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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Joel...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Feb 1, 2021

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The Truth in a Nutshell:

  • Does car insurance cover a rental truck? Yes and no — you will likely be covered for damages and injuries caused to others and their property, but not to yourself or the truck you rented.
  • Your car insurance and credit card company are not likely to offer insurance for rental trucks, since you are considered more risky when driving a large vehicle that you don’t have a lot of experience with.
  • U-Haul insurance is offered with and without liability, depending on which program you opt to purchase.

Does car insurance cover a rental truck? This one comes up a lot. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably already realized how much even a small move across town can cost you once all of the fees are factored in. And the last thing you want to worry about is insurance. But you may be wondering, “Do i need rental truck insurance? or “Do I need extra insurance when renting a moving truck?”

In the event of an accident, you also want to know that you and the vehicle are covered. Before you buy rental truck insurance, review all your options, and your current car insurance policy. Before moving, check with your current insurance provider to see if you are covered.

So keep reading to learn more about your insurance options when using a rental truck and finding affordable rental truck insurance rates.

If you are in need of car insurance, enter your ZIP code in our free quote comparison tool above.

Different Rules Apply to Rental Trucks

What are common types of moving truck rental coverage?

First off, note that the rules that apply to rental car insurance are different than those tied to a rental truck. Usual coverages may not apply. You can read more about the similarities below.

The last thing you want to do is stick your head in the sand and hope nothing goes wrong. And let’s face it; if you don’t have the money lying around to purchase adequate insurance coverage, or are wondering if it’s included, you probably don’t have thousands of dollars to pay for an uncovered claim.

Physical Damage Insurance and Rental Trucks

Similar to operating your personal vehicle, there are two main types of losses you need to be aware of (and protected against).

  1. Damage you cause to the vehicle you are operating (and your stuff being hauled) and bodily injury you may suffer
  2. Damage to other drivers’ vehicles and bodily injury you cause to others

The table below looks at average annual car insurance rates based on the type of coverage you carry.

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates by Coverage Type
Car Insurance
Coverage Types
Car Insurance
Coverage Details
Average Annual
Car Insurance Rates
Uninsured/Underinsured MotoristCovers the costs if you are in an accident
with driver with little or no insurance
$67
Property Damage LiabilityPart of standard liability insurance the pays for
damage to property caused by you
$68
Bodily Insurance LiabilityPart of standard liability coverage that pays for
medical bills if you've injured someone in an accident
$72
Personal Injury ProtectionCovers bills such as medical expenses,
funeral expenses or recover lost wages
$95
Med PayCovers the cost of the medical payments
of all passengers in your vehicle
$100
Comprehensive Covers damage to your car from incidents
other than a wreck
$148
Collision Covers damage to your car after an accident
no matter the fault.
$322
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These are two completely separate circumstances, and the coverage for both is also separate according to your truck rental company and insurer.

We’re going to highlight U-Haul for this post, as they are one of the most widely recognized and available truck rental companies out there.

Most other reputable rental truck companies should have similar programs available. If the company you’re considering doesn’t offer any type of insurance coverage — silence your inner cheapskate and simply move on. At the end of the day, these insurance programs offered by the truck rental companies are another revenue stream for them so they’d be crazy not to offer them.

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How does standard car insurance cover a moving truck rental?

Am I covered or not? Without further ado, the answer is yes and no. We bet you’re not too happy to read that. The good news is we’ll explain the answer in a way you’ll easily understand, as coverage depends on whether or not you’re asking about item #1 or #2 on the types of losses that may occur.

You’re likely not covered for physical damage you cause to the rental truck or bodily injury you suffer that is your own fault.

What happens if you are not at fault in an accident? Another driver’s insurance will pay for damage to the rental truck and your bodily injury if they cause and are deemed at fault for the accident.

Most personal auto insurance policies exclude coverage for vehicles with a gross vehicle weight over 9,000 lbs. This is really no different than a personal auto policy not covering a motorcycle, boat or RV.

Your insurer has gone to great lengths to determine exactly how much to charge you for the risk associated with your car and vehicles like it. Odds are you’re not as safe behind the wheel of a 9,000-pound truck as you are in your Honda Accord.

Liability Insurance and Rental Trucks

On the flip side, some personal auto insurance policies do provide liability car insurance coverage for you to drive rental trucks. This means property damage and bodily injury you cause another party may be covered by your car insurance…just not damage you cause to the U-Haul truck you’ve rented.

For more on liability insurance, check out this video.

Contact your insurance agent or insurer to determine the extent of your car insurance coverage or to determine what type of insurance coverage you need for moving. Laws vary by state and individual policies, so it’s best to get the right answer from your insurer or agent directly.

What About Insurance Coverage from My Credit Card Company?

This is a flat out no.

Credit card companies will not cough up money to pay for damages you cause to the rental truck if it meets the definition of “truck.” In fact, many credit card companies cut you off at a pick-up truck or passenger van…not just the 9,000-pound and heavier U-Haul trucks.

Further, as a review of our standard rental car insurance post, the credit card coverage often only serves as secondary coverage to your personal car insurance policy.

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What Does U-Haul’s Insurance Program Look Like?

There are a few different offerings from U-Haul. Feel free to visit their site for the legal-speak details, but we’ll provide the basics here.

The type of coverage you can purchase depends on the type of vehicle you’re renting from them. There are two coverage options for the big trucks (what most movers tend to rent) and one option for the pick-up size trucks and passenger vans.

For their larger trucks, the difference between the two lies in the option to purchase liability coverage for property damage and bodily injury you cause to others while driving one of them.

SafeMove — Truck and Belongings (No Liability Coverage)

The SafeMove package allows you to purchase the following options:

  1. Damage Waiver — Any accidental damage to the rental truck is not your problem here. You may back into a street sign or pole at the gas station…because you’re not used to driving something this big (this is why your car insurer doesn’t cover it!).There is no deductible associated with this coverage. You simply ram it into a pole and return it no questions asked and no money out of your pocket.
  2. Cargo Coverage — This may be a good idea because your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance will have limitations on the amount of coverage you have for personal belongings held outside of your residence. Typically, you are limited to 10% of your coverage limits. For example, if you have $50,000 in contents coverage on your home policy, you’ll be limited to $5,000 for belongings outside your house, including in that truck.With U-Haul, you can get up to $25,000 in cargo coverage for a one-way rental, and up to $15,000 in coverage for an in-town rental. But note that there is a $100 deductible and coverage is for actual cash value (with exclusions).
  3. Medical & Life Coverage — This is your medical payments/personal injury protection coverage, with a dash of auto death indemnity thrown in for good measure. While you cannot get this option removed from the package, your personal auto policy would likely extend this coverage if you have it.

SafeMove Plus — Liability Coverage Added

As discussed, this option simply adds liability coverage to the list of coverage options in the more basic SafeMove program. It’s kind of like full coverage on your auto policy. And this liability coverage is considered primary coverage if purchased.

This means that the first $1,000,000 in liability is covered by U-Haul and not your personal insurance. Your existing car insurance — assuming it extends liability to the rental truck — would not come into play unless the damages you’re responsible for exceed $1,000,000.

This is coverage for property damage and bodily injury you cause to other people while operating your truck. There is no deductible associated with this coverage, which is not too special as there is typically never a deductible associated with auto liability coverage no matter where you buy it.

Coverage for Pick-Ups and Passenger Vans

Since your liability coverage (for damages to others) will likely extend from your personal auto policy to these types of vehicles, the coverage options available for these rentals is more closely related to those available on a standard car rental.

Namely, you’ll have the option to purchase a Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), which, for the record, is not actually insurance but rather an agreement between you and the rental company that you’re not responsible for damages you cause to their vehicle.

The good news is that there is no deductible associated with this option either. You do not have to drop a penny of your own money if you return the truck/van with any damage.

Also, if you plan to tow a personal vehicle or personal property in a U-Haul trailer, ask about SafeTow.

How Much is U-Haul Insurance?

A U-Haul rental can be expensive enough without having to worry about paying too much for insurance. Luckily, U-Haul insurance doesn’t add that much compared to what you would pay without it.

The cost of U-Haul insurance is going to depend on a few different factors, including the distance of your trip and the area you’re going to and from. The average cost for SafeMove is $45, while the average cost of SafeMove Plus is $100. However, if you’re renting the truck for a local move with a shorter distance, you might be able to purchase their insurance for $14 to $28.

Other major truck rental companies, such as Budget truck rental and Penske truck rental, offer similar coverage options, including damage waivers, supplemental liability insurance, personal accident insurance, and cargo insurance. They may just “package” them a different way, or give them fancy names. Navigate carefully.

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Wrap Up

It is likely you already have auto insurance but does Progressive cover moving truck rental or does GEICO cover moving trucks? Does state farm cover moving trucks?

It is crucial to contact your current insurance agent or insurer to determine exactly what type of coverage you have on your current auto policy before buying anything from the rental company.

Also, be sure to read the exclusions associated with the rental company’s coverage. Many people don’t read and understand the fine print of any type of insurance or coverage, which often leads to dissatisfaction and unexpected costs in the event of a loss.

Keep in mind that the size of your moving truck affects insurance coverage as well. So don’t rent a bigger truck than you need.

No policy covers everything — no matter what the TV commercials tell you. If you need a rental truck insurance company, do your research to see if you are already covered or if you need rental truck insurance rates from the rental agency.

In order to find the best prices and coverage, enter your ZIP code below to compare quotes from local insurance companies for free.

References:

  1. https://www.iii.org/article/getting-right-insurance-coverage-moving
  2. http://www.uhaul.com/DamageCoverage/