We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The Tripadvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Car Rental Insurance

Mernda, Australia
Level Contributor
1 post
9 reviews
2 helpful votes
Car Rental Insurance

I have a question about Car Rental insurance in Hawaii. I have looked at alot of Car Rental sites and the car insurance they offer cover you for damage to your rental car but not to another vehicle, if involver. Is there car rental insurance that supplies this type of coverage or is it not required in Hawaii? i.e they cannot sue you if you at fault

Washington DC...
Level Contributor
17,946 posts
26 reviews
183 helpful votes
1. Re: Car Rental Insurance

I think what you are referring to is liability insurance--for damage to property and for personal injury. TA probably will not let me put urls in here but I googled National Car Rental (for example, it's the one I use thought not necesssarily the least expensive). Get the US site. The booking engine asked where I Lived---I put Australia and put in for a car rental at HNL (Honolulu Airport). It gave me what at forst appeared to be a rather expensive rate, which upon examination included some liability insurance.

So, yes, HAwaii does have those types of insurance. Maybe they were included in the rates you saw or maybe the car site assumed you were in the US. (If I try the same booking as "living in the US" I get offered a rate w/o insurance and have to add it if I want.

Portland, OR
Level Contributor
1,886 posts
37 reviews
157 helpful votes
2. Re: Car Rental Insurance


Hawaii is a “no fault” state, meaning each person’s insurance covers their personal injuries regardless of fault. Personal liability is required by law, which would cover damage to other person’s vehicle or property. This should be included in the base rate, check with your rental company directly to verify. One may purchase additional liability insurance from the rental company; this provides coverage beyond what the state minimums are, and/or the umbrella coverage of your current insurance on your own POV. When in doubt, check first with your own coverage (as I am not familiar with the insurance rules in Oz) and call the rental agency you plan on using prior to booking.

Good luck and happy travels!

Birmingham, Alabama
Level Contributor
6,424 posts
36 reviews
68 helpful votes
3. Re: Car Rental Insurance

You may know this but ... one thing the car rental insurance covers here in the US is "loss of use" for the car company ... i.e., if the company you rent from has to get your car repaired b/c of a wreck you have, and it's out of service for 9 days, you are required by most contracts to pay for the 9 days -- probably at crazy rates. But if you have insurance, it's covered. I can't say that I ever buy it ... but when I'm overseas (and particularly when I'm driving on the opposite side of the road, which you may be perfectly suited to do :) I buy the insurance just to avoid any hassles from across an ocean.

Not sure how things are in Australia, but in the US insurance laws vary from state to state. There are several "no fault" states like Hawaii ... EL does a good job of explaining above.

North Carolina
Level Contributor
665 posts
126 reviews
93 helpful votes
4. Re: Car Rental Insurance

I'm not sure how this works in Australia, but I checked out rental car insurance in preparation for our trip...

My auto insurance is primary if I have an accident in a rental car. They will cover me just like my car insurance coverage at home, subject to the laws in Hawaii.

My credit card that I use to rent the car (AMEX) is secondary. It covers my deductible plus loss of use for the car rental company, which my auto insurance does not cover.

I would highly suggest you call your auto insurance company and your credit card company and find out your coverage. There is no sense in paying for the car rental insurance if you are already covered.

Kuala Lumpur...
Level Contributor
1,359 posts
5. Re: Car Rental Insurance

You can't purchase additional liability insurance or ANY kind of insurance from a rental car company. Car rental companies do not sell insurance and they are not allowed by law to sell insurance.

Car rental companies must have liability insurance in oder to operate legally. You can be reasonably certain that national car rental companies have liability insurance but that may not be true of small local car rental companies. Car rental companies do not have collision insurnance. If their car is in an accident the car rental company absorbs the entire cost.

Palm Springs...
Level Contributor
11,575 posts
139 reviews
320 helpful votes
6. Re: Car Rental Insurance

Echo was only part correct Hawaii is not an "no-faulf" insurance it is properly called an "AT Fault" meaning that your insurance takes care of you and if the other guy has none ( which is against the law) he gets nothing and is entitled to nothing

Another myth on car insurance anywhere is that your home policy or credit card company will take care of any damages..

Well sort of

there are some HUGE exceptions ALL credit cards and insurance exempt.............................................

1. you must be operating the vehicle in a legal manner and not in violation of and agreements with the car rental company;

Translated if you drive on closed roads, off a paved road etc ( which is common here to have such restrictions for all cars even 4x4 and SUV!!!!) Hence, neither your own personal or credit card will pay for damage for vehicles operated in such a fashion

2. I checked several companies Visa/Master and American Express They limit the their coverage to normal cars and doesnot cover SUV, 4x4 and speciality or luxury cars......

furthur they will not cover an incident inAustralia,NewZealand,Italy,Jamaca and Ireland

I would expect this to also apply to residents of those countries driving elsewhere.

In an at-fault state such as Hawaii it is very prudent to buy a policy.. I buy insurance in any foreign country and in any state which does not have an at fault or no fault rule.......

Portland, OR
Level Contributor
1,886 posts
37 reviews
157 helpful votes
7. Re: Car Rental Insurance

In an effort to filter out potential confusion, here are some source documents.

Here is a link for anyone interested to the State of Hawaii’s Dept of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, which defines the Motor Vehicle Insurance Law for the State.


Here is a link to the HRS (Hawaii Revised Statues 431:10c-303.5) which defines which insurance is primary:


Here is a link to Budget Rent a Car’s FAQ section, regarding insurance.


This should help someone in clarifying what is and is not the law, and available to renters. As always, check with the specific company you are renting with, your insurance company prior to renting to be sure you are educated on your level of coverage.

Good luck and happy travels!

8. Re: Car Rental Insurance

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity.

What are forum guidelines?
© 2022 TripAdvisor LLC All rights reserved.

This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in the United States. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu.