Forced to Take Insurance in Ireland

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Jul 23, 2018
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#1
Before leaving the U.S., I wanted to rent a car for our trip to Ireland. I know that credit card companies do not cover the insurance in certain countries and was concerned that Ireland was one of them. I called the customer service number on the back of my Aviator Mastercard from Barclays and was told that the insurance would be covered. I went to the holidaycars.com website and rented a car, declining the added insurance. The voucher clearly stated what I needed to bring with me to pick up my rental car. NOWHERE did it explain I needed a letter from the credit card company stating it covered the insurance. When I showed up to pick up the car the Europcar representative informed me that the only way to avoid taking Europcar’s insurance was if I had a letter from my credit card company, which I did not have since this was the first I was told I needed it. I called the International Collect number on the back of my card and a representative explained that she could not help me with this issue and gave me another number to call. I called that number and spoke with another person who informed me that she could not help me and the department that could help me was closed as it was only open from 8am – 5pm EST. Since I couldn’t get any help from my credit card company, I had to purchase the insurance or go without a car and ruin the vacation. I have tried to dispute this charge through Europcar, Holidaycars.com and my Barclays Aviator Mastercard all to no avail. Any way to get reimbursed for the insurance costs?
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#2
How annoying, these rental car companies are in a competition to see who can stomp their customers the best. Read up on the benefits of your MC and read every single word on the EuropCar booking site so you know exactly what you're talking about. First, obtain that letter from Barclay's. Second, write EuropCar a concise, polite letter telling them your story. Just the facts, no emotion or editorializing. Explain what happened and ask them for a refund of the excess insurance costs. Explain that you reviewed all their requirements for car rental and did not note the necessity of a letter regarding your CC insurance. Ask them for a refund of exactly what you paid for the insurance. Good luck, and please let us know what happens.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#3
CDW Insurance is required in Ireland. Do you have a link to the actual policy from the credit card you could post here?

Many of them state coverage in Ireland is not included.

This is from one on the Barclaycards:

https://www.barclaycardus.com/servicing/img/base/guideBenefits/BAR-4667-4_AIR_MX.pdf

When and where do I have this benefit?
This benefit is available in the United States and most foreign countries.
No benefit is provided for motor vehicles rented in Israel, Jamaica, the Republic of Ireland, or Northern Ireland. Additionally, this benefit is not available where precluded by law or in violation of the territory terms of the auto rental agreement or prohibited by individual merchants. Because regulations vary outside the United States, we recommend you check with your auto rental company and the Benefit Administrator before you travel to make sure Auto Rental CDW will apply.
This benefit is in effect while the rental vehicle remains in your control or in the control of a person permitted to operate the rental vehicle in accordance with the rental agreement between you and the auto rental company. This benefit terminates when the auto rental company re-assumes control of the rental vehicle.

The terms also state you should contact the car rental company for their policies regarding insurance. Did you check with holidaycars before you arrived? You chose Europecar- did you contact them before you left and read their terms?
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#4
I do not think you have a chance to be reimbursed. The Republic of Ireland is often excluded from credit card car rental coverage.

If you rented from Europcar, there is the following information on their website:

Declining Europcar CDW and TW: To decline our Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and Theft Waiver (THW), the driver must have a US issued World MasterCard or Canadian issued Gold/Platinum Visa/MasterCard AND PROVIDE WRITTEN PROOF that the card has relevant coverage for the Republic of Ireland. The letter must be dated within 21 days of the pickup date and contain the credit card number (partly masked is acceptable). When both a relevant card and letter of proof are provided, for security reasons 5,000Euro will be pre-authorised on your card in case there is damage to the rental vehicle. If there is a damage charge, this amount can be claimed back through your credit card company. This process is between the driver and the credit card company. We cannot be held responsible for any exchange rate charges.

The bolding and capital letters is from Europcar, not me.

As the car rental insurance benefits can change from Bank to Bank, and type of card to type of card, there is no way for the car rental company to know if someone is covered or not.

https://www.europcar.ie/terms-and-conditions/specific-terms-per-country?countrySelector=page-104

and the insurance information goes on to say:

If a letter confirming CDW coverage is not provided on collection of the vehicle or if your card does not provide the relevant coverage or if you do not have 5,000Euro available on your card, you will be required to purchase our CDW and Theft Waiver at the local daily rate (Eur24-33).

Only relevant US or Canadian issued credit cards can be used to waive our CDW and THW cover – we do not accept European credit cards for coverage. If you pay for the full rental with your eligible US World MasterCard or Canadian Visa Card/MasterCard, you may be covered for up to 50,000US Dollars auto rental insurance for your rental without excess. This coverage is a service provided by US MasterCard OR Visa/MasterCard Canada to the cardholder and therefore it is the cardholder's responsibility to ensure that they are adequately covered for the entire duration of the rental period. We reserve the right to refuse third party insurance.

Relevant cards will only be accepted for coverage for a maximum of 28 days in any one calendar year. Please note that you must pay for your full rental with the eligible credit card for your card company to provide CDW and THW coverage.

