If I rent a car and don't pay for that extra liability protection. Do I expose myself to a dangerous amount of risk?

I'm a 23 year old guy working for the Navy. I'm in San Diego. I want to rent a car for a week just to get off base. My car is in storage in CT and I don't have active car insurance. I also don't have a major credit card. My question is, assume the worst case scenario. (i.e. I accidentally hit somebody, god forbid), how much risk am I exposing myself to financially?

Update:

And does that risk make paying the extra money for liability coverage worth it.

9 Answers

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  • 1 month ago

    You're exposing yourself to the costs of damages, both to the rental as well as the other vehicle you hit., if you opt not to accept and pay for the insurance coverage from the car lot. You likely won't even get the car, depending on who you are attempting to rent from. They will want to see proof of liability insurance at a minimum, and if they don't want to see the insurance card they will ask for the insurance company name and policy number. You may be able to get a non-owner liability policy for fairly cheap from an insurance company. It would only be liability, but would at least cover the other car you hit in damages.

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  • 1 month ago

    1/ You're 23. Even if they'll rent to you they will want a big extra insurance payment because you're under 25.

    2/ You have no major credit card.

    Not taking the extra insurance leaves you open to a potentially life changing level of debt if you have an "at fault" claim.

    Pay the extra insurance.

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  • Edna
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    If you don't have a major credit card, you're not going to be able to rent a car. 

    Car rental agencies require that your credit card be used as their guarantee that they're going to be paid for your use of the car. 

    The rental agency is going to estimate the cost of the rental and put a "hold" on your card's available balance for that amount. Anything in excess of the estimated amount will be removed from your credit card's available balance when you return the car to them in the same condition it was in when you rented it.

    If you don't have auto insurance of your own, and if you don't purchase the insurance that the rental agency is going to offer you (and it's going to be HIGH), then if you're involved in an accident you're looking at financial ruin.

     

    You say you don't have active insurance?  If you don't have active insurance of your own that includes at least Liability, you're not supposed to be operating a motor vehicle at all - much less renting one. All states require that, in order to operate a motor vehicle on the public roadways, you MUST have an  active insurance policy that includes at least Liability. Otherwise, you're automatically guilty of driving without insurance.  If you're caught driving without insurance, you will face a hefty fine, your driver's license will be suspended, and your car will be impounded.

    • Scooter Power
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      New Hampshire doesn't require auto insurance

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    If you have no insurance, you could take a chance, but it could be a very costly mistake.  I don't know of any car rental places that don't require a major credit card. 

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    You can't rent without a major credit card. If you had one, it would probably cover the liability above what your personal policy would not. And it would cover you if you did not have a personal policy.

    I made darn sure of that before I rented and declined the coverage way back when. In the end, I did not need it.

    The rental company will not leave themselves at risk for an expensive car.

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    IT'S A MOOT POINT BECAUSE WITHOUT A MAJOR CREDIT CARD MOST RENTAL AGENCIES WON'T RENT A CAR TO YOU AND THE FEW THAT MIGHT (DOLLAR COMES TO MIND) YOU ARE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE PROOF OF INSURANCE. . 

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  • 1 month ago

    If you don't have a major credit card, no rental company will let you have that car unless you buy the extra insurance.  They won't take that risk.

    Here's how a standard car rental agreement works:  From the time they hand you the key until the time they process the vehicle's return, you accept responsibility for any and all damage to the vehicle.  That's why they want your credit card info, because they'll just charge the cost of that damage right to your credit card with no questions asked.  They're allowed to do that, it says so right in the contract you signed.

    Or you can buy the insanely expensive damage insurance, which says you have almost no responsibilities here whatsoever.  With that optional coverage you can pretty much push the vehicle off a cliff, call them up and say "oops I broke it" and they'll bring you a replacement.  (Don't actually do that, I was exaggerating, but not by much.)  That's why the optional coverage costs so much, in fact.

    But if you don't have a credit card and don't want to buy the optional coverage, they don't want you driving their vehicle.  Because they know they'll have to go to court to recover their losses if anything happens.

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  • Erik
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    If it's just one week, can't you just drive really carefully?

    • ...Show all comments
    • F
      Lv 6
      1 month agoReport

      You can be the best driver in the world driving as carefully as anyone has ever done before, but there ‘ s always some idiot just round the corner.

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  • 1 month ago

    A lot.  Best to get that liability insurance at the rental agency before you take the car off the lot.

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