Taking a car for rent is subjected to similar risks as owning one. You can meet accidents or mishaps (such as theft), which could cause a loss of value for the car. You might think about who would pay the insurance costs for a rental car. The rental company or the person renting it? You may also ask: does my credit card cover rental car insurance?
Various insurance policies exist depending on your chosen car rental company, which will be further discussed in this blog. However, it is good to check your personal insurance coverage before deciding on a rental insurance plan. It will help in ensuring all risks are covered in the policy.
Rental car insurance has certain similarities with your regular auto insurance coverage. However, rental car coverage also includes the loss the company makes in the time needed to fix the vehicle. Personal car insurance fails to cover an important aspect, despite some claiming their benefits extend to rental cars.
Why Do You Need Rental Car Insurance?
Before answering this question: does my credit card cover rental car insurance? You must understand the reason for having rental car insurance. With the amount of paperwork usually involved in getting rental car insurance, there are sure to be loopholes that can catch you off guard in an emergency. Rental car insurance is a bit more complex than regular car insurance. Therefore, thoroughly researching the policy options may be tedious but a necessary task to do before choosing the best-suited policy.
Some common types of rental car insurance offer four specific coverage options to choose from with the following specifications;
- Loss-and-damage waiver (LDW): It is also known as a collision damage waiver. It might already be included in your personal collision and comprehensive insurance policy. This waiver states you are not liable for any theft or damage to your rental when it is in your possession.
- Supplemental liability protection: Some insurance policies provide this coverage. It is specifically for damage that you have caused to other vehicles or property.
- Personal accident protection: Covers any individual medical costs acquired by you or any passengers involved in an accident. However, a thorough inspection of your personal insurance policy would be needed, as this might also be covered there.
- Personal effects coverage: It might not be covered by your private insurance, but it could be part of your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. This aspect covers theft of personal belongings.
Once again, despite your insurance covering most of these already, the loopholes lie in that they rarely cover everything, making life a little more complicated. For this reason, getting the Loss-and-Damage Waiver (LDW) policy and a damage policy as a bare minimum to cover rental company costs is suggested.
How to Get Rental Car Insurance
You may not worry much about maintenance when renting a car because it’s not your property. All you need is an excellent rental car insurance policy, fuel, and a destination, making renting a car much cheaper than buying a car.
Purchasing a rental car insurance plan is like visiting a website. It not only simplifies the task but allows you to compare and cross-check with other options that might be available.
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Does My Credit Card Cover Rental Car Insurance?
Like everything else, reading the fine print will always be helpful. Most credit cards provide some form of free coverage for rental cars. However, according to most insurers, many consumers need clarification about what their credit card includes and excludes.
Most credit card providers, including Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and most travel reward cards, offer coverage if your rental vehicle is damaged or stolen but are mainly used as an add-on feature to your car insurance instead of a primary insurance option. This secondary cover can, however, come in handy when the bill arrives for the car insurance deductibles, where credit card coverage can be used as a form of reimbursement.
Inquiring with your credit card provider is the fastest way to understand all the benefits your credit card includes and where it may be lacking in certain aspects, making it easier to choose specific policies at the car rental company.
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How to Use My Credit Card to Pay for Rental Car Insurance
To simplify things for you slightly, here are three things that are expected of you to use your credit card for rental car insurance:
- All rental costs, including fees, must be paid with that specific card only.
- The cardholder must be the primary renter, although this feature may include other drivers previously disclosed with the rental company.
- And lastly, according to most credit card terms, you must decline the LDW from the rental company to allow for the benefits your card provider provides.
Although this seems straightforward, these specific benefits do not cover everything. They rarely include luxury cars and recreational vehicles. Furthermore, they usually have a limited number of days for which the coverage is applicable, ranging from 14 to 31 days. Therefore, a good rule of thumb would be to have a quick call with both your credit card provider and your insurer to clarify what you are eligible for.
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Like anything else with a whole book of paperwork and fine print, it is always essential to understand their implications and compare them with options you might already have access to. To answer your question: does my credit card cover rental car insurance? Most credit cards cover rental car insurance but there are some limitations in using those benefits. Generally, the most efficient way to use your credit card for rental car insurance is to apply for it online. Ensure to compare the different policies and consult your credit card provider about what your specific plan includes. You may have to consult about the possible limitations you have regarding your coverage.