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Credit Card Rental Insurance

Whenever you rent a car you will typically find that the sales representative is obligated to offer you car insurance. They will generally alert you to how affordable rental car insurance is, and this can often sway your decision to purchase. However, were you aware that your credit card is likely to have your insurance needs already covered?

Credit card rental insurance is a specific feature of the vast majority of credit cards, which will provide you with coverage should a rental vehicle be damaged after a collision, or if it is stolen. This life insurance is specifically designed to pick up from where your primary insurance coverage ends. This will also include paying your deductible. If you have no car insurance when you are in a rental car, you should find that your credit card company will generally act as your primary insurer. However, with that said, you will find that the terms and conditions vary from company to company, so it is extremely important that you read the fine print to determine whether or not your credit card company offers this benefit.

In order to ensure that you have credit card rental insurance, you will need to pay for your rental car with a credit card that offers this specific coverage. You are likely to be offered collision damage waiver insurance by the car rental company, although you are now aware that you do not require this coverage. It is also extremely important that you are the primary renter of the car. Credit card rental insurance makes life extremely easy and there is actually no need to notify your credit card company unless a particular incident or loss occurs.

If you are involved in an accident, you should immediately notify your credit card company by sending them a written notice of claim. You should submit your claim immediately to ensure the benefits are paid in a timely manner. Activating credit card rental insurance is extremely easy, although you should be aware that there are typically a few restrictions. However, you will find that there are certain restrictions on any type of insurance or credit card agreement anyway.

  • The type of car you have rented - credit card rental insurance will generally have restrictions on the types of vehicles that they are willing to cover. A prime example of this is that the vast majority of credit card rental insurance plans will not cover vehicles that sell over a certain dollar amount. This will also include specialty vehicles, such as antique cars, sports cars and campers.
  • The person who is driving - the primary renter of the car should always be the person driving, although there are certain credit card companies that will provide credit card rental insurance cover damages if someone else is driving at the time of the loss.
  • Where you are in the world - you will typically rent a car while on holiday, although you should be aware that certain credit card rental insurance policies will only apply to rentals in certain countries. You may even find that some policies become void if damage occurs while the car was outside a specified area that is mentioned in your rental agreement.
  • The length of your rental agreement - this, once again, will very much depend on the credit card company. You may find certain companies will offer credit card rental insurance for 15 consecutive days, whereas others may cover you for up to 30 days of rental.

There may also be certain coverage limitations with your insurance policy. The vast majority of credit card rental insurance policies will cover collision and/or theft, but will generally not cover the costs for things such as personal injury or liability. You should also be aware that certain insurance companies may charge a fee if you have been involved in an accident. This may include administrative processing, diminished value and loss of use. Another, more obvious, limitation is that if you are intoxicated at the time of the accident, your credit card rental insurance policy will not cover this.

As you are now probably aware each credit card company will have their own specific guidelines, although these are subject to periodic changes. You will find, however, that both Visa and MasterCard will cover all drivers that are authorized to drive the rental vehicle, whereas American Express and Discovery will only cover the driver that is named on the credit card. If you are unsure about what type of rental insurance coverage you have it is best to contact your credit card company's customer service department. They will then be able to explain to you exactly what is covered and the limits that had been placed on your coverage. There are also a few additional things that credit card rental insurance will not cover and these include - theft of personal property, normal wear and tear of the vehicle, acts of war, negligence (e.g. leaving the engine running with the keys inside), and damage that has been caused by you driving off-road, or driving on an unpaved road.

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