Budget Car Rental Insurance Requirements: Here’s what’s actually needed

Budget Car Rental Insurance Requirements: Here's what's actually needed

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When renting a car with Budget, it’s not just about selecting the model you want and deciding if you need a GPS or child seat.

One aspect, which frankly, a lot of folks gloss over, is the insurance requirement. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misconception about it.

Here’s a more in-depth look into what’s required and what’s optional.

How Budget Car Rental Insurance Works

When you rent a car from Budget, one of the first questions you’ll likely be asked is whether you want to purchase their insurance coverage.

Essentially, Budget offers several types of insurance and protection products which we cover below:

1. Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI):

This covers third-party injury and property-damage claims up to a certain limit.

If you’re involved in an accident and someone decides to sue you, LIS can protect you from incurring massive out-of-pocket expenses.

This is separate from your standard rental fee and comes at an additional daily rate.

2. Personal Accident and Effects (PAE):

This option covers medical expenses for you and your passengers in the event of an accident.

While your personal auto or health insurance might already provide this kind of coverage, PAI serves as an additional safety net. Again, this will add to your daily rental cost.

3. Loss Damage Waiver (LDW)

These are not technically insurance products but waivers that relieve you of financial responsibility if the rental car is damaged or stolen, subject to certain terms and conditions.

Often, your credit card company provides some form of CDW if you use the card to book the rental, but make sure to confirm this in advance.

Budget Car Rental Insurance Requirements in detail

Budget Insurance coverage screenshot

Now to the nitty gritty, what do you need to qualify for insurance when renting a car from Budget, and are you actually required to opt for the different kinds of insurance they offer?

So starting from the first question. What are the requirements?

Well, there are no stringent requirements for people who choose to use sign up for insurance. You simply need to be qualified to rent a car. So what are the qualifications?

You need to be at least 25 years old to without incurring any extra ‘underage’ fees.

However, those between 21-24 can rent cars as well, but they often face additional charges and may be restricted to certain types of vehicles.

Your driver’s license should be valid and in good standing—no recent DUIs or major traffic violations. Additionally, you must provide an accepted form of payment, usually a credit card, and occasionally a debit card at some locations.

Make sure the name on the card matches the name on your driver’s license.

With these prerequisites out of the way, let’s move on to whether or not you actually need to purchase the various insurance products Budget offers.

Here’s the straightforward answer: No, they’re not required.

Insurance TypeWhat It CoversIs It Required?Things to Consider
SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI))Third-party injury and property-damage claims up to a specified limit.NoCheck if your personal car insurance already offers extensive liability coverage.
PAE (Personal Accident and Effects)Medical expenses for you and your passengers in case of an accident.NoYour personal health insurance may already cover medical expenses.
LDW (Collision/Loss Damage Waiver)Relieves you of financial responsibility if the car is damaged or stolen, subject to conditions.NoSome credit cards offer this as a benefit when used to book the rental.

Budget’s quote typically includes state-required minimum liability insurance.

This covers you up to the minimum limits required by state law, but beyond that, you’re on your own unless you opt for additional coverage.

Budget offers several optional insurance types: Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI), Personal Accident and Effects (PAE), and Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) or Loss Damage Waiver (LDW). The key word here is ‘optional.’

These offerings are designed to provide additional peace of mind, but they are by no means mandatory.

Your existing car insurance or even your credit card may already provide some of these protections. It’s absolutely worth your time to check your existing policies to avoid paying for something you’re already covered for.

Is Budget Insurance any good?

When it comes to insurance, especially with something as significant as a car rental, you want to be certain you’re getting a reliable deal.

So, are Budget’s insurance options up to the mark, who backs them, and can you trust the company not to pull any fast ones?

First, let’s talk about the quality of Budget’s insurance offerings.

The various types of insurance—Liability Insurance Supplement (LIS), Personal Accident Insurance (PAI), Personal Effects Coverage (PEC), Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), and Loss Damage Waiver (LDW)—are designed to offer a well-rounded package.

However, the efficacy of these coverages can be subjective and often depends on your personal needs, existing insurance policies, and the specific circumstances of your rental.

It’s worth noting that consumer reviews and expert opinions on Budget’s insurance offerings are mixed, much like any other rental car company.

Some find the added peace of mind invaluable, while others deem the additional costs unnecessary. Your mileage may vary based on your unique situation.

Now, who underwrites the policy behind Budget insurance?

The underwriting details can vary by jurisdiction, but Budget typically partners with reputable insurance companies to provide these offerings.

Before you sign on the dotted line, it’s important to read the terms and conditions of each policy carefully. Knowing the underwriter can offer further insight into the reliability of the insurance product you’re considering.

Can you trust Budget? In general, Budget is a well-known brand with a global presence, which adds a layer of credibility.

But like any company, it’s in the business of making money, and upselling insurance is one way it does that.

However, the company is regulated by consumer protection laws, and flagrant dishonesty could result in severe legal repercussions for them.

It’s always prudent to read any agreement carefully and clarify any terms that may seem vague or unclear. If you have any apprehensions, independent customer reviews and the Better Business Bureau can offer additional perspectives.

Final Thoughts

In summary, while the additional insurance options might offer you more peace of mind, they’re not a necessity. Your best bet is to assess your risk tolerance, scrutinize your existing insurance policies, and make an informed decision. The choice, ultimately, is yours.

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