Rentalcars.com/Europcar exhorbitant charge for insurance coverage

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Dec 29, 2017
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#1
We rented a car through Priceline's Rentalcars.com for a 3-week rental through Europcar at London's Heathrow airport. The entire rental car charges were pre-paid and non-refundable. When my husband showed up at the Europcar counter to pick up the car, they demanded that he pay for insurance through them. He had full insurance coverage through our Chase Visa card and he had proof of insurance with him. Europcar told him that direct insurance coverage was required and that all European car rental covers work the same way. He had not choice to agree to the coverage, knowing that he could fight this charge with the credit card coverage when he returned home. If he didn't do that, he would have had lost the full-prepaid rental and he would have still had to go and find another car to rent.

The car insurance ended up being nearly 3x the cost of the car rental. We subsequently rented a car in Portugal from Sixt and in London from Green Motion and were not required to purchase insurance from either company.

After returning home, we disputed the insurance charge with Priceline.com (they directed us to Rentalcars.com). Rentalcars.com told us that we needed to dispute the charge with Europcar. Europcar told us that the charge was valid because we agreed to it at the airport. We also disputed the charge with Chase Visa; they responded and said that the charge looked valid since it was agreed to at the airport. I have re-disputed this with them since we were not given any choice at the airport and because Chase Visa provided our rental card coverage.
 

mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
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#2
This looks like another case of the Chase dispute team not really looking at the issue and the evidence provided before making a dispute decision. Very disturbing.
 
R

Realitoes

Guest
#3
If you signed agreeing that specific amount be charged to your credit card, then it is not a billing error, so the credit card company is obligated to find for the merchant.

This is a tough one to deal with, as there probably is no way to prove what was actually said and what wasn't. In these instances it is best to handle the problem at the time, rather than just signing the agreement, and planning to dispute it later. Perhaps calling the customer service line to verify the information is correct, or asking that it be documented on the rental agreement that the insurance was a mandatory requirement, or even recording the conversation using mobile phone might help your case.

The only option you really have is to write the company using the contacts provided by this website.

Good Luck

http://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/europcar/
 

John Galbraith

Staff Member
Director
Jan 22, 2017
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Poole
#4
Hi Lisa,

It depends upon what type of insurance you are talking about. In the U.K unless agreed in advance all car rental's have to include third party cover (by law). The law does allow the company to rent without the person taking the company insurance if they know they have adequate cover elsewhere. In practice this means that car rental company's only allow you use your own insurance for damage cover, theft cover and third-party cover if you are a business.

The company I work for hires car and we have deals with all the major rental companies to use our own insurance - but that is agreed in advance. I am not aware of a rental company allowing a private individual to use their own insurance for the basic cover (damage cover, theft cover and third-party cover). What I can do as a private individual is use insurance to cover the excess (often £500-1000) of a claim and to cover windscreen and tyre damage.

What surprises me is that you managed to get a quote without any insurance. I can't do that in the U.K and I rent cars a lot (I am a U.K resident). Further I just tested it with Europcar. I simply can't rent the car without their basic insurance.
 

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Sep 19, 2015
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#6
I should clarify: when booking directly on Europcar and booking from an American or Canadian IP address there is this: a way to book without mandatory insurance but with a warning that the insurance has to cover what is required by law:
 

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Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
#7
Hi Lisa,

It depends upon what type of insurance you are talking about. In the U.K unless agreed in advance all car rental's have to include third party cover (by law). The law does allow the company to rent without the person taking the company insurance if they know they have adequate cover elsewhere. In practice this means that car rental company's only allow you use your own insurance for damage cover, theft cover and third-party cover if you are a business.

The company I work for hires car and we have deals with all the major rental companies to use our own insurance - but that is agreed in advance. I am not aware of a rental company allowing a private individual to use their own insurance for the basic cover (damage cover, theft cover and third-party cover). What I can do as a private individual is use insurance to cover the excess (often £500-1000) of a claim and to cover windscreen and tyre damage.

What surprises me is that you managed to get a quote without any insurance. I can't do that in the U.K and I rent cars a lot (I am a U.K resident). Further I just tested it with Europcar. I simply can't rent the car without their basic insurance.
John has discovered the problem. And Christina found the disclaimer.

Every country is different as far as what they require for insurance too so you can’t compare England and Portugal or Germany.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#9
Yes I do think that John Galbraith has discovered the issue, and Chase does not seem to cover the issue of injury to someone in another vehicle. The OP should look at what Chase does cover and the limits and see if it meets the minimum.

I tried a test booking on Green Motion and they include the minimum insurance in the price. There was no way to decline it.

It is wonderful to have an international staff on this site.
 
R

Realitoes

Guest
#11
John Galbraith I think you have found the issue. Chase states that the car rental insurance does not cover third party liability which is required by law in the U.K.

Green Motion has the third party liability insurance built into the price. Europecar does not.
I should clarify: when booking directly on Europcar and booking from an American or Canadian IP address there is this: a way to book without mandatory insurance but with a warning that the insurance has to cover what is required by law:
Christine H, you are talking about two different things here. Your first post concerns third party liability, which is a claim of damages by a third party. Your second post is for items that many credit card benefits will cover, which is damage/theft to the vehicle being rented (collision/damage/theft)

When I do a booking for London on Europcar website from a US IP, it shows that Mandatory 3rd Party Insurance is included as part of the rental service. (also it is not listed as excluded).

As stated in the attachment Christine posted Americans/Canadians can use proof of coverage for collision/theft provided by a credit card, which the OP states they possessed.

So I'm not sure what is meant by it is solved?

Capture.JPG Capture1.JPG
 

John Galbraith

Staff Member
Director
Jan 22, 2017
319
491
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Poole
#12
I think we need Lisa to confirm what the extra insurance was for. I have also found something strange. The car was rented through Rentalcars.com. When i just tried a booking through them for a Europcar CDW and theft protection was included (as is standard in the UK.) What as not included was the usual windscreen, mirrors, tyres etc. And the excess was about $1,600.

If the extra insurance was for that then of course that is optional.
 

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Likes: VoR61
R

Realitoes

Guest
#13
I think we need Lisa to confirm what the extra insurance was for. I have also found something strange. The car was rented through Rentalcars.com. When i just tried a booking through them for a Europcar CDW and theft protection was included (as is standard in the UK.) What as not included was the usual windscreen, mirrors, tyres etc. And the excess was about $1,600.

If the extra insurance was for that then of course that is optional.
The CDW and theft are not included when booking from a US IP. Which makes sense since US and Canadians residents can use coverage provided by their credit card.


Capture.JPG

Edit: I do see some offers that do include CDW and Theft protection, but not all.
Capture.JPG
 
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R

Realitoes

Guest
#14
My opinion is that the agent probably did tell them that to up sell their insurance product. Wouldn't be surprised that they put this pressure on their agents, as these are big money makers from them. Apparently this isn't first time Elliott has heard this:

http://www.elliott.org/the-troubles...opcar-forcing-me-to-buy-it-for-my-car-rental/

http://www.elliott.org/blog/last-time-car-rental-coverage-not-mandatory/

It is unfortunately the OP agreed and signed for the charges.

If it was me, I would make my displeasure known to the executives and unless it is corrected, they would be on my do not rent from list.
 
Likes: mmb
Sep 19, 2015
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#15
In rereading the OPs post it sounds as if the car was rented through priceline which then used rentalcars.com (one of their sister sites). I wonder if there is a problem with the interface between the two? Here is an attempted booking with priceline car rentals -- one booking possibility (the compact car) has the "standard package" with 3rd party liability and unlimited miles as part of the price, the Fiat 500 does not list the "standard package" with 3rd party liability, only unlimited miles as part of the price.

It may be helpful to have the OP post the relevant reservation information, with all important info blacked out.
 
Likes: VoR61