: Rental Car and Insurance, ideas and experiences?



ben.gators
06-07-12, 02:01 AM
Insurance on your rental car! This is a very important subject that most of the travelers underestimate its importance until they get trapped in a very complicated problem! Internet is full of such horror stories...


Basically you have four main options:

1- Use your own insurance.

2- Use the insurance that the credit card offers.

3- Purchase collision and loss damage waiver from the rental company itself.

4- Purchase collision and loss damage waiver from another company.

Well, there is a fifth option too. Rent the car without having any form of aforementioned types of insurance. Good luck with that, you truly need a very good luck if you want to take this path.

A lot of people think that just by using a credit card that officers rental car insurance, or just because they have their own insurance, they are good to go. Unfortunately this is not always the case! Let me explain.


Scenario one: You use your own insurance when you rent a car. The first problem is that the coverage that your insurance company offers is limited to the dollar value of your own car. For example the value of my 99 STS is less than $5k. This should be enough to repair an small fender bender, but what if the rental car involves in a serious accident that totals the car?
There is even more to this story. When you crash or damage your rental car, there will be some other charges in addition to the repair costs, such as loss of use and loss of value, which will not be covered by your insurance company.
Also don't forget that filing a claim will increase your insurance premium A LOT!


Scenario two: Use the coverage that the credit card offers. Unfortunately many credit card companies are not very clear in explaining the benefits & coverage. Many of them provide secondary insurance, meaning that you need a primary insurance and the credit card will cover the remaining charges after the primary insurance kicks in. Or some other credit cards that offer primary insurance, do not cover loss of use or loss of value claims.


Scenario Three: Purchase collision and loss damage waiver from the rental company itself: This can be the safest solution, but not the cheapest for sure! Some say this is a "Billion-Dollar Insurance Scam", since based on estimates customers pay about one billion dollars each year to purchase CDW, much of it needlessly! Some rental companies has taken this "Billion-Dollar Insurance Scam" to a whole new level! I was reading the details of a CDW plan that one of major rental companies offers, and I realized that the CDW plan is a secondary insurance, meaning that the rental company will charge your insurance as much as it can, and then will cover the remaining!!!

Scenario Four: Purchase collision and loss damage waiver from another company. There are a few famous and legitimate insurance companies that sell rental car insurance. These plans cover everything and they are much more affordable than the plans that the rental company itself offers! The only problem is that normally rental companies do not directly deal with these companies, rather they just charge the customers credit card, and then the customer be reimbursed by the insurance company. As a result this can be a little bit inconvenient.

How do you insure your rental car? Any good/bad experience? Do you know a good credit card that offers full primary insurance for rental cars?

hueterm
06-07-12, 11:51 AM
I use AMEX' supplementary rental insurance program. It's $25 for the entire rental, and is primary CDW coverage.

thebigjimsho
06-07-12, 12:52 PM
I use AMEX' supplementary rental insurance program. It's $25 for the entire rental, and is primary CDW coverage.

I do this as well. And since I haven't rented a vehicle more expensive than my V, no problems there...

brandondeleo
06-07-12, 12:53 PM
I've never rented a car... :lol:

I'm planning on visiting my parents in Tucson this summer (hopefully), and if so I'm going to fly. My mom won't let me drive there for some reason, so I'll probably fly and rent a car.

EcSTSatic
06-07-12, 01:02 PM
We depend on our own auto insurance to cover us, but that's because we have full coverage on the Cadi. If I was a person with liability-only coverage, I'd recommend one of the other options.

Be sure to do a a walk-around the car with the rental agent before you drive off and identify in writing, any preexisting damage so they don't hold you liable. i would go so far as to photograph the damage to eliminate any problems when you return the car.

I have also found that if you rent from someone away from an airport it is usually a little cheaper. They will pass on airport fees to customers.

And don't forget asking for discounts. AAA, AARP, corporate, etc. I save 20% with AAA

ThumperPup
06-07-12, 04:08 PM
when i rent a car and it is me paying for it and not the insruance paying for the rental
so if im going on vacation or need to rent a car for a weekend
i use my Cap one cash back card i get rental coverage from them plus i have road side service threw them if i dont choose to use AAA if needed
cause i usualy rent from Enterprise and they want additional fee these days for road side assistance witch sucks
so i have my main insurance that is covered on the HHR and the Seville
and Cap one Via Mastercard Covers Secondary


If i get a rental car because mine is in the shop and the Insruance supplies the rental and sets it up threw Enterprise or avis
then they cover the insurance and i don't have to pay any aditional if any happens i have already spoken to both Gieco my new policy company
and also my old company witch was Esurance and they told me that if its a insruance rental then its covered and you just have your deductable so
i just lower the deducable to 100 for the week i need the rental car and im cool wheni get my car back i rais it back up to 500

thebigjimsho
06-09-12, 03:23 AM
We depend on our own auto insurance to cover us, but that's because we have full coverage on the Cadi. If I was a person with liability-only coverage, I'd recommend one of the other options.

Be sure to do a a walk-around the car with the rental agent before you drive off and identify in writing, any preexisting damage so they don't hold you liable. i would go so far as to photograph the damage to eliminate any problems when you return the car.

I have also found that if you rent from someone away from an airport it is usually a little cheaper. They will pass on airport fees to customers.

And don't forget asking for discounts. AAA, AARP, corporate, etc. I save 20% with AAA

When I took a vacation for the first time in years, I did it up. Unfortunately, when I went for a luxury car, I was stuck with what I drove for living, a Town Car. I got in after all the cars were taken. Budget tried to stick me in a full size.

I demanded a luxury car. I almost got a Jaguar XJ but they refused. I got a BEAT Town Car. I listed everything wrong. Scratches, pen marks on the seats, broken vents and a broken passenger mirror. I got everything. I swapped it when the inventory increased.

2 months later I got a letter from Budget saying I owed for the broken mirror. I was ready for battle but it ended quickly when I faxed over the check out sheet with the mirror listed. End of story.

I always mark everything, no matter how small...

EChas3
06-09-12, 10:52 PM
Check with your agent or company. Good companies/policies already protect you when renting. If not, get a quote for coverage.

Call the number on the back of your credit card(s) to see if you have any coverage through them. If not, get a quote for such coverage if available.

Do always check over the car and document everything. If you can't tell if there's damage, document that on the rental form. Protect yourself.

Don't self-insure a rental car unless a $100,000 loss won't change your lifestyle. You will usually have other coverage and can always do better than the rental company's waiver by thinking ahead. If you forget or have an unexpected need to rent, take the company waiver and consider it a dummy tax that will remind you to be prepared next time.

exterminate
06-11-12, 09:05 PM
Insurance is negative expected value. Don't sweat it if u are a good driver.