How Does Insurance Work on Turo? Do I Need to Buy Coverage?

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Car insurance is required for everyone who uses the Turo rental car platform—that includes hosts as well as guests renting the car. However, coverage on Turo (formerly known as RelayRides) works differently from typical car insurance, and you have a few options for how much coverage you buy. As a general rule, the more protection you choose, the higher your costs for coverage will be.

How Turo Insurance Works for Hosts

Turo provides three levels of insurance coverage to hosts (people who own cars and allow others to rent them through the Turo platform): Basic, Standard and Premium. You'll choose one of these insurance levels when you reserve your car through the Turo website or app. They're all provided through Liberty Mutual, a major U.S. insurance company. All three levels of Turo insurance coverage include $1 million of liability protection, which covers you in case you are found liable in a crash. This coverage is essential, even though you won't be driving the car. For example, it could apply if improper maintenance leads to a crash, in which case you would likely be held legally responsible.

They also all include coverage for physical damage to the car, up to $125,000. However, selecting the "Basic" level means that you have to pay a deductible: 80% of the first $3,000 to cover repairs. The Standard and Premium options waive the deductible, and Turo will cover the entire cost to repair your vehicle if it is damaged.

The Standard and Premium coverages also include a few other extras, as well. In both cases, Turo will pay you up to $30 per day for a replacement vehicle while your car is being repaired (up to 10 days or 30 days if the car was totaled). And Premium coverage also includes protection for wear and tear to your car, as well as reimbursement for loss of income while the car is being repaired.

The Cost of Insurance for Turo Hosts

The cost of each level of insurance is based on a percentage of the total amount you charge to rent your vehicle. Basic coverage means you pay 15% of your total rental fee for insurance; standard coverage costs 25% and Premium is 35%. Note that this is the total amount you have to give to Turo for renting on its platform—it also covers the cost of listing your car.

PremiumStandardBasic
CoveragesLiability coverage$1,000,000$1,000,000$1,000,000
Physical damage protection$125,000$125,000$125,000
Host deductible for physical damage to car$0$0Up to $3,000*
Replacement vehicle during repair periodYesYesNo
Exterior wear & tear coverageYesNoNo
Loss of hosting incomeYesNoNo
Fee charged by Turo35%25%15%
Portion of trip price kept by host65%75%85%
*Turo pays 20% up to first $3,750 of damage for basic coverage, and 100% thereafter.

Does My Personal Car Insurance Work with Turo?

Car insurance policies written for personal use—that is, for everyday driving to work and other errands—will probably never cover you while someone else is renting your car on Turo. Those policies are designed and priced to cover a private driver, not a car driven by a new stranger every weekend. So you can't just reject Turo's coverage and rely on your own personal policy.

Despite the fact that your personal policy won't cover you while your car is rented, you will still have to buy your own car insurance policy. Nearly every state requires car insurance to register and drive a private vehicle, and Turo requires you to have your own coverage, as well. However, you don't need to buy any special coverage from your regular insurer.

Additionally, your car insurance company may decide to raise your insurance rates or drop you from coverage if it discovers you're renting your car on Turo. Insurance companies are legally allowed to do this in every state except California, Oregon and Washington. Unfortunately, we couldn't find any evidence of any Turo-friendly car insurers—we found reports of GEICO and Progressive both rejecting customers who wanted to use their cars for Turo. Even Liberty Mutual, which provides Turo's own corporate policy, doesn't always approve prospective hosts.

Alternative for Professionals: Commercial Car Insurance

Turo does provide the option for you to opt out of its insurance program entirely and instead buy your own commercial car insurance policy. People who own cars exclusively for renting on Turo, especially if they have multiple vehicles, might find that this is the right option for them. If you select this option, Turo will only keep 10% of the amount you charge guests to rent your car. However, you won't receive any help from Turo if your car is damaged or stolen, so it's important that you only insure your car this way if you understand what's required of you.

For example, you'll be responsible for helping your guest with roadside assistance if their car breaks down, which Turo takes care of when you use its insurance for hosts.

You'll also need to submit proof of your commercial insurance to Turo in order to forego its insurance policy.

How Turo Insurance Works for Guests

People who are renting a car on Turo need insurance, too. You're not necessarily obligated to buy coverage from Turo, but you should understand what you get when buying protection from Turo and the tradeoffs of foregoing coverage.

Turo offers three packages of insurance coverage for drivers: Minimum, Standard and Premier.

  • Minimum coverage includes the state minimum for liability coverage in the state you're renting and a $3,000 deductible should the car be damaged or stolen.
  • Standard coverage boosts your liability protection to $1 million and lowers the damage deductible to $500.
  • Premier coverage keeps the $1 million of liability protection but removes the deductible for damage entirely.

You may also choose to "decline" insurance, though this is a bit of a misnomer: You still receive the state minimum of liability protection, as it'd be illegal to drive without it. However, by choosing the "decline" option, you are completely responsible for the cost to repair or replace the car if it's damaged, lost or stolen.

Unlike a car insurance plan for a normal car, Turo's insurance doesn't include any extras like personal injury protection or uninsured motorist coverage, except in the states it's required by law.

Cost of Turo Insurance for Guests

The cost of each level of insurance is based on the cost of the car you rent. Premium protection adds 60% to the cost of your rental; Premium adds 40%; and Minimum adds 15%–25%.

LevelLiabilityCostDamageOther notes
Premier$1mm liability coverage60% of the trip priceNo deductibleCovers flat tires
Standard$1mm liability coverage40% of the trip price$500 deductible
MinimumState minimum liability coverage15%-25% of the trip price$3,000 deductible
DeclineState minimum liability coverageNo coverage
When renting on Turo, you always have the legal minimum of car insurance for that state. This also includes personal injury protection and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in the states that require it.

Do I Need to Buy Insurance When I Rent from Turo?

You are not required to buy car insurance from Turo when renting a car—it's up to you to decide. But whether you should depends on how much car insurance coverage you already have and whether you can afford to replace the car if it's damaged.

The first thing to know is that it's very unlikely that any other source of protection will cover damage to your rental car while driving—your own existing car insurance policy won't cover you and credit card benefits generally won't, either. This means that any damage that happens to the car while it's in your care, up to the total cost of the vehicle, will be your responsibility should you decline Turo's protection plan.

Liability coverage is equally important, though you may already have some coverage if you carry a car insurance policy from your own vehicle—as well as if you've purchased non-owner coverage. In this case, your liability coverage likely applies no matter what vehicle you are driving, so you don't need to buy it in order to get liability coverage. Additionally, every car on Turo has the legal minimum of coverage for the state in which you rented it, even if you choose the "decline" option.

Can I Use My Credit Card Rental Coverage?

Some credit cards include free loss damage waiver (LDW) coverage as a benefit of using the card. Every credit card rental insurance benefit works slightly differently, but you shouldn't assume your American Express or other credit card will protect you while you're driving a Turo car. Most credit card rental car benefits only apply when you rent from a rental car company like Budget or Enterprise, and some specifically exclude peer-to-peer car rental companies like Turo. The only way to be sure is to check with your credit card provider.

What Is a Turo Auto Insurance Score?

One way Turo evaluates the reliability of potential guests is by looking at your insurance score, also called your credit-based insurance score. This number is used by auto and home insurers to evaluate the strength of your credit and is based on your credit history. The auto insurance score criteria includes things like how much debt you have and whether you pay your bills on time. Turo doesn't create the auto insurance score directly: The number is created by TransUnion, a credit reporting agency. Unfortunately, if you have a low insurance score, you may not be eligible to rent a car from Turo, even though the score is not tied to your driving ability.

Working with a Commercial Host

Some cars on Turo are owned by small car-rental companies, rather than people operating on their own. The primary difference for guests is that these companies use their own commercial car insurance policies, and you won't be able to buy any of the options from Turo listed above. Some commercial hosts include the insurance rates as part of the daily rate, while others provide a separate charge. Whether car insurance is charged separately will be detailed in the body of the rental; check with your host if you're unsure how you are covered. You'll also work directly with your host if anything goes wrong with your vehicle during your rental, rather than making a claim through Turo's insurance. If you're concerned about a certain host's reliability, we recommend checking their reviews: The more positive ratings a host has from other drivers, the more likely they'll be a responsible host, no matter the situation.

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