Rental Insurance… Is Rental Insurance Necessary?
Strictly speaking, a consumer is not required to pay the rental company additional money to insure their vehicle in the event the consumer (you) are involved in a collision.
New Jersey requires that all rental agencies provide liability coverage for lessees in the sum of $15,000.00 per person for bodily injury or death, $30,000.00 for bodily injury or death of all persons in one accident and $5,000.00 for property damage arising out of the negligent maintenance, use, or operation of the rental vehicle upon public highways.
In New Jersey, every owner or registrant of a vehicle must maintain certain statutorily minimum coverage for bodily injury, death and property damage. A lessor, such as Avis or Enterprise, is the owner of the rental vehicle(s), therefore they are legally responsible for maintaining the statutorily minimum insurance on their vehicles. An insurer’s policy that attempts to exclude you (the lessee) from coverage is not enforceable. A rental company cannot take away your statutory rights.
In addition, your personal automobile insurance policy will act as excess insurance in the event you injure someone or damage their property as a result of the negligent maintenance, use or operation of the rental vehicle upon public highways.
If you choose to pay the rental company extra money for their insurance, ask them what it is you are purchasing? If they are legally required to provide you with basic liability coverage, are you then purchasing excess insurance? If so how much additional insurance are you purchasing?