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Renting a Moving Truck? Understand What's Covered by Your Insurance

Moving can be stressful, and when you’re the one behind the wheel of a moving truck, it can add another layer of anxiety. To reduce any additional stress associated with the moving process, be sure to find out about the rental moving truck’s insurance coverage. After all, accidents can happen, and since a bulk of your belongings may be in that truck at the time the unexpected happens, you’ll probably want to protect it. When it comes to a moving truck rental, it may be difficult to get a straight answer on what’s covered by a standard auto policy. Here are a few things to look into before moving day.

rental truck

Check in with your current provider.

Make a call to your insurance agent to inquire about your coverage and see if your rental moving truck will be covered. Sometimes, your home and auto policies may provide some coverage, but it’s always good to find out directly from the source. Typically, credit cards and most personal insurance policies do not cover damage to rental trucks and trailers, even if they cover damage to rental cars, according to U-Haul. Check with your insurance company to help determine whether you should obtain supplemental coverage.

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Remember size matters.

It’s important to note that even if your car insurance policy will cover a moving truck, there may be exclusions based on the size, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Standard moving truck sizes range from 10 to 26 feet - be sure to ask what size trucks are covered under your policy.
Contact your credit card company. Your credit card provider might offer some level of insurance for a rental vehicle. Call the number on the back of your card and let them know you will be renting a moving truck to find out if any part of the rental will be covered, according to the III.

Look into supplemental insurance options.

If you’re not covered by your own insurance or credit card, consider adding supplemental coverages to your existing insurance, for example:

  • Supplemental Liability Protection. This provides a specified coverage amount, often $1 million, that protects you if you're responsible for damage to somebody else's vehicle or property.
  • Personal Effects Insurance. This coverage typically covers your valuables if they're stolen from your rental vehicle or damaged in a collision.

Your auto insurance policy generally won't cover your personal effects--things like your purse or mp3 player--if they're stolen from a rental car, but that's the kind of coverage personal property protection policies may offer.
Before renting the 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 car is damaged or stolen, according to the Insurance Information Institute (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). In a LDW policy, the renter is typically responsible for the first $500 of loss or damage (in most cases), and in a PDW policy, the renter typically has zero responsibility. 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 protect you if you’re responsible for damage to 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 plan covers injuries or accidental death while in the rented vehicle and may extend to other drivers or family members riding in the vehicle. It can also help protect against items damaged due to certain listed causes. Unfortunately, this coverage does not cover damage caused by shifting cargo, theft or burglary. For that coverage, look into Personal Effect Coverage, according to III.
  • Auto Tow Protection. If you are towing a moving trailer, an Auto Tow Protection plan will help protect the vehicle against damage while it is in transit. This coverage applies to vehicles towed by either a car dolly or a car trailer. This policy helps protect against most forms of damage, including fire, explosion, flood, hail, windstorm, vehicle overturn, landslide and collision. There is typically a deductible involved so ask prior to agreeing to the contract so you know how much you’re liable for in the event of a damage-causing situation.

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