Thrifty agent badgered me to buy their insurance

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Feb 5, 2018
I reserved a Thrifty car on line for pickup at the Malaga, Spain airport.. The car was fine and exactly as promised. The base cost of the rental was E294.34.
Our problem was with the agent at the airport. The line at the rental counter was very long; difficult after our long international flight to Malaga. When the agent asked if I wanted Thrifty collision insurance I told her that I had American Express Premium Car Rental Protection that would be primary up to $100,000 of coverage. She kept asking me about the insurance and pointing to the Thrifty form that showed a 36,000 Euro liability if there was any damage. Her initial fairly good English disappeared when I tried to get more details about this large liability. I repeated a number of times that I thought that we would be covered by the American Express Premium Car Rental Protection policy. The agent at the desk kept insisting that we would be liable for this 36,000 Euro amount in the event of any damage. I could not get a clear understanding from the agent what our actual liability would be if we declined Thrify’s coverage.
My wife and I were tired. My wife and I were very tired from our long flight and just wanted to get on with our vacation. So we made the decision to purchase the Thrifty insurance for an additional Euro 367.27 instead of having a potential liability of 35,000 Eoros. I am guessing that the agent gets either a commission or credit on these types of sales, which would explain her behavior. After leaving the counter and having some time to think clearly about this, I realized that I did not need to purchase this additional insurance.
I feel that I was badgered and lied to about my liability on this rental. I clearly made a mistake in purchasing the Thrifty Collision Damage insurance. However I think that Thrifty should refund this charge as I clearly informed the agent that I had the American Express Insurance which covered my collision liability, yet she persisted in telling me that I would be liable for 36,000 Euro.
I submitted a complaint and request for a refund to Thrify, via their website and email to the contact person on your website twice. I have never had a response from Thrifty. What are your thoughts about this situation?
Charles Fox


If you don't accept the damage waiver from the rental company, then they can hold you liable for any damage to the vehicle during the rental period (including any loss of use or administrative fees). I'm assuming the agent was probably referring to a maximum liability of 36K euros. Having insurance or other coverage does not reduce or limit your liability. If there is a damage claim, the rental company is going to expect payment from you and it would be up to you to file a claim with your credit card or insurance company for reimbursement in accordance with the terms of your policy. While the policy may include coverage up to 100K, it may not cover all your liability. For instance, the policy may or may not include coverage for loss of use or administrative fees.

Up-selling the collision damage waiver (CDW), normally is part of the agents duties and because it is a big money maker for the company, I wouldn't be surprised if the agent receives a nice commission. In the end, even with a hard sale, you still accept the coverage, so it is unlikely they will reimburse you. That doesn't mean you can't try by making an appeal to the company using the contact information provided by this website. Sometimes we are surprised by the results!

Best of luck!

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Dec 27, 2014
New York
If you didn’t purchase the insurance they would put a large hold on your credit card for the time you would have had the car. Did you have enough credit on the card for the hold?

Unfortunately, once you sign for the insurance there is little you can do later on by saying “I didn’t want it”.

If you have only written to the Customer Service address we show on our Company Contacts and it’s been a week since you wrote, write to the first executive we show. Give him or her a week to reply, repeat if necessary.

Let us know how you make out after you have gone all the way up the executive chain.
Likes: VoR61
The best time to dispute this charge would have been right after you walked out of the rental car office. Since the rental period is over and, apparently you had no accidents, the company can argue that you bought the insurance but didn't need it so now you want the fees refunded. (This is the company's argument, not mine). I've been subjected to this pressure after a long flight and I agree that it's difficult to stand your ground against it. Follow Neil's advice and work your way up the chain of company contacts. Good luck.
Jan 6, 2015
For future rentals, you may want to consider AmEx Premium Car Rental Protection. With this $24.95 option Amex becomes your primary insurance and the claim does not reach your own insurance company.

And similar to Neil's advice, it's worth considering their insurance because if damage occurs (or is "claimed" by the agency) it can be tough to fight when the agency is outside of your home country.