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Millions of Americans move every year. As part of the process, it's common to rent a moving truck from U-Haul or another company. So, does your auto insurance cover rental U-Haul rentals?
Unfortunately, your auto insurance most likely does not cover U-Haul rentals due to the size and weight of these vehicles. However, some smaller rental vehicles might be covered. Keep in mind that providers of moving rentals typically sell insurance to cover your trip.
Will My Car Insurance Cover a Moving Truck Rental?
Chances are that your car insurance may cover a rented moving vehicle, but only up to a certain weight and size. So, a small pickup truck or van might be covered, but a larger truck usually wouldn't be covered.
For example, your auto insurance probably won't cover a 15-foot U-Haul truck, which people often rent to haul the contents of a two-bedroom apartment or condo. When it's empty, this truck weighs 8,115 pounds, or a little over 4 tons. The truck's towing capacity is 10,000 pounds, or 5 tons.
If your auto insurance doesn't cover a U-Haul rental like a 15-foot truck and you don't purchase coverage from the rental company, then you could be responsible for paying for damage to the vehicle. This might be the case even if the damage was someone else's fault.
Should I Purchase the Insurance Offered By the Rental Company?
Although you can rent a moving vehicle without your own coverage or coverage from the rental company, it's not wise to go without insurance.
And don't count on the credit card you used to rent the vehicle. U-Haul says credit card rental insurance typically doesn't cover truck or trailer rentals due to size and weight limits. For instance, cards from the Visa payment network don't cover rented trucks or cargo vans, while cards from Mastercard exclude rental coverage for rented trucks or full-size vans.
Even if you are able to rely on your own auto insurance to cover a U-Haul rental, you'd need to pay for any damage out of your own pocket and then seek reimbursement from your insurance company.
Given those factors, you might want to consider buying coverage from U-Haul or whatever company rents the moving vehicle to you. Some rental companies do offer a minimum amount of built-in liability coverage, but that might not be adequate to pay costs related to damage or injuries.
Types of coverage that you may be able to purchase include:
- Collision and damage waivers: With these waivers, the rental company agrees not to seek money from you if the rental truck is damaged or stolen.
- Supplemental liability insurance: This coverage helps pay expenses if the moving truck you're driving damages someone else's vehicle or property.
- Accident and cargo protection: This protection covers costs associated with injuries or accidental death involving you or potentially relatives or other drivers who are in your moving truck. It also might cover certain types of damage.
- Auto-tow protection: With this protection, certain kinds of damage to your car are covered if the car is being towed by a moving truck.
At U-Haul, for instance, rental coverage generally applies to trucks, trailers and other moving equipment. U-Haul's basic insurance covers:
- Most accidental damage, including dents and dings. "Overhead" damage caused by bridges or low-hanging roofs isn't covered, though.
- Cargo damaged in a collision, windstorm or rollover accident. The coverage is $25,000 on a one-way rental and $15,000 on an in-town rental.
- The driver and passengers for up to $1,000 of medical bills associated with an accident. The policy pays up to $25,000 in the event of a driver's death and $15,000 in the event of a passenger's death.
- Your car while it's being towed on U-Haul equipment or your personal property while it's stored on a U-Haul trailer.
What Other Costs May Be Associated With Moving Using a U-Haul?
As you plan to budget for your U-Haul and the insurance needed to cover it, be sure to look at setting aside money for these do-it-yourself moving costs:
- Moving insurance: A homeowners or renters insurance policy might not cover your belongings when they're being moved or might not provide adequate coverage. Therefore, you may want to invest in a separate moving insurance policy. This coverage can pay some or all of the costs to replace lost or damaged items.
- Gas and tolls: Especially if you're making a long-distance move, you'll want to budget for gas and tolls. Keep in mind that toll prices may vary based on the size and weight of your moving truck.
- Roadside assistance: If you don't already have roadside assistance, you might want to explore buying it from the rental company in case you need to get a flat tire fixed or need the vehicle to be towed, for example.
- Packing supplies: Boxes and tape are among the items you may need to buy for packing up your belongings.
The Bottom Line
Before buying coverage from U-Haul or another rental company, figure out whether any of your credit cards might provide coverage. Even if they do offer coverage, you still might want to purchase more insurance to properly protect yourself, your passengers and your belongings.