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You’ll need car insurance if you use the Turo rental car platform — that includes hosts and guests renting cars. However, coverage on Turo (formerly known as RelayRides) works differently from typical car insurance, and you have a few options for how much coverage you can buy which increase in price the more coverage you choose.
How Turo insurance works for hosts
Turo provides five levels of insurance coverage to hosts, the people who own cars and allow others to rent them through the Turo platform:
You’ll choose one of these insurance levels when you make your car available through the Turo website or app. They’re all provided through Liberty Mutual, a major U.S. insurance company.
All five levels of Turo insurance coverage include $750,000 of liability protection, which covers you in case you are found liable in a crash. This coverage is essential, even though you won’t be driving the car. For example, it could apply if improper maintenance leads to a crash, in which case you would likely be held legally responsible.
The plans also all include coverage for physical damage to the car — up to $125,000 after a deductible that adjusts with the level of plan you select.
The 70 and 60 plans also include a few other extras.
The cost of insurance for Turo hosts
The cost of each level of insurance is based on a percentage of the total amount you charge to rent your vehicle. The number in the name of each plan represents the percentage of the price of each trip that the host will keep with that coverage level. The remaining percentage is the fee charged by Turo.
Note that the fee charged by Turo is the total amount you have to give to Turo for renting on its platform — it also covers the cost of listing your car.
Does my personal car insurance work with Turo?
Standard car insurance policies for personal use — that is, for everyday driving to work and other errands — will probably never cover your vehicle while someone else is renting your car on Turo. Those policies are designed and priced to cover a private driver, not a car driven by a new stranger every weekend. So you can’t just reject Turo’s coverage and rely on your own personal policy.
Despite the fact that your personal policy won’t cover you while your car is rented, you will still have to buy your own car insurance policy. Nearly every state requires car insurance to register and drive a private vehicle, and Turo requires you to have your own coverage, as well. However, you don’t need to buy any special coverage from your regular insurer.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t find any evidence of any Turo-friendly car insurers. Progressive, Geico and State Farm agents all told us they will not insure vehicles for car sharing services, such as Turo. Even Liberty Mutual, which provides Turo’s own corporate policy, doesn’t allow sharing on personal insurance but can on some business policies.
Alternative for professionals: Commercial car insurance
Turo does provide the option for you to opt out of its insurance program entirely and instead buy your own commercial car insurance policy. People who own cars exclusively for renting on Turo, especially if they have multiple vehicles, might find that this is the right option for them. If you select this option, Turo will only keep 7.5% of the amount you charge guests to rent your car.
For example, you’ll be responsible for helping your guest with roadside assistance if their car breaks down, which Turo takes care of when you use its insurance for hosts. You’ll also need to submit proof of your commercial insurance to Turo to skip its insurance policy.
How Turo insurance works for guests
People who are renting a car on Turo need insurance, too. You’re not necessarily obligated to buy coverage from Turo, but you should understand what you get when buying protection from Turo and the trade-offs of foregoing coverage.
Turo offers three packages of insurance coverage for drivers: Minimum, Standard and Premier.
You may also choose to “decline” insurance, though this is a bit of a misnomer: You still receive the state minimum of liability protection, as it’d be illegal to drive without it. However, by choosing the “decline” option, you are completely responsible for the cost to repair or replace the car if it’s damaged, lost or stolen. The Premier option is not available if the vehicle is worth more than $25,000.
Unlike a car insurance plan for a normal car, Turo’s insurance doesn’t include any extras like personal injury protection or uninsured motorist coverage, except in the states where it’s required by law.
Cost of Turo insurance for guests
The cost of each level of insurance is based on the cost of the car you rent. Premium protection doubles the cost of your rental, Standard adds 40% and Minimum adds 15%-25%.
Do I need to buy insurance when I rent from Turo?
You are not required to buy car insurance from Turo when renting a car — it’s up to you to decide. But whether you should depends on how much car insurance coverage you already have and whether you can afford to replace the car if it’s damaged.
The first thing to know is that it’s very unlikely that any other source of protection will cover damage to your rental car while driving — your own existing car insurance policy won’t cover you and credit card benefits generally won’t, either. This means that any damage that happens to the car while it’s in your care, up to the total cost of the vehicle, will be your responsibility should you decline Turo’s protection plan.
Liability coverage is equally important, though you may already have some coverage if you carry a car insurance policy for your own vehicle — as well as if you’ve purchased nonowner coverage. In this case, your liability coverage likely applies no matter what vehicle you are driving. In fact, Turo’s liability coverage is considered secondary, so you will have to exhaust your own limits before it kicks in.
Additionally, every car on Turo has the minimum required coverage for the state you rented it in, even if you choose the “decline” option.
Can I use my credit card rental coverage?
Some credit cards include free loss damage waiver (LDW) coverage as a benefit of using the card.
Every credit card rental insurance benefit works slightly differently, but you shouldn’t assume your American Express or other credit card will protect you while you’re driving a Turo car.
Most credit card rental car benefits only apply when you rent from a rental car company like Budget or Enterprise, and some specifically exclude peer-to-peer car rental companies like Turo. The only way to be sure is to check with your credit card company.
What is a Turo auto insurance score?
One way Turo evaluates the reliability of potential guests is by looking at your insurance score, also called your credit-based insurance score. This number is used by auto and home insurers to evaluate the strength of your credit and is based on your credit history.
The auto insurance score criteria include things like how much debt you have and whether you pay your bills on time. Turo doesn’t create the auto insurance score directly. The number is created by TransUnion, a credit reporting agency.
How to work with a commercial host
Some cars on Turo are owned by small car-rental companies, rather than people operating on their own. The primary difference for guests is that these companies use their own commercial car insurance policies, and you won’t be able to buy any of the coverage options from Turo listed above.
Some commercial hosts include the insurance rates as part of the daily rate, while others provide a separate charge. Whether car insurance is charged separately will be detailed in the body of the rental agreement; check with your host if you’re unsure how you are covered. You’ll also work directly with your host if anything goes wrong with your vehicle during your rental, rather than making a claim through Turo’s insurance.
Sources: Turo insurance for guests Turo vehicle protection for hosts