Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers Insurance CSR 4 Years

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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Important facts to know...

  • If you’re moving and you’re renting a truck, you should check your auto insurance to see if it extends
  • Standard rental cars are covered under existing insurance but moving trucks are excluded because of their size
  • If you get into an accident, your liability coverage will not pay for damage to other property or medical bills
  • If your personal belongings are damaged during transport, your property insurance may pay to replace them
  • You should look for moving truck insurance sold by the rental agency over the counter

You have to do a lot of planning when you’re coordinating a move. After you’ve found the perfect home, the next step in the involved moving process is to decide how you’re going to move all of your prized possessions from your old home to your new one.

For local moves, it makes the most financial sense to rent your own truck and transport your belongings on your own.

Once you’ve committed to the idea of transporting your belongings on your own, you’ll have to decide which rental company you want to rent from and what size truck you’ll need.

Agencies have 12-foot trucks that are capable of moving one- to two-bedroom homes and 26-foot options with a capacity to move a seven-bedroom home.

Compare car insurance quotes today to make sure you find the best rate for the type of coverage you need.

Does your auto insurance cover rentals?

Auto insurance contracts are more complex than you might think. They offer protection against obvious perils but can also protect you against unforeseeable events that you probably didn’t know about. Standard policies include coverage for a covered auto.

These same policies, no matter how basic the coverage might be, also provide some type of coverage when you’re in a borrowed car or rental car.

Policyholders should always be familiar with how their auto insurance works when they are entering into a rental agreement.

Under your policy contract, the insurer will extend all of the broadest coverage that you carry to any car that’s rented in the policyholder’s name as long as the rented vehicle meets the definition of private passenger auto.

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What does a personal auto policy pay for?

Personal auto policies were only designed to cover private passenger cars. There are some exceptions to this when you’re towing a trailer or camper, but in general, the policy will only pay for claims presented when you’re driving a covered private-passenger automobile.

If you’re driving an exotic car or a commercial vehicle, coverage won’t extend.

Insurance companies base their premiums off of the type of risk that’s associated with covering a certain type of property. When you’re buying a personal auto policy, the insurer has set rates based on how risky it is to insure private passenger autos.

Both the Department of Motor Vehicles and Property and Casualty insurance companies have their own set definitions for private passenger automobiles.

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When you’re worried about how your insurance will cover a rented moving truck, the definition that’s given by the insurer is what matters most. Here are the guidelines that must be met:

  • Four-wheeled vehicles
  • Vehicles that are not used to carry passengers for a fee
  • Pick-ups or vans that don’t exceed 10,000 pounds
  • Vehicles that are not used in delivery or freight operations

Moving Trucks Aren’t Private Passenger Autos

A moving truck is classified as a commercial vehicle because it weighs more than 10,000 pounds and has more than two axles.

Since moving trucks don’t meet the definition of private passenger auto, the provision that says that rental cars are covered while in your possession doesn’t apply.

When you’re driving the moving truck, you need some type of coverage but it won’t be provided under your existing auto policy.

Will you have liability coverage in the moving truck?

Rental agencies invest a huge amount of money into insurance. In fact, a lot of the operational expenses that companies in this industry must cover come in the form of commercial insurance premiums.

Just because a rental agency has coverage on its fleet of moving trucks doesn’t mean that you’re protected.

Commercial liability policies are in place to protect the company that owns the moving truck. If someone is injured in an accident with an individual who rented the car and the company is sued, the insurance will pay to protect the agency.

The commercial policy doesn’t kick in to pay for claims made against you if you’re negligent for third-party damage.

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Can you be held liable for damage to the rented truck?

As soon as you take custody of a rental, whether it’s a car or a moving truck, you’re the sole person responsible for the vehicle.

Anyone who rents a car will sign a contract that says they are going to return it to the agency on time and in the same condition it was in before you signed on the dotted line.

If you get into a crash or you scrape the entire side of the truck, you are the one who has to pay for the repairs. When you put down a deposit, the money will be taken from that deposit.

You will then have to pay the balance on your own or the agency will file a lawsuit to collect. You can also be billed for loss of income for the days the truck could not be rented while it’s in the shop.

How can you ensure that you’re protected while driving a moving truck?

The only way that you can feel secure while you’re driving a moving truck is to purchase the insurance that you’re offered. You can ask the agency for information on the offerings. You can buy several different options at once or just liability.

Each option that you select will have an added premium per day.

Here’s what’s typically offered:

  • Supplemental Liability Protection
  • Collision Damage Waiver
  • Personal Affects Coverage
  • Medical Payments

Your car insurance will not pay for any losses that occur while you’re driving a moving in a moving truck. If you’re towing your car behind the truck, your damage coverage will kick in if there’s an accident.

Don’t reject the option to buy insurance when you don’t know how you’re protected. Ask about the cost of extra protection ask you sign your paperwork and feel secure as you start your new life in your new home.

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