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- Most regular auto insurance policies do not cover truck or trailer rentals, making rental truck insurance a crucial part of the moving process.
- Moving truck insurance can help cover liability for injuries and damage others incur, as well as coverage for repairs, cargo and towing.
- It’s important to carefully consider the coverage options and rates offered by rental truck companies to make an informed decision on purchasing insurance.
When planning a move, securing a reliable moving truck is probably top of mind. But what about moving truck insurance? People might assume their regular auto insurance covers a rental truck, but that’s often not the case. To help you understand the ins and outs of rental truck insurance, Bankrate’s team of insurance experts delves into what it covers, how it works and why it’s a crucial part of the moving process.
What is moving truck insurance?
Moving truck insurance — also called rental truck insurance — is a type of coverage designed to financially protect you during a do-it-yourself move. Most truck rental companies offer a variety of coverage types, including liability insurance for injuries and damage to others, repair bill coverage and cargo protection for your belongings.
This insurance can also cover your vehicle if you’re towing it with your truck. If you’re using a truck to tow a car, consider a policy that offers auto-tow protection for the vehicle when in transit and while loading or unloading. Supplemental liability insurance is also available, providing coverage beyond the state minimums, up to the policy’s specified limits.
Why is moving truck insurance important?
Moving truck insurance is crucial because most auto insurance policies do not cover vehicle damage for truck or trailer rentals, and operating a moving truck is much different than operating a personal vehicle like a sedan or SUV. In a moving truck, drivers are more likely to hit overhead objects, encounter issues turning and changing lanes and have trouble braking due to the different mechanisms at hand, making carrying additional insurance especially helpful. While credit cards sometimes come with the added perk of rental car insurance, this typically does not apply to rental trucks, either.
If you’re using a moving truck, securing additional coverage through the truck rental company can provide you with the financial protection and peace of mind you need. Without rental truck insurance, you could be responsible for truck repairs after an accident out of pocket, as well as legal fees if you cause an accident that results in a lawsuit.
Types of moving truck insurance
The five primary types of rental truck insurance include damage waivers, supplementary liability insurance, personal accident, cargo protection and auto tow protection. Here’s what to know about each.
You can think of a damage waiver as an alternative to collision or comprehensive insurance. It can help pay for damage to a rental truck that might not be covered by your personal car insurance policy.
Damage waivers are usually optional, but many insurance professionals recommend them. The cost is generally low, and it can offer peace of mind. Note that you may be responsible for paying a deductible in the event of a collision resulting in rental truck damage, but deductible amounts are typically low.
Supplemental liability insurance
Your truck rental company will likely offer supplemental liability insurance in addition to the standard liability coverage you can select with your reservation for the vehicle. This add-on raises your bodily injury and property damage liability limits above the state’s minimum required amount. Purchasing supplemental liability insurance may be worth considering if you need coverage because your personal auto policy has limitations due to weight or if you need additional coverage because your personal auto policy extends to the moving truck but doesn’t cover your personal property. This add-on may be especially beneficial if you are planning to drive a long distance, which could increase the risk of loss or damage.
Personal accident insurance
Personal accident medical coverage helps pay for your medical bills and your passenger’s injuries if you get hit by another driver in your rental truck or cause an accident, up to its coverage limits. If you were to get injured in an accident, this coverage might take care of the ambulance fees, X-rays, rehab costs and related expenses.
Cargo protection insurance
Cargo protection insurance covers the items you are transporting, like furniture, clothing or equipment. This coverage can be beneficial, but there is usually a limit, which is the highest amount of money the rental company would pay if your items were damaged or stolen.
Typically, the cargo protection coverage limit is low and it may not cover your items in full. Additionally, valuable items like jewelry, collections or electronics may not be covered at all. Before you purchase cargo insurance, see if the limits are adequate for the items you are hauling or if you have coverage elsewhere. Otherwise, you might be able to skip it.
Auto tow protection
Auto tow protection helps cover the moving trailer you use to haul your items behind your moving truck (if you use one). This coverage generally applies for damage due to windstorms, fire, hail, landslides, overturns and collisions, and there is usually a deductible.
Deciding on the right coverage
Determining the right amount of moving truck insurance to purchase depends on what isn’t covered under your other policies and your comfort level in terms of coverage. Before purchasing, contact your auto insurance provider and your credit card company to check if they offer any type of coverage during the rental period. Once you identify the gaps, consider purchasing as much relevant coverage offered by the truck rental company as you can afford. Most protection plans limit the risk of liability to others, large repair bills and cargo protection. Without a protection plan, you would be responsible for any damage out of pocket should a loss arise.
What additional coverage options are available?
In addition to the standard coverage types, rental truck companies often offer add-on coverage options, such as roadside assistance, which covers the cost of basic roadside repairs, and towing coverage, which pays for the vehicle to be towed to a local repair shop or back to the rental truck lot if you get into an accident. If you plan to tow your vehicle behind your rental truck, consider opting for tow protection, which covers vehicle damage that occurs during towing and transport.
What does moving truck insurance not cover?
While moving truck insurance offers significant coverage, it’s essential to understand its limitations. Certain categories are typically excluded from coverage, such as jewelry, antiques, TVs, deeds, documents and property used for business purposes. Therefore, if you don’t have homeowners or renters insurance to provide some financial protection for your belongings, consider opting for cargo insurance from the rental company. This insurance can cover your belongings during a long-distance move and won’t require a deductible if you make a claim.
Coverage options from popular truck rental companies
Several well-known companies like U-Haul, Budget, Penske and Enterprise offer moving truck insurance with a variety of coverage options to protect you during your move. For example, U-Haul offers options like Safemove and Safemove Plus, which include coverage for damage to the rental truck and your personal belongings, as well as medical and life coverage. Penske offers various insurance bundles, including physical damage protection, liability coverage, cargo insurance and personal accident insurance.
How much is rental truck insurance?
The cost of rental truck insurance varies by geography and the specific coverage options you choose. For example, U-Haul’s Safemove protection begins at $15 per day, while its Safemove Plus with additional liability coverage costs $28. Insurance experts recommend reviewing your potential protection plans and their rates to make an informed decision.
Is purchasing moving truck insurance worth it?
Investing in moving truck insurance can offer valuable financial protection for most drivers. Doing so extends a variety of beneficial options, such as liability coverage and damage protection. If you do not purchase rental truck insurance, you could be taking on all the financial risk following a potential loss for the truck’s repairs and your legal fees if you cause an accident that leads to a lawsuit. Even with an auto policy that covers your rental, you may still be responsible for any deductible and coverage limits outlined in your policy.
To determine if moving truck insurance is right for your circumstance, consider a real-world example. Imagine you’re moving cross-country and halfway through the journey, an unexpected accident damages the rental truck and your belongings. With moving truck insurance, you might take comfort in knowing that your financial liabilities are limited. If you’re considering skipping coverage, it could be helpful to speak with a licensed agent to get some professional guidance. You may also want to check if you have other existing policies that would kick in, and try to figure out the highest amount of financial risk you could reasonably afford to take on. With this information in hand, weigh your options to see which route makes the most sense for you.
Frequently asked questions
Before purchasing moving truck insurance, check with your auto insurance provider and credit card company about their coverage during the rental period. Damage waivers are usually optional, but many professionals recommend them as they will financially protect you if the truck is damaged during your rental period, regardless of fault.
Most standard auto insurance policies will not cover moving truck rentals due to a maximum weight limit for vehicles they’ll insure, typically excluding cargo vehicles like moving trucks. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand your auto insurance policy’s limitations and consider purchasing moving truck insurance for adequate protection.
Typically, the rental benefits offered by credit card companies apply only to cars and other passenger vehicles. For instance, Visa excludes all trucks and vans that seat more than eight people, while American Express excludes cargo vans and box trucks. This is usually a standard exclusion across credit card companies, so your credit card likely won’t offer additional coverage for your moving truck rental.
The amount of moving truck insurance you should purchase largely depends on your specific needs and circumstances. It’s worth considering purchasing the most comprehensive coverage offered by the truck rental company that you can afford. This approach helps limit your liability, covers potential repair bills and protects your cargo. You should also reach out to your insurance agent as part of your research process.