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Auto Rental Coverage With Credit Card
Old 01-18-2019, 11:56 PM   #1
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Auto Rental Coverage With Credit Card

My understanding is that credit card insurance is secondary to your own personal auto insurance. Typically the credit card insurance would pay the deductible and damage to the rental car would be covered by your own personal auto insurance.

Suppose because you own older cars, you have dropped collision coverage on your personal policy. What happens then if you rent a car and there is damage? Does the credit card cover the collision damage because you have no coverage?
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Old 01-19-2019, 12:46 AM   #2
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A step further, what if you don't own a car at all ?

Does the CC cover everything. ?
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Old 01-19-2019, 02:04 AM   #3
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My understanding is that it covers what your insurance doesn’t. So, if you don’t have collision, the CC is primary for damage to the rental. The only thing it might not cover is loss of rental income while the car is being repaired. You should read your CC benefits to see what limitations there might be.
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Old 01-19-2019, 06:42 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by kaneohe View Post
My understanding is that credit card insurance is secondary to your own personal auto insurance. Typically the credit card insurance would pay the deductible and damage to the rental car would be covered by your own personal auto insurance.

Suppose because you own older cars, you have dropped collision coverage on your personal policy. What happens then if you rent a car and there is damage? Does the credit card cover the collision damage because you have no coverage?
My understanding is yes to the second paragraph.

I use a credit card that offers primary coverage on rental cars. There are a few out there. It’s not a given that credit card rental car insurance is secondary only.
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Old 01-19-2019, 06:47 AM   #5
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A step further, what if you don't own a car at all ?

Does the CC cover everything. ?
Not liability insurance. You must arrange for that somehow.

Also, credit cards may or may not cover some niggly things like loss of rental income charged by the rental car company. But they might help negotiate that point.
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Old 01-19-2019, 07:33 AM   #6
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AMEX has a service/insurance that we use when renting. It's in addition to their regular card coverage. For $25 each rental period your rental car is covered for just about anything; it also covers your rental for as long as 6 weeks.

I think it's called Premium Car Coverage. You sign up once, and every time you rent a car it automatically goes into effect. Of course, you have to use your AMEX card for the rental.

The good thing is that if you were to have a problem you go to them first and don't even have to tell your personal car insurance company...you don't get dinged for an accident.
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Old 01-19-2019, 09:08 AM   #7
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Personal auto insurance coverage for rental cars is dictated by state law. Way too in depth to discuss on this forum unless it is state specific. In MN this has changed 4 times in my memory.


Your auto insurance and your CC will likely cover most, if not all of the damage to a rental car. As mentioned above, your CC will not provide any liability coverage.


Car rental companies may also charge you for damages that neither your auto insurer or CC will pay for, such as loss of use and diminished value to their car (sometimes as high as 10% of the damage to fix the car). Reporting an accident will also max out your CC limit to the value of the car, that could ruin your vacation in a hurry unless you have a second card with you.


When you return a car they will look it over and may find damage that existed before you rented the car and try to stick you for it. Seen that happen many times. Even if you convince them you didn't do it it's a head ache and slows you down. Look the car over good and take your own photos before leaving the lot. Take photos when you return it too.


If you want peace of mind when you rent a car, just pay for the collision damage waiver when you rent the car. When you return the car you just give them the keys and walk away.


ps: when you rent a trailer, ALWAYS take the extra insurance. Your personal auto policy likely doesn't extend physical damage to rental trailers at all.
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Old 01-19-2019, 12:04 PM   #8
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"Unlimited non-owned coverage" is also available from your auto insurer for a whole lot cheaper than the "full coverage" they want to upsell you at the rental counter.
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Old 01-19-2019, 02:02 PM   #9
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Not liability insurance. You must arrange for that somehow.

Also, credit cards may or may not cover some niggly things like loss of rental income charged by the rental car company. But they might help negotiate that point.
The rental company already has liability insurance and you the renter is not liable. In fact, the rental companies do not even carry collision and comp insurance--self insured.

Most companies insure their customers in the U.S. and Canada. European rentals are not insured by U.S. insurance and fall back on the credit card primary and the rental company's purchased C.D.W. as secondary except in Ireland and Italy where C.D.W. is required to be purchased.
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Old 01-19-2019, 02:10 PM   #10
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Last year while traveling in Napa, I lazily left my knapsack in the back seat. Could have put it in trunk but it was an electric/hybrid and there is no room in those trunks. Next morning, found a broken window and knapsack gone. After talking to police, Rental company, insurance company all gave conflicting advice. I took car to glass place, gave me a estimate of $450 and a weeks wait for window to arrive, as the closest window was in Colorado. I wasn't going to drive for a week and listen to noise, or have my car broken into again. So we returned it and got another car. Rental agent gave me the riot act over me paying for lost income while car was out of service. Okay, my mistake for not buying insurance, send me a bill. CC company insurance will cover after I send them a bill and police report. We got a replacement car with ICE with room in trunk, and finished out our rental period.

One month after we got back, with absolutely nothing done on my end after we got back, the bill came in the mail for all damages, lost of income, and service charges was.........$105.00! I never even went back to the CC to claim it, as it wasn't worth all the time.
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Old 01-19-2019, 02:15 PM   #11
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"Unlimited non-owned coverage" is also available from your auto insurer for a whole lot cheaper than the "full coverage" they want to upsell you at the rental counter.
Very true. I pay about $12 a year for rental coverage.
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Old 01-20-2019, 10:48 AM   #12
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Very true. I pay about $12 a year for rental coverage.
UNOC also covers "loss of use" which credit cards do not.

E.g, if you have an accident that puts that rental out of service while being repaired the rental company can & will charge you their highest daily rate for every day it is out of service.

Some credit cards say they will cover that but they will demand usage stats from the rental company to see if the damaged vehicle was really needed.

However courts have ruled that confidential information so the rental company will refuse to provide it, at which point your credit card company will refuse to cover a loss of use claim.

You really want UNOC if you rent a lot.
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Old 01-20-2019, 03:18 PM   #13
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"Unlimited non-owned coverage" is also available from your auto insurer for a whole lot cheaper than the "full coverage" they want to upsell you at the rental counter.

If you make a claim on the "unlimited non-owned coverage," does it cause your future auto insurance rates to increase?
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Old 01-20-2019, 05:01 PM   #14
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Since this is a retirement forum there may be many snow-birds reading this posting. I want to point out that BOTH the CC CDW/LDW benefits and most major auto insurance contracts specify that coverage is only for replacement/rental vehicles of 30/31 days or less. If you need a rental vehicle for longer your best course of coverage is to turn in the rental vehicle every 30 days and get a new rental agreement for the next 30 days - or you could add/endorse on the rental vehicle onto your own personal auto policy (specifying the year/make/model/vin. Many people will be surprised that you don't need to be the owner to insure a vehicle (although in the case of an accident the insurance payment will be made out to the titled vehicle owner). The Non-Owner policy someone else posted about is also a way to insure the LIABILTY portion for rental vehicles for someone that doesn't have their own personal auto policy. It is not "unlimited" as someone else stated in that you specify the liability limits you want and it DOES NOT cover damages you cause to the rental vehicle. You need to couple that with a CC that has LDW/CDW coverage. Also another detail regarding CC LDW/CDW coverage is that most have exclusions for vehicles with open cargo beds (i.e. pick-up trucks) and non-passenger vans/trucks. You shouldn't assume coverage without reading the details of your CC benefits agreement, including how to file a claim, as well as reading your personal auto policy. They're tough reads but ultimately buying insurance is buying what's specified in a contract, and ONLY what's in that contract.
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Old 01-20-2019, 06:42 PM   #15
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Since this is a retirement forum there may be many snow-birds reading this posting. I want to point out that BOTH the CC CDW/LDW benefits and most major auto insurance contracts specify that coverage is only for replacement/rental vehicles of 30/31 days or less. If you need a rental vehicle for longer your best course of coverage is to turn in the rental vehicle every 30 days and get a new rental agreement for the next 30 days - .
We rent a second car to our Florida car every year for 3-4 months. Our experience with Hertz, Budget and Enterprise is that they call it a 'mini-lease' or something like that and create a new contract every 30 days in order to stay inside the 30 day limit.

We also use the AMEX Premium coverage with covers you for 6 weeks.

YMMV.
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Old 01-21-2019, 05:10 AM   #16
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ps: when you rent a trailer, ALWAYS take the extra insurance. Your personal auto policy likely doesn't extend physical damage to rental trailers at all.
Call your auto insurance company first.

I rented a towable trailer to move daughter cross country a year ago. Did it all with U-Haul through their website. It pushed their insurance. I called my auto insurance carrier and they said mine covered it. When I picked up the trailer, the U-Haul franchisee also made a hard sell for their insurance and I declined telling them I just called my insurance company and they said I was covered.
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Old 01-21-2019, 05:16 AM   #17
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The good thing is that if you were to have a problem you go to them first and don't even have to tell your personal car insurance company...you don't get dinged for an accident.
Dings on your auto insurance is not based on who pays a claim, but on your driving record. Not telling your insurance company of an accident will not prevent them from learning of it and adjusting your rate accordingly.
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Old 01-21-2019, 05:29 AM   #18
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We have had a couple of minor issues covered by our CC. The paperwork is a pain, but they do pay. You have to decline all the rental insurance.
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Old 01-21-2019, 08:59 AM   #19
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"Unlimited non-owned coverage" is also available from your auto insurer for a whole lot cheaper than the "full coverage" they want to upsell you at the rental counter.
Thanks for this wisdom..........you would think after decades of being on this earth that you would have heard of everything....but I guess it's not true. Will have to check it out.

Found this searching:
"Another option is to purchase an additional rider on your auto insurance, which State Farm calls UNOC. She quoted me about $30 per 6-month period. However, you can simply add it on and take it off for something as short as a month, which on a pro-rated basis would cost only $5"
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