Car rental insurance question

Reply

Feb 5th, 2009, 07:25 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 67
Car rental insurance question

We are booking a rental car for 3 weeks in AU and our private car insurance doesn't cover us there. What are our options for liability and medical coverage?
mirsy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 5th, 2009, 12:00 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 9,922
You'd best check the rental company's website for vehicle coverage and restrictions on use.

As for medical coverage, what country are you from? We have reciprocal arrangements with some countries, mostly European, for cover under our universal health insurance scheme (Medicare, not to be confused with the US seniors' scheme of the same name).

If you're American I suggest you first check to see what of any overseas cover your health insurance company offers. Failing that I assume you'll be taking out travel insurance to cover your trip, and can select from a range of options for medical cover.

Neil_Oz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 5th, 2009, 01:22 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 3,908
I would be surprised if a person's private car insurance from any country would ever give them coverage for vehicle hire in another country.

Hire companys in Australia usually have a multi-tiered arrangement with a hirer prepared to pay $'x' excess on any claim and being liable for windscreen/tyre repairs/replacement for minimal premium which is part of the hiring package.
You can usually elect to remove part or all of any excess/liability by paying additional premium ammounts.

As Neil says, unless you were from the UK or a handful of European countries shown here - http://www.medicareaustralia.gov.au/...isitors/uk.jsp you are liable for all medical costs.
The reciprocal agreement is only for emergency treatment.
Best get some travel insurance if not from those countries.
Bushranger is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 5th, 2009, 02:42 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,358
Hi misry -

Do you live in the US?

If you do -

Your US medical carrier should cover any medical related issues you have while traveling (mine does and I've lived outside the US for years).

If you have a US issued Visa card, it could well cover car rentals in AUS and NZ (mine does).

I looked into this issue a while back and discovered that Mastercard (Mastercard Assist) only covers rental cars if you're able to completely waive all insurance, which is impossible in AUS and NZ as all rental cars come with a minimum amount of insurance (CDW), for which you're responsible for the excess.

BUT, VISA does, and it also covers the excess.

I suggest you contact your credit card company and ask them specifically about their coverage in AUS and NZ.

NOTE: Credit Card rental car coverage is for a maximum of 30 days.
Melnq8 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 5th, 2009, 03:10 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,358
I pulled up a few old threads about car rental insurance in OZ and NZ.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...3&tid=34956100

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...3&tid=34827427
Melnq8 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 5th, 2009, 03:17 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 4,447
There was a story on A Current Affair recently about hire car insurance and I must confess that I only saw bits of it - but I believe that the insurance is only relevant provided your are not in the wrong!! If you are responsible for an accident the insurance will not cover you and you will be out of pocket for the entire costs of damages/replacement etc.

Did anybody else see this that can add and or correct me?
stormbird is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 5th, 2009, 04:46 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,358
Many states in the US are no fault, meaning the insureds are indemnified for losses by their own insurance company, regardless of fault. It's an attempt to keep litigation down.

I know my car policy here in AUS is alot more strict than any policy I've ever had in the US. Even the insurance issued for rental cars by rental car companies in AUS have some interesting exclusions.

Insurance can be incredibly confusing, and this is from someone who worked in the industry for years.

It always pays to read the fine print.
Melnq8 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 5th, 2009, 06:18 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 3,908
Author: stormbird
Date: 02/05/2009, 07:17 pm
There was a story on A Current Affair recently about hire car insurance and I must confess that I only saw bits of it - but I believe that the insurance is only relevant provided your are not in the wrong!! If you are responsible for an accident the insurance will not cover you and you will be out of pocket for the entire costs of damages/replacement etc.

Did anybody else see this that can add and or correct me?
........................
I remember seeing something not long back too sb and vaguely recall the guy was involved in driving his car through a flooded road or had parked it up and flood waters got worse or something along those lines.
...............
Mel,
"If you have a US issued Visa card, it could well cover car rentals in AUS and NZ (mine does)."
So you are saying by using your visa card to pay for the rental, visa pick up the tab for insurance, or essentially do not pay because they run their own insurance company!

Suppose they have done some sums to work on running insurance on the side is profitable.



Bushranger is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 5th, 2009, 07:50 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,358
Bushranger - it's not uncommon for US issued credit cards to offer benefits such as rental car coverage.

Here are the details on the Visa coverage:

http://usa.visa.com/personal/cards/b..._personal.html

Misry - the above coverage is for collision and theft, liability is a different animal altogether. If you haven't done so already, I suggest you check with your personal car insurance carrier to see if they offer liability on rentals outside of the US (you might be surprised).

I suggest you also take a look at what insurance coverage is already included in your Australian rental (some coverage is always included) and then go from there.

If you carry any kind of personal liability unbrella in conjuction with your other insurance, you might be covered there as well.

I never buy insurance from car rental companies, it's the biggest scam going as far as I'm concerned and it's usually redundant.

Here's an interesting article that seems to agree with me:

http://travel.nytimes.com/2006/07/23/travel/23prac.html

Don't get excited about that sentence that states Australia requires foreign visitors to buy supplemental insurance - it's already built into the rental price.

Melnq8 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 5th, 2009, 08:15 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 11,529
You may also find that your travel insurance covers the Excess (CDW) or part of it. Mine gives $4k, so I don't take the car rental companies' insurance. As Mel says, it's a huge impost and often doubles the cost of the advertised rental.

Bokhara2 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 6th, 2009, 01:09 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 3,908
Mel,
The Visa conditions for damage to the rental vehicle sound fine but then you mentioned that word "$Liability"

And that's where there is a big hole for if tou have a bibgle with another vehicle, a very expensive one for instance, the other vehicle damages cost could be very significant - a liability not covered by the Visa policy!
nor it seems damages to people!

As you may know from WA registration requirements, a compulsory requirement for vehicle registrations in Australia, in fact built into the registration fee paying for most states is what is called third party insurance - cover for the people, and hire companies need to make sure that is covered for their vehicles.

Re:
" I never buy insurance from car rental companies, it's the biggest scam going as far as I'm concerned and it's usually redundant."
I understand daily premiums are way out of proportion to what an annual fee is, but would you just then rely on Visa coverage and what of damages if you hot a RR or some such expensive set of wheels?

Bushranger is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 6th, 2009, 02:58 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,358
Bushranger -

Apparently you missed the part where I suggested the OP check with his personal car insurance carrier to see if they offer liability coverage on rental cars. In the US, most policies extend coverage to rental cars, but I don't know if it applies to international rentals, as I've not owned a car in the US for many years.

You might have also noticed that I mentioned a personal liability umbrella.

In the US, when a person rents a car, they automatically get the minimum liability insurance coverage that is required by that particular state. In this instance, the renters personal car insurance is considered excess, and kicks in only if the rental limits are exceeded. This amount varies from state to state, and we've got 50 of 'em, so I have no idea which states offer what.

I personally see no need to purchase the overpriced insurance offered by car rental companies, in the US or elsewhere, as I know I'm covered (unless I find myself in Ireland).

Whether or not misry has enough coverage is up to him to determine, but he should not be strongarmed into purchasing it if he is indeed covered elsewhere.

PS - I have no idea what 'bibgle' and 'hot a RR' means.
Melnq8 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 6th, 2009, 06:48 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 3,908
Typos Mel,
bingle = accident
"hit a RR = have a bingle with a Roller or Rolls Royce, bot that you see too many of them about.

I appreciate you have some different insurance systems in the US Mel, and that any traveller ought to check what any existing insurance extends to as you've indicated.

But just chucked in the liability here in Oz for your sake while here as much as anything for if you haven't owned a car over there for a while and do not have any car insurance extending a liability, you could have the situation in relying on Visa coverage to have no liability coverage - here in Oz! where insurances are tied to the vehicle.
Bushranger is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 6th, 2009, 01:51 PM
  #14
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,358
Bushranger -

Fear not, I own a fully insured car here in WA.
Melnq8 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 7th, 2009, 05:05 AM
  #15
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,384
be careful and check thorougly

a friend of ours took the car over to tasmania and hit a roo

he wasnt covered cos he took the car there and didnt stay on the mainland

cost him 6000 dollars out of pocket

boy he was mad and it ruined the trip for them
lanejohann is offline  
Reply With Quote
 


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:48 PM.