What Moving-truck Insurance Is (and Isn’t) Worth Getting

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Many consumers who have a credit card that offers rental-car insurance are accustomed to declining any and all coverage offered by the rental company. However, things are different when it comes to renting most trucks, including those offered by moving-truck rental outfits such as U-Haul. For one, your credit-card insurance coverage almost certainly won’t cover these larger vehicles, nor for the most part will the auto insurance you carry on the vehicle you own. In addition, when renting a moving truck , you’ll be offered at least one type of insurance––that for the cargo you’ll be carrying in the vehicle — that you won’t encounter when you’re renting a car. Here’s a rundown of the types of insurance involved with a moving-truck rental, and our advice on which to take and which to decline.

Take The Damage Waiver

The damage waiver, if you chose 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. Accept the damage waiver on your truck rental. For a low price, typically $12 a day, you can eliminate the risk of a serious repair bill to the vehicle. Damage to trucks can be costly; even something as trivial as a crack in a truck windshield can run to a hundred dollars 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 against liability you may incur if and when you injure those in other vehicles when driving your truck; it also 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 haul trip.

Think twice about cargo-protection insurance. Rental-truck companies also offer insurance to cover any damage that happens to the stuff you are transporting. As a rule, up to $25,000 worth of cargo may be covered. However items such as jewelry and TV sets are usually excluded. Those exclusions of the cargo coverage 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 were you to be injured during the move.

But There’s A Catch…

The parsing above — of some coverage worth taking, and some not — assumes that you’ll have the option to choose the types of insurance coverage a la carte. That may be the case with some companies, perhaps some smaller ones. However, the biggest moving-truck rental agency, U-Haul, offers only plans that bundle together coverage types — and offer some we recommend and some we don’t in packages that you can’t “unbundle.”

U-Haul offers two plans, called SafeMove and SafeMove Plus. Both the SafeMove and SafeMove Plus come with the damage waiver, cargo and health protection. The Plus comes with more coverage and as well as the supplemental liability insurance. Generally, SafeMove will cost you around $14 per rental, providing the trip is fairly short — say 15 miles or less. SafeMove Plus. costs $28, again for a relatively short trip. If you are taking a longer trip, the Plus package may be worth it to have.

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