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American Express card for car rental with AutoEurope or Kemwel?

American Express card for car rental with AutoEurope or Kemwel?

Old Jul 21st, 2009, 03:37 AM
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American Express card for car rental with AutoEurope or Kemwel?

HELP! My head is spinning from reading too many policies, options, waivers, and fine print....

We're planning on renting a car while in the south of France (our first time for a car rental) and have been looking at the AutoEurope and Kemwel web sites (Kemwel comes in just a bit cheaper). I remