits also apply. Some drivers maintain the lowest legal levels of liability insurance, for example. In this case, USAA raises your liability limits to match the lowest legal minimum limits in whatever state or province you’re in.
However, if you have low collision and comprehensive coverage limits on your personal auto insurance policy, then those limits also apply to your rental car. If you rent a $50,000 SUV, for example, but only drive a $3,000 used vehicle at home, then you could be dangerously under-insured.
How USAA Rental Car Insurance Works
USAA’s rental car insurance works similar to the rental car insurance from other major insurers. You rent the vehicle, and USAA extends insurance throughout the duration of the vehicle rental.
Here’s how it works:
- You rent a vehicle. As long as you have an active USAA policy, your USAA policy will extend those same coverages to your rental vehicle.
- If you are involved in an accident, or if your rental car is stolen, then you make a claim through USAA. USAA treats the claim just like they would treat a claim on your personal vehicle. USAA covers these claims through your collision coverage or comprehensive coverage, depending on the type of loss. All full coverage USAA policies include collision and comprehensive coverage.
- If you injure someone else or damage someone else’s property, then USAA covers these damages through liability insurance. Your USAA policy has bodily injury and property damage liability insurance to cover these situations.
- If you were at-fault for the loss, then you could pay higher insurance premiums. Just like an at-fault accident with a personal vehicle, an at-fault accident with a rental vehicle could lead to higher rates (unless you have accident forgiveness).
Can I Skip the Rental Company’s Insurance Coverage?
All rental car companies offer their own insurance coverage. Sometimes, it’s in your best interest to buy this coverage – even if you have USAA.
In other cases, buying the rental car company’s insurance could leave you doubly insured.
Here’s what you need to know about the rental car company’s insurance coverage:
- All rental car companies offer a loss damage waiver (LDW), also known as a collision damage waiver (CDW). If you buy this coverage (say, for an extra $10 to $50 per day), the rental car company waives your responsibility for damages to the vehicle and loss of the vehicle.
- If you roll the vehicle over, for example, or if it’s stolen, then you will not pay anything – not even your deductible. Your rental car company handles the claim through its own insurer.
- Rental car companies also offer personal property coverage. In exchange for a few extra dollars per day, the rental car company covers the loss of your possessions from the vehicle – say, any luggage that could be stolen from your vehicle. If you have homeowners or renters insurance, then you should be able to skip this coverage.
- Rental car companies also offer medical coverage or personal injury protection. This coverage covers certain medical bills and expenses after an accident. If you already have health insurance, or if you have personal injury protection on your USAA policy, then you can skip this coverage.
USAA Coverage Limits and Exclusions
Even if you have a full coverage car insurance policy with USAA, there are certain exclusions and limits. These exclusion and limits could leave you under-insured.
Country Restrictions: USAA should cover you when renting and operating a vehicle in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, the United States Virgin Islands, or United States territories and possessions. It should also cover rental cars in Mexico and Canada. However, if you’re renting a car outside of these areas, then you may need to buy insurance from the rental car company.
Vehicle Type Restrictions: USAA does not cover all types of rental vehicles. If you’re renting a moving truck or van, for example, then USAA may not cover it. A standard USAA policy also does not cover RVs.
Vehicle Usage Restrictions: If you rent a specific vehicle regularly, then USAA may not cover it. In this situation, you need to list that specific vehicle on your USAA policy. USAA may also not cover rental car periods longer than 30 days.
Additional Fees from the Rental Car Company: Some rental car companies charge additional fees that aren’t covered by your insurer. Your rental car company could charge for loss of use of the vehicle (if it was damaged), for example. The company could also require compensation for the decrease in the value of the vehicle after the accident, administrative costs, and the right to repair or salvage the damaged vehicle, among other costs.
Low Limits and Limited Coverages: If you have low limits on your USAA policy, then you’ll have low limits when renting a vehicle. Your USAA policy extends the same coverage on your personal policy to your rental vehicle. If you drive a vehicle worth $10,000, for example, then your insurance only covers damages to the rental vehicle up to $10,000. This could leave you dangerously under-insured after a loss.
How USAA Rental Reimbursement Coverage Works
USAA offers a separate type of rental car coverage called rental reimbursement coverage. If you have rental reimbursement coverage on your policy, then USAA will cover the cost of renting a car when your ordinary vehicle is being repaired.
Here’s how rental reimbursement coverage works with USAA:
- You buy rental reimbursement coverage from USAA for a few extra dollars per month.
- If your car is stolen, involved in an accident, or damaged and needs repairs, then USAA activates your rental reimbursement coverage.
- You rent a vehicle as you normally would, and you pay for the vehicle out of pocket.
- USAA covers the cost of renting a vehicle through your rental reimbursement, up to a certain daily limit (typically $50 to $100 per day).
USAA reimburses you for the rental car for a maximum of 30 days or however long your vehicle is being repaired, whichever is sooner. Once your ordinary vehicle is ready to drive again, your rental period ends, and you resume driving.
Final Word on USAA Rental Car Insurance
USAA, like most insurers, extends your personal auto insurance policy to cover non-owned vehicles – including rental cars.
When driving a rental car, your USAA policy extends the same coverages and limits to that rental car.
Some drivers also add rental reimbursement coverage to their USAA policy, which means USAA covers the cost of renting a car when your ordinary vehicle is out of commission.
Contact USAA or check your USAA policy today to verify you have adequate rental car coverage.