When life requires a bigger vehicle than you own, you may find yourself needing to rent a truck or van. This can be costly, so do you really need to buy the insurance the rental company offers on that truck or van?Whether your son graduated from UNH and is moving back home, you find your dream home in Amherst and need to move from your Nashua apartment or you are helping your daughter plan her dream wedding in Manchester, all of these events could lead to you to rent a moving truck, cargo van or large passenger van.
HPM Insurance has a blog titled Does My NH Car Insurance Cover My Car Rental, and the short answer is yes and no. The short answer to "does my personal car insurance policy cover me while renting a moving truck or cargo van" is no.
Why doesn't my NH personal car insurance cover a truck or van I rent?
The reason is because a personal NH car insurance policy is designed to cover a private passenger vehicle. In most car insurance policies, the definition of a private passenger vehicle includes a requirement that the vehicle must weigh less than 10,000 pounds.
If you have an accident with a large truck or van, whether it be a small ding on the fender or a chain-reaction collision on the highway, your personal auto policy will most likely not provide coverage based on the size of the vehicle alone.
How do to buy coverage for the moving truck or van rental?
Most large truck rental companies, like U-Haul, are aware that a personal car insurance policy will not extend to their vehicles, so U-Haul offers the insurance when you rent the truck. There is a charge for it, but given that you will be behind the wheel of a vehicle you are not familiar with, and is probably much larger than you are used to driving, the insurance will at least give you peace of mind if not prevent you from financial ruin should an accident happen.
Any other advice about what to look for when renting a moving truck or van?
When you rent a truck or van, you may want to ask who else can drive it. Some rental companies may want to document any possible drivers.
Recently I rented a 12-passenger van for an event, and when this "by-the-way" question was posed to the rental agent across the desk, his reply was "you need to provide me with the licenses for all drivers who will be operating the van in order for the truck rental policy to pay a claim." Yikes! I can't imagine how upsetting it would be to rent a van, pay the extra money for the insurance only to find out that because a friend was driving who was not listed, no coverage.
The bottom line on renting a vehicle...
Whether you are renting a moving truck, large van, moped, scooter, boat, atv, or any other vehicle, keep in mind that car insurance is just that, insurance for your car. Anything short of using your own car, I would take a few moments to consult with your insurance agent to get advice on your particular policy. I would also suggest that you speak with the company you are renting from so you can make an informed decision before you get to the counter to sign the paperwork.
Have a safe drive!
This material is for informational purposes only. All statements herein are subject to the provision, exclusions, and conditions of the applicable policy, state and federal laws. For an actual description of all coverages, terms and conditions, please refer to the applicable insurance policy or check with your insurance professional.