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Rental cars: Are they covered under your auto policy?

JULY 21, 2020

During these times where extended travel is difficult, many families are packing up their entire crew and turning to shorter trips by vehicle. Renting a vehicle can be a very good option to save wear on the family car or add extra room for hauling those vacation extras.

One of the most common questions we hear is:  "When I rent a vehicle, am I covered or do I need to purchase extra coverage?"

In North Dakota, if you have a personal auto policy issued to a North Dakota resident (regardless of the insurance company), you have full coverage for any damage to the rented vehicle along with liability coverage for any damage you may cause.* This is a great bonus to your auto coverage!

However, this comes with some restrictions:

  •   This extended coverage only applies if the person is the named insured on the policy.
  •   The person driving is the primary person renting the vehicle.

So for example, a family of four decides to rent a van for a summer camping trip. Make sure the renter is the named insured on the personal auto policy and that same person is listed as the primary driver. Do not allow any other driver! This will affect how the auto policy may provide coverage, and you could run the risk of coverage being denied.

This coverage extends to any car rental in the United States. So, if you are taking that trip of a lifetime to Disneyland or the Grand Canyon, your North Dakota auto policy will protect you.

Be aware that this extended benefit only applies to renting a private passenger automobile. If you are renting a motorhome, any commercial type vehicle, off-road vehicle or U-Haul type vehicle, you will need to purchase extra coverage for both damage to the rented vehicle (comprehensive & collision) and also required liability coverages.

Before you decide to rent, talk to your Nodak Insurance agent to make sure your policy is in good standing.


*Coverage provided per North Dakota Century Code 26.1-40-17. Further restrictions may apply. Policies issued to an address in a different state would not apply.




Nodak Insurance Company

1101 1st Ave N
Fargo, ND 58102