When renting a moving truck, most drivers should accept the damage waiver and supplemental liability insurance but decline cargo protection and medical coverage — if it's possible to pick and choose.
If you have a credit card that provides rental-car insurance, you might be accustomed to declining coverage from rental companies. However, rental insurance is usually different when it comes to moving vans and trucks. Credit-card insurance usually won’t cover these larger vehicles.
Here’s our advice on navigating the types of insurance involved with a moving-truck rental.
Take the damage waiver
Accept the damage waiver on your truck rental. The damage waiver, if you choose to buy it, will get you off the hook for any damage to the truck during the rental period, whether it's deemed to be your fault or not. For a low price, typically $12 a day, you can eliminate the risk of a serious repair bill.
Damage to trucks can be costly; even something as trivial as a crack in a truck windshield can cost $100 or more to repair.
Take the supplemental liability insurance, too
This insurance supplements the minimum amount of personal liability insurance required by the state, which is automatically included in the cost of your rental. The additional liability coverage, usually for $1,000,000, protects you if you injure people in other vehicles when driving your truck; it adds to the minimum mandated coverage, which is relatively low in most states. This coverage may be worth adding especially if you are taking a long trip.
But think twice about cargo-protection insurance.
Rental-truck companies also offer insurance to cover damage to the items you are transporting. Typically, up to $25,000 worth of cargo may be covered. However, items such as jewelry and TV sets are usually excluded. Those exclusions contribute to making this coverage a poor buy, as a rule. In addition, the belongings you’re transporting may already be covered under your homeowners policy.
You can probably skip medical coverage
Lastly, the rental truck company may offer you medical coverage that will pay for any medical expenses you incur as a result of an accident. You most likely will not need this coverage, provided you have health insurance. Your health policy should cover your medical expenses if you are injured during the trip.
But there’s a catch…
The parsing above — of some coverage types worth taking and some not — assumes that you’ll have the option to choose the types of insurance coverage à la carte. That may be the case with some companies. However, the biggest moving-truck rental agency, U-Haul, only offers plans that bundle together coverage types.
U-Haul offers two plans: Safemove and Safemove Plus. Both packages come with a damage waiver, cargo protection and medical coverage. The Plus plan comes with more coverage as well as supplemental liability insurance.
- Safemove costs about $14 per rental, provided the trip is fairly short — around 15 miles or less.
- Safemove Plus costs about $28 per rental for a similarly short trip.
If you are taking a longer trip, the Plus package may be worth the cost.