To buy rental car insurance or not?

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Aug 12, 2018
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#1
So- I can never get a definitive answer on getting insurance through rental car company.
Is it worth getting their insurance even if you have credit card coverage and your own car insurance says they will cover you?
Last month I rented a car and they told me insurance was free! (Can’t figure that one out) I ended up getting cracked windshield and they said I was not responsible!
Do credit cards like American Express handle these claims with no expense to me? Or is it worth the extra money buying their insurance
Thanks for your advice!
Liz Brogan
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,450
13,077
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#2
There are many riders you can put on car rental insurance. Without knowing what your personal policy covers and without knowing what your credit card covers - we really can't answer. Read the rental car insurance carefully because many of them have add ons for tire damage, windshield damage, etc.
 
Jun 30, 2017
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Maui Hawaii
#3
So- I can never get a definitive answer on getting insurance through rental car company.
Is it worth getting their insurance even if you have credit card coverage and your own car insurance says they will cover you?
Last month I rented a car and they told me insurance was free! (Can’t figure that one out) I ended up getting cracked windshield and they said I was not responsible!
Do credit cards like American Express handle these claims with no expense to me? Or is it worth the extra money buying their insurance
Thanks for your advice!
Liz Brogan
Look at your credit card policy rental coverage and ask your personal auto insurance broker what is covered on a rental (including foreign). Some credit cards provide PRIMARY insurance for rental car claims. Look at some of those that provide primary insurance on the web and compare to your current card coverage and cost. You may find it beneficial to add or change credit cards based on rental car insurance coverage if you rent frequently.

I personally NEVER take supplemental coverage from the rental agency, even when renting outside the US. My credit card and my personal auto coverage are more than adequate. My foreign rentals often cost as little as $25/day without add-ons.
 
Mar 25, 2015
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#4
I would say yes.

Right now I don't own a car, but back when I did and I had "coverage through my credit card", the rental employee was like "You scraped the car, you owe 700 euro, pay now or find a way to get us your insurance information." (This was Germany)

Now if you know/carry around your credit card/ other car insurance information than, by all means, save your money.

But if you buy their insurance you will be on their good side and they will be inclined to be nicer to you. AND the one time you need it, it will pay for itself.

I was in Wisconsin in the winter and I ran over what I assumed was a "blob" of snow. It was in the middle of a storm so i expected the "blob" to go "poof" but instead it went "CLANK!"

It was not a blob of fresh snow, it was a dead moose covered in fresh snow. And my car was starting to smoke. I called Enterprise and told them the situation, how it was 100% my fault. The car was smoking but since it still ran (and because I was in the middle of a Wisconsin snow storm) I made the trip back to my hotel (driving very slow) and the next day they sent over a tow truck with a brand new car!

:)

The damage was at least $10,000 if not more, but I paid nothing! All thanks to buying their insurance.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,450
13,077
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#5
If you are using insurance from your credit card you should obtain a copy of the policies by and bring it with you when you rent. That spells out exactly what is covered.

Remember that damages like windshield and tires are not included in some policies- even if you buy the car rentals coverage those are often add ons.
 
Dec 19, 2014
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#6
Liz,
You can't get a definitive answer, because there are too many variables and factors.
Provided that you have your own personal car insurance policy and a credit card that covers car rental damages, the answer is likely no.
The rationale for that answer is because the risk of occurrence is very low. Think of it this way, how many times in the last 5 years have you had to file an insurance claim on your own vehicle.

Be aware that not all credit card coverage is the same. Most credit card coverage only covers damage to the car and does not cover liability. Also, most credit card rental car coverage is secondary, not primary.

It depends on where you rent, what type of vehicle you rent (some CC have exclusions on pickup tricks for example) and how long you rent. There are many exclusions. Do you want to volunteer more information?