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3 On Your Side: Rental Car Insurance During The Summer Travel Season

By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- During the summer travel season, consumers rent more cars than ever.

And at the checkout counter, you're likely to be asked if you want to buy insurance.

As 3 On Your Side consumer reporter Jim Donovan finds, you could be paying for something additional that you really don't need.

Rental car customers often say yes to extra insurance because they're not sure if they're covered elsewhere.

At up to $40 a day, that extra cost can add up fast.  So be sure to do some research before you rent.

For instance if you're charging the rental to your credit card, you might be okay.

"I have insurance on my credit card so I use that insurance," said traveler, Linda Talyor.

"It's covered on my credit card," said traveler, Darius Nelson.

"American Express, Visa, Mastercard and Discover all offer some sort of rental car coverage. You should check with them before you go on your trip but it may be far cheaper than buying that supplemental coverage," said CBS News business analyst, Jill Schlesinger.

Different credit cards offer different levels of coverage and different limitations, so you'll want to check the details.

The other place to call is your insurance company. If you have your own car at home, your auto policy may extend to rentals.

Exotic cars, off-road vehicles, trucks and vans are often excluded from this sort of coverage - so if that's a part of your travel plans, make sure to read the fine print on your coverage before you hit the road.

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