Traveling this summer? If you’re getting a rental car, learn how you can decide if you need to pick up insurance coverage from them.
One of my pet peeves when traveling is the hard sell for insurance products at the rental car counter sometimes.
Often my negative response is countered with the reasons I should buy it; even though I already declined. There’s a reason for that.
Insurance is a profitable product. Collecting $9 or more a day for coverage that the vast majority of renters will never use generates a great deal of revenue. But is there a hard and fast rule about rental car insurance?
No to Rental Car Insurance
You may already have rental car coverage and not realize. it. Many credit card companies include this feature so be sure to check out the benefits of your card and use it when picking up the vehicle.
Organization memberships often offer travel benefits including coverage for rental car damage. My AARP membership has a maximum cap on damages if I decline the offered coverage.
Another reason to turn down additional insurance at the counter is that your own insurance plan may already provide coverage. Many comprehensive policies extend to cars you’ve rented.
Yes to Rental Car Insurance
Times when you should strongly consider signing up for the optional coverage is if you don’t have insurance through any other means.
Let’s say you don’t own a car or belong to any organizations that provides this benefit. It’s better to pay the daily fee than risk being on the hook to replace a fairly new car.
A time when even I consider rental car insurance is when renting in foreign countries. Like health insurance, your car insurance policy probably doesn’t provide coverage out of the country.
Conversely, the other country may not recognize your coverage provider. Most Southern Californians are used to buying Mexican insurance as part of their car trip across the border.
If you have an accident without this policy, it’s directly to jail until you can come up with the money to pay damages.
Thoughts on Rental Car Insurance
Before your next trip involving a rental car, do some research. Read your insurance policy and/or check with your agent on existing coverage.
Find out if your credit card or any memberships offer protection. If you’re going out of country, understand the local laws regarding driving and insurance.
By preparing, you can make an informed decision and be confident when you answer the question about optional insurance. Do you have any rental car tips?
Are you a parent or going to become one soon? Learn how you can take care of your little ones and save money with our kids and taxes guide.
Kids and Taxes: Six Financial Steps to Take
As parents, it’s important to make sure you have you finances squared away. The problem is we usually don’t have much time to devote it.
Good news – here are a few things you can do quickly and easily:
Amend your health insurance: The first two years includes many doctor visits. Make sure you fill out the paperwork to get your child added to your health insurance plan. It also means making sure you get the paperwork done for your baby to get a Social Security number.
Look at signing up or adjusting your Flexible Spending Account: You may be able to lower your taxable income and take care of your new medical expenses by using a Flexible Spending Account through your job. Check with Human Resources to sign up for one if you haven’t already.
Take advantage of tax credits, exemptions and deductions: There are several tax benefits that you can use when filing your return. You can deduct $3,700 as an exemption if you had a child last year. Don’t forget to look into child tax credit, child care credit, and saving for college.
Prepare a baby fund: As much as you can research and estimate what having a baby costs, you won’t know how much exactly until they arrive. When you find out you’re having a baby, or when the two of you decide to start trying, go ahead and start saving in baby fund. You don’t have to keep it separate from your family savings – you can just build up your financial cushion.
Ask for gift cards in your registry: Babies are little bundles of joy and they each have their own personalities. Don’t just assume that because most babies love their swing or their exosaucer, that yours will. Check the option to add gift cards with your registry so you can get baby gear that you need as it comes up.
If you want more information and tax tips, TurboTax has a great blog where I contribute along with their own team of tax experts.
Finances, Taxes, and New Parents
I’d like to get your thoughts on it. How many of you are parents? What financial changes did you make for your little one?
For those more experienced parents, what adjustments have you made over the years? Does having more than one child significantly change things (financially) or they a smaller adjustment?