Should you buy rental truck insurance?

Last updated: August 2021

When you are renting a moving truck, it's a good idea to find out about its insurance coverage. After all, if a bulk of your belongings are in the truck and the unexpected happens, you'll probably want to know what protection you have in place. Here are a few things to look into before renting a moving truck.

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Before moving, check with your current insurance provider.

Make a call to your insurance agent to ask whether your homeowners or car insurance policies extend to your rental moving truck. Your insurance agent can help you determine what type of protection, if any, your existing insurance provides when it comes to a rental truck and whether you need to buy additional coverage.

The size of your moving truck affects insurance coverage.

It’s important to note that even if your car insurance policy helps cover damage to a moving truck, there may be exclusions based on its size. Be sure to ask what size rental trucks are covered under your car insurance policy.

Some credit card companies also offer insurance for a rental vehicle, the Insurance Information Institute (III) says. Call the number on the back of your card to learn whether it provides any coverage for the moving truck you're renting.

Look into supplemental insurance options for your moving truck.

If your rental truck isn't covered by your existing insurance policies or credit card provider, you may want to ask the rental truck company if they offer coverage options. For example:

  • Supplemental liability protection.
    This provides a specified amount of coverage, often $1 million, if you're responsible for damage to somebody else's vehicle or property.
  • Personal effects insurance.
    This coverage typically helps cover your valuables if they're stolen from your rental truck or damaged in a collision.

What are common types of moving truck rental coverage?

Before renting a moving truck, be sure to read the fine print of the rental company's offered policies. Here's a breakdown of the four typical types of moving truck rental protection:

  • Collisions/Damage waivers
    These plans are called waivers because the rental company agrees not to make a claim against you if the rental is damaged or stolen, according to the III. In the fine print, it may also be called Collisions Damage Waivers (CDW), Damage Waiver (DW), Personal Damage Waiver (PDW) or Limited Damage Waiver (LDW). Each waiver varies, as does its cost and coverage, so be sure to research the rental's waivers before picking up the moving truck.
  • Supplemental liability insurance
    This policy helps pay for repairs if your moving truck damages another individual's vehicle or property. The specified coverage amount, which is typically (but not always) $1 million, protects you from damage claims made against you.
  • Personal accident and cargo insurance
    This coverage helps pay for expenses related to injuries or accidental death while in the rental truck and may extend to other drivers or family members riding in the vehicle. It can also provide coverage for items damaged due to certain causes. This insurance does not typically cover damage caused by shifting cargo, theft or burglary. For that coverage, look into personal effects coverage, says the III.
  • Auto tow protection
    If you are using a trailer to transport your personal vehicle behind a moving truck, an auto tow protection plan can help protect the moving trailer while it is in transit. This coverage typically helps pay to repair damage caused by a number of situations, such as fire, hail, windstorm, vehicle overturn, landslide and collision. There is typically a deductible involved — it's a good idea to review the details before signing a contract.

Before you rent a moving truck, it's important to make sure you have protection. Whether you have coverage through your existing insurance policies or purchase extra coverage, knowing you have a safety net in place can give you greater peace of mind.