Policies differ, but some cover damage to a rental car. For most people who travel for personal reasons, you probably don't need to pay extra for coverage from a car rental company. If you already have State Farm auto insurance with comprehensive and collision coverage, you should transfer it to your rental car.1 Ask your State Farm agent about situations where you should consider it. In most cases, yes, the coverages you have for your personal car will also apply to a rental car.
But if you have an exclusive liability policy, you won't be covered for damage to the rented vehicle. If the other driver's insurance company concludes that you were at fault for the accident and you don't agree, it's up to you to provide proof that they are wrong. Many major credit cards also offer coverage for rental cars if you pay with your card and decline the collision damage waiver offered by the rental company. Car rental companies usually only offer minimal liability coverage, so if you don't have personal insurance, you'll probably want to buy additional rental car insurance through the rental company.
In general, collision coverage protects you when you hit another vehicle or an object, such as a tree or a parked car. If you're not sure whether or not you have collision coverage, call your Houston auto insurance company to check it out. Even if your car is wrecked and can't be repaired, the insurance company will try to limit how long you can get a rental vehicle. If you only have liability coverage for that vehicle, you will only be covered by liability on the substitute vehicle.
The best option to protect yourself from paying damages due to an uninsured driver is to add uninsured driver insurance to your car coverage. If there is any chance that they will find you guilty, or mostly, they will deny your claim and not pay a car rental. Once your immediate transportation needs via a rental vehicle are met, your attention will be focused on whether your car needs to be repaired or if it should be replaced. When renting a car, paying by credit card can have the added benefit of doubling as a form of rental car insurance.
But only your maximum limits will apply, which means that your insurance will not cover damages beyond what is in your current policy.