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Cancun car rental insurance vs. the Fodors Name

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So DW and I just returned from our week-long Yucatan driving trip and I must say we had a fantastic time. We used two central locations, Hotel Delores Alba near Chichen Itza and the Eco Village Resort down near Xpujil. More info on those later. We hit 14 Mayan sites, without any problems.

Now, to the title of the thread. We all know that your Visa/MC/AmEx card usually can provide you with full coverage insurance. However, what few don't know is that how that "insurance" is actually used is up to the individual agency. In some cases, if an accident happens, the agency may bill the card directly OR they may bill you and then you have to have all of the necessary paperwork to get the CC to cover it on your side. And to make things a bit more of a twist, you may not know what the actual charges are until long after you have returned home and you cannot do much about it.

So, in certain areas, it may be best to just bite the bullet and purchase the insurance from the rental agency. AHAH!! They Gotcha! - or maybe not.

I had pre-rented an economy car for the trip through Thrift. The rate was fantastic - $49 for the entire week, not per day, for the week. As I'm waiting behind a couple of other tourists at the counter, I overhear the agent tell them that their AmEx card is not acceptable and the additional insurance cost for the mini-van they were renting was over $500 for the week. I could not hold my tongue, said something to the effect of "They are ripping you off, just go to another rental agency". Alas, they tourists did not and glumly left in their very expensively insured van.

Now it was my turn at the merry-go-round. Luckily, I speak fairly fluent Spanish. The agent tells me that my rental cost is $49 for the week and my insurance cost is (drum roll) $588. I immediately tell them that is ridiculous, how could they charge more for an economy car than for a mini-van and the rate itself was bordering on theft.

I then inform them that I write on the Fodors Travel Board and will be giving their rental car agency a royal tearing upon my return.

FODORS, did you mean the real FODORS???? Oh We Made a Mistake. The price is actually $340 for everything. I retort, "$340? That is still almost criminal."

Oh Sir, What I meant to say was it is $288 for everything. Are you still going to write bad things about us? I signed the contract, smiled and said "We shall see. What you are doing is wrong."

So for all of you Fodorites out there, be aware that everything may be negotiable and the Fodors name is a really big bargaining stick.

dave

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