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Underhill Oct 25th, 2010 02:19 PM

American Express car-rental coverage/France
We recently got AmEx cards through Costco and were offered the opportunity of enrolling in the car-rental insurance plan. For $17.95 per rental, damage and theft are covered up to $100,000. This sounds like a really good deal, considering what trip-insurance plans want for lower coverage. Best of all, the coverage is primary.

Has anyone had experience with the AmEx coverage?

StCirq Oct 25th, 2010 02:51 PM

Yes, I tore up my AMEX card a couple of years ago, but I purchased that when I had it and it was great! I also purchased their lost luggage insurance plan.

blh Oct 25th, 2010 02:56 PM

Yes, we recently purchased the premium coverage for the 1st time and used it on our trip to Austria. Lucky for us because there was some fender damage to the rental car (more than $1,000). I have filed the claim, and so far it has been easy. They said it would take 45-60 days to settle the claim depending on how quickly the rental company responds (Europcar). So I'll let you know how it goes. We were certainly glad we had the coverage - it might have been covered even without the extra protection. But I felt better knowing everything was covered.

iris1745 Oct 26th, 2010 04:42 AM

Hi; We had an accident in Germany last year and the repair cost was 2000euros. However, we always purchase the AX premium collision coverage for $19.95. Takes the deductable down to zero, with the exception of 'loss of use'. AX negotiated with Sixt and we ended up having nothing to pay.

Underhill Oct 26th, 2010 09:08 AM

Thanks for the responses. I'll get on the phone to Kemwel right away and switch cards.

LarryJ Oct 26th, 2010 08:59 PM


You don't mention personal liability just property damage. Is there personal liability as well?

Larry J

Underhill Oct 27th, 2010 09:30 AM

Not that I can see, but that's usually part of the car-rental deal.

Underhill Nov 12th, 2010 09:50 AM

Well, what looked so good is turning out to be a real problem. We cancelled our Kemwell/Visa rental and had the charge put against our AmEx account. The charge went through, slowly, but the $17.95 for the "automatic" coverage has yet to appear. I've sent e-mails, my husband has talked with two different support staff, and still the charge is not there. We have been told that it might be several weeks before the insurance charge is posted--and we will be renting the car on December 6th. What to do? Go back to Citibank and its insurance coverage? Hope that AmEx will get on the stick?

Dealing with AmEx so far is not nearly as easy as with Citibank Visa, and I find the AmEx web site much less user-friendly.

Michael Nov 12th, 2010 09:59 AM

Is there a dollar limit on your Visa CDW coverage? If not, why switch to Amex? As far as I know, extra coverage ($100,000) is meaningless in the European context. Liability is covered by the rental agreement, what you need is coverage for damage on your car. If you fear that car damage might max out your card, make sure that you have a different one to cover on-going costs until you get home.

Roger1x Nov 12th, 2010 10:32 AM

I've used the Amex to rent cars with Sixt for the past 10 years or so. In my experience the insurance charge doesn't show up on my bill until after I actually rent the car. In the few cases where I pre-paid the rental, the rental charge would appear right away but the insurance charge didn't appear until the rental was complete.

I'm bit surprised that the Amex reps didn't tell you this. Maybe you weren't talking to the insurance people who are a separate group from the regular cardholder support staff. I've never dealt with Amex on-line but always use the phone and have always found them to be most helpful.

hkto Nov 12th, 2010 10:48 AM

I can't speak for AMEX but I have gold VISA and MC who claim to cover CDW portion of the rentals. They do for North America but unfortunately that may not be true for some European rentals. The issue is that CC wants the renter to completely decline CDW in order to invoke the coverage however it may not be possible as CDW is included in rate and renter is liable for only portion of the rental depending on car class. When agency are selling CDW they are really selling insurance for the excess portion (or parts of it) and not for the whole car.

Michael Nov 12th, 2010 11:07 AM

With Autoeurope and Kemwel, two rates are given for the rental. Basic does not include CDW.

hkto Nov 12th, 2010 11:14 AM

You are right for France only rentals on US AutoEurope but not on the UK one. For other countries (i.e. Italy) basic is not available at all. Same for Portugal. As I said in my post "for some European rentals"

iris1745 Nov 12th, 2010 11:35 AM

I have had the same experience as Roger. It's possible that the AX insurance doesn't kick in until the paperwork at the counter is processed. You saw my previous post. An accident, my fault and the cost of repair was 2000euros. With this AX policy, I had the lower one that cost $19.95, collision coverage to $75,000. We ended up paying nothing. But I agree, you have to feel comfortable with the coverage. The auto insurance is a seperate entity and sometimes one is shuffled between divisions.

Michael Nov 12th, 2010 11:45 AM

I had basic for Portugal and was fully reimbursed by my Visa card for damage on my car which was entirely my fault.

I believe that my Norway rental was also at the basic rate with no CDW, as was my rental in Scotland. Where no basic rate is offered, I avoid Kemwel or AutoEurope because the insurance coverage has a hefty deductible.

As for Italy, EconomyCarRentals offers relatively good rates (lower than Kemwel's) with no deductible.

Underhill Nov 13th, 2010 08:23 AM


The $100,000 coverage is primarily for damage to or theft of the car.

Underhill Nov 13th, 2010 08:32 AM

We talked with the people at the insurance office, and the representative said it would "take a while" for the charge to appear. We've pre-paid the rental; so the charge for it shows up on our account, just not the $17.95.

Michael Nov 13th, 2010 08:46 AM

<i>The $100,000 coverage is primarily for damage to or theft of the car.</i>

I don't know about theft, but damage would be covered by your Visa card for free if you can decline the CDW coverage on your rental contract. I suspect that theft would also be covered.

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