When you rent a car, the standard advice is that you don’t really need to purchase the rental company’s supplemental car insurance. Typically you have coverage for a rental car through your own personal auto policy or through the credit card you used to rent the vehicle, so purchasing extra coverage isn’t necessary, but that isn’t the case when you rent a U-haul.
Moving vans and cargo trucks aren’t usually covered under your personal auto insurance. Because of this, it is important to purchase the extra insurance offered when renting a U-haul truck.
As for renting U-haul trailers that attach to your personal vehicle, your liability insurance would cover any damages the trailer caused to someone else or their property, but you would not have any coverage for damage to the trailer itself.
Does my car insurance cover a U-haul rental truck?
No, your personal auto insurance likely doesn’t cover a U-haul rental truck. Every car insurance policy is different, so you can always call and ask your agent or your insurance company whether or not the coverage is included, but the vast majority of personal auto insurance policies specifically exclude coverage for U-haul rentals. That means you may need to get at least some of the insurance protection offered along with your U-haul rental.
Does my car insurance cover a U-haul rental trailer?
Yes — sort of. Your liability coverage will likely cover any damage caused by the trailer to someone else or their property. For example, if you are changing lanes and hit another car because you misjudged the amount of space you needed for the trailer, the damage to the other driver’s car would be covered by the liability coverage in your personal car insurance policy.
However, you would not have any coverage for the damage to the trailer itself or any property contained inside the trailer. So if your trailer detaches because you hooked it up incorrectly and winds up dented, damaging your belongings inside, your auto insurance won’t cover either issue. You would need to purchase separate coverage through the rental company to cover that damage.
Can I rent a U-haul if I don’t have car insurance?
Yes, you can rent a U-haul even if you don’t have a personal auto policy. Because the companies sell short-term insurance policies, you don’t need to have your own auto insurance policy when you rent a U-haul, Penske, or Budget moving truck.
How to tell if U-hauls are included in your policy
Figuring out what vehicles are and aren’t excluded from your policy isn’t always a simple task. It is tempting to assume that because your policy doesn’t say the words, “U-haul rentals are excluded from coverage,” you would probably be covered, but a U-haul truck may be excluded based on a number of factors, including:
Size and weight exclusions: Most auto insurance policies specifically exclude vehicles beyond a certain size or weight. For example, insurance companies often cover a maximum gross vehicle weight of up to 10,000 pounds.
Specific purpose exclusions: Auto insurance excludes vehicles used for racing, for off-road purposes, etc. It is possible your policy may exclude vehicles designed for hauling cargo or have other limitations that exclude coverage for box trucks, moving trucks, cargo vans, and other similar vehicles.
What does a rental coverage agreement include?
When you purchase short term insurance coverage along with your U-haul rental, it is broken into supplemental liability insurance and a limited damage waiver. You may or may not have both types of coverage, depending on which level of coverage you choose.
Supplemental liability insurance (SLI)
Supplemental liability insurance is the coverage that pays for damage you cause to other people and their property in an at-fault accident. SLI is what covers you and any authorized driver, as defined in the Rental or Sharing Agreement, for damage you cause in an accident.
This is the equivalent of the liability coverage in your personal auto insurance policy.
Limited damage waiver (LDW)
Limited damage waiver insurance is the coverage that pays for damage to the rental vehicle itself. LDW is the coverage that pays for scratches, dents, and other physical damage to the rental vehicle, but it likely has exclusions that you need to be aware of when purchasing your policy. For example, many LDW policies exclude damage caused by collision with an overhead object (like if you underestimate the height of your rented truck and drive under a low bridge).
What are my insurance options through U-haul?
Each rental company has their own unique coverage options available, each of which has different limits or amounts of SLI or LDW, but people renting through U-haul have access to the following options:
Safemove: U-haul’s basic insurance policy, Safemove covers most accident damage to rented equipment (excludes damage caused by collision with an overhead object.) It also offers medical and life protection for yourself and your passengers as well as loss or damage to your belongings caused by collision, fire, windstorm and overturn of the rental truck. There is no liability coverage included in this policy.
Safemove plus: This includes all of the same coverages as Safemove as well as $1,000,000 in supplemental liability coverage. It also covers your rental truck for damage caused by collision with an overhead object.
Safetow: If you rent a trailer to tow your car or other property behind a rental truck, safetow will cover damage to the rental trailer or towing device. It also covers cargo being towed on the trailer as well as medical and life protection for people riding in the passenger area of the towing vehicle.
Safetrip: This is U-haul’s roadside assistance coverage, which is designed to help you with a flat tire, locksmith services, lost keys, towing/winching, trailer hookup problems, and bringing you fuel if you run out of gas.
Safestor: This is coverage for your belongings while they are in storage. It offers coverage against fire, hurricane, tornado, wind, vandalism, vermin, lightning, smoke, earthquake, hail, burglary, building collapse, explosion, and leaking water.
Safestor mobile: Offers the same coverages as Safestor when your property is stored in a U-Box moving container.
Pickup truck and cargo van coverage: People who are renting a smaller vehicle like a pickup truck or a small cargo van can purchase a collision damage waiver with a $150 deductible to cover damage to the vehicle itself. This does not include any supplemental liability coverage.