**We DO NOT accept any form of CDW/PDW purchased through a third party OR Fully Comprehensive Irish Insurance Policies. **

To establish if your US MasterCard or Canadian Visa Card/MasterCard includes Auto Rental Cover in the Republic of Ireland please call your credit card issuer and/or US MasterCard/Canadian Visa Card/MasterCard before making your reservation. It is important to confirm to your credit card issuer that the Republic of Ireland as your place of rental.

Contact details for MasterCard 1-800-MC-ASSIST (1-800-622-7747).

Contact details for Visa Canada 416.367.8472.

Please note that we do not accept cover from Travel Guard or any other independent coverage provider.


As you have already tried to dispute the charge with the car rental, broker. and credit card I do not see any recourse.
 

Barry Graham

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Jan 7, 2015
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#5
American Express now covers car rentals in Ireland (and Israel). I did notice when I wanted to use credit card insurance for my car rental CDW that they wanted to charge a processing fee in Ireland for allowing me to do that and it was clearly documented on their web site.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,450
13,077
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#6
American Express now covers car rentals in Ireland (and Israel). I did notice when I wanted to use credit card insurance for my car rental CDW that they wanted to charge a processing fee in Ireland for allowing me to do that and it was clearly documented on their web site.
But I believe you still must bring a copy if the policy withy you.
 

Barry Graham

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Jan 7, 2015
867
787
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#9
But I believe you still must bring a copy if the policy withy you.
Correct, and they charge you for looking at and approving the document. I'd say it was a nice money making scheme except it seems all the companies do it, it which suggests it could be a government regulation.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#11
I think what every car renter needs to do is check with the car rental agency as to what documentation (if any) is required to be able to use the insurance benefits offered by the credit card and check the benefits from the credit card to see where and what is covered.
 

Barry Graham

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Jan 7, 2015
867
787
93
#12
I remember now that since I was only renting for a day, it was more cost effective/less hassle to take out the CDW than it was to pay the administrative fee and try to convince them that my Discover Card (which at the time was the only card that had insurance in Ireland) was a Diners Club that could be used there.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,450
13,077
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#13
When we went we took the Super Waiver and it was worth every penny I spent. If I had to listen to my wife complain every time I brushed against bushes when I drove (and there were PLENTY of those times) I would have had a miserable vacation.
 
Likes: jsn55

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,867
6,784
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San Francisco
#14
When we went we took the Super Waiver and it was worth every penny I spent. If I had to listen to my wife complain every time I brushed against bushes when I drove (and there were PLENTY of those times) I would have had a miserable vacation.
This is so true, Neil. I feel sorry for people who don't purchase the insurance along with the rental car. We've taken several road trips in Ireland, and the car was returned mostly paint-less when we're ready to go home. I have all kinds of rental car insurance available to me, but in Ireland it's more expeditious to buy insurance on the spot.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Jul 25, 2018
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#16
When we went we took the Super Waiver and it was worth every penny I spent. If I had to listen to my wife complain every time I brushed against bushes when I drove (and there were PLENTY of those times) I would have had a miserable vacation.
It's just as well your wife didn't realize that those colorful fuschias you continually "brushed against" while driving were actually concealing stone walls!
 
Jul 23, 2018
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#17
Today I received an email from Holidaycars.com stating, "Our booking partner has today confirmed that they have allowed us to offer a refund of 64.87 USD as a gesture of goodwill for the basic insurances purchased with the rental supplier." A goodwill gesture and a lesson learned for me.
 
Aug 30, 2015
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#18
I have read about this problem many times. I didn't rent a car when I went to Ireland, but I also did check out a reservation from Hertz, and nowhere was it different than any other place as far as what it told me on the website. I have a copy of my credit card's CDW coverage and that agreement dictates where it is valid and where it is not. To force someone to go and get a "letter" in addition to the agreement is really pretty unreasonable in my books. The next time I'm in Ireland, I think I will try this and see, once and for all, not with a letter, but with a copy of the agreement. There's nothing special about Ireland, it is an EU country, it should be the same as the other ones....
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,450
13,077
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#19
I have read about this problem many times. I didn't rent a car when I went to Ireland, but I also did check out a reservation from Hertz, and nowhere was it different than any other place as far as what it told me on the website. I have a copy of my credit card's CDW coverage and that agreement dictates where it is valid and where it is not. To force someone to go and get a "letter" in addition to the agreement is really pretty unreasonable in my books. The next time I'm in Ireland, I think I will try this and see, once and for all, not with a letter, but with a copy of the agreement. There's nothing special about Ireland, it is an EU country, it should be the same as the other ones....
Being in the EU has no bearing on the requirements of renting a car and what a particular country requires as far as insurance.
 
Aug 30, 2015
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#20
Being in the EU has no bearing on the requirements of renting a car and what a particular country requires as far as insurance.
I understand that, but the point I was trying to make is that it seems strange that a country in the EU has requirements inconsistent with others. I agree with insurance being required, but what I disagree with are two things - a specific letter and a fee when the CDW is declined. They should also not be locking up a lot of credit once they have ensured that there is insurance in place. It all seems very odd to me.