AAA Membership: See if Your Rental Car Is Covered

The American Automobile Association is the largest federation of auto clubs in the United States. AAA offers a wide range of benefits for its members. Included in the many benefits are discounts on renting a car, but AAA does not pay for rental car insurance.

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Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Cynthia Lanctot is an insurance professional with ten years of industry experience. Cynthia is licensed in several states, and holds an associate in claims law, as well as a bachelor’s degree in English. Cynthia’s experience includes the New England and Northeast states. She currently works as a liability claims professional and an occasional online contributor.

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Reviewed by Cynthia Lanctot
Licensed Agent Cynthia Lanctot

UPDATED: Apr 5, 2022

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A Concise Overview

  • Your AAA membership does not cover the cost of rental car insurance
  • Depending on the rental car company, you might be able to get a discount on renting a car
  • You might benefit from purchasing rental car insurance, but not everyone needs this additional coverage

Holding an AAA membership comes with countless benefits. Your AAA membership is so much more than just the emergency roadside assistance the company is famous for providing. You can also save money with discounts at hundreds of businesses. How can your AAA membership help you save money when renting a car?

While your AAA membership does not cover the cost of rental car insurance, there are other perks that will save you money. Before renting a car, you should fully review your car insurance policy to see if you need additional coverage. If your current policy falls short, you might want to shop around when it comes time to renew. When you are ready to find the best car insurance at affordable rates, you need to compare quotes from top companies.

Does your AAA membership cover car rental insurance?

Your AAA membership comes with many benefits and discounts. Unfortunately, covering the cost of rental car insurance is not one of them. Being an AAA member can save you money when renting a car from Hertz, Thrifty, and Dollar. Still, the expense of purchasing extra insurance will fall on you.

Not everyone needs to purchase extra insurance for a rental car. Typically, your primary insurance will cover your rental car up to your standard limits. Some credit card companies also offer rental car insurance. Still, there are circumstances where it’s best to buy the additional coverage. You should fully examine your situation before deciding whether to purchase short-term rental car insurance.

Even though AAA membership does not cover insurance for rentals, AAA does offer car insurance for its members. If you are a member of AAA, you might look into its member-exclusive car insurance policies. AAA car insurance may not be as robust as more popular options, but it might prove useful for you.

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Does AAA car insurance cover rental cars?

AAA offers car insurance only to its members. AAA car insurance is fairly standard and provides liability coverage to the minimum state requirements. You can purchase additional coverage, including collision, medical, and uninsured motorist insurance.

AAA car insurance protects your rental car up to the same coverage limits as your personal car. This coverage is sufficient if you rent a car that is similar in value to your personal vehicle. If you own something a bit cheaper but rent a luxury sedan, then you may be underinsured.

If you don’t have sufficient coverage for your rental car, it can prove costly. It can be difficult to come up with the money to cover damages, especially if you rent an expensive luxury vehicle. Even if you have a comprehensive car insurance policy, there are certain circumstances where purchasing rental car insurance makes sense.

Do you need to buy extra insurance for your rental car?

Whether you need to purchase additional coverage from the rental company depends on your situation. You should review your primary car insurance documentation to see how your policy might apply to your rental car. Perhaps you feel you have adequate coverage to protect yourself financially in the event of a collision. In that case, you might not need to purchase rental car insurance.

Furthermore, if you have a credit card, you can find out if it covers car rental insurance. Many credit card companies, including Capital One, provide an additional layer of liability coverage for rental cars. In order to use your credit card for this purpose, you will need to pay for the car rental with the card in question. When asked, you should decline the car rental company’s liability insurance waiver.

You should fully evaluate your situation to see if there are benefits to purchasing insurance for your rental car. Sometimes the additional expense is worthwhile in the long run.

There are many reasons you might want to buy extra coverage for your rental car, including:

  • You can pay a lower deductible. Usually, lowering your deductible goes hand in hand with paying higher rates. This extra investment can get very expensive over time. Since rental car insurance is temporary, the higher rates are more feasible. Lowering your deductible can save you out-of-pocket expenses in the event of a collision.
  • You can increase your coverage. If your primary car insurance is only minimum liability insurance, then you know that coverage can be rather slim. You can get more comprehensive coverage by purchasing short-term rental car insurance without getting locked into a year’s worth of higher rates.
  • You can avoid paying higher rates if you get in an accident. Being involved in a collision typically raises your car insurance rates substantially. If you want to play it safe and avoid higher rates, then purchasing rental car insurance may allow you to avoid submitting claims to your primary insurance.

Depending on the terms of your primary car insurance policy, you might benefit from purchasing additional insurance coverage. Before you pay for rental car insurance, you should review your policy documents. There you can learn more about the details of your coverage and determine if the extra protection is right for you.

How can AAA help you save money on a rental car?

If you have an AAA membership, you are entitled to great discounts from hundreds of businesses. Even though AAA membership doesn’t cover rental car insurance, there are other ways it can help you save money when you rent a car.

Here are just a few of the great money-saving benefits available to AAA members:

  • Rental car discounts. With your AAA membership, you are eligible for discounts on rental cars at Hertz, Thrifty, and Dollar rental agencies.
  • Emergency roadside assistance. AAA’s emergency roadside assistance can come to your rescue if you are in a jam. Whether you lock your keys in the car or have a flat tire, AAA can send a truck to help you out for free. This can be a better option than calling the rental company.
  • Fewer fees. Most rental cars come with tons of hidden costs. Your AAA membership lets you waive fees for additional drivers and younger drivers under 25.
  • Extra travel discounts. Suppose you are renting a car while on vacation. If so, you can leverage your AAA membership to get deals and discounts on hotels, restaurants, resorts, and more.

There are countless additional perks included in your AAA membership. To learn more, you can visit the AAA website or call a Membership Services representative at 800-922-8228.

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Does AAA cover rental car insurance?

Your AAA membership does not cover the cost of rental car insurance. Most rental car companies offer basic liability waivers with the option of purchasing more expensive coverage. Depending on your current car insurance policy, purchasing additional coverage might make sense.

After reading this article, you should better understand how AAA membership car rental insurance can help you save money when renting a car. You should also have a better idea of whether you need to purchase rental car insurance. Only you know your situation best, so you should review your insurance policy documents before deciding.

If you are ready to find better insurance at cheaper rates, then shopping around is key. By comparing quotes from the leading car insurance companies, you can find the best deals on the right coverage.

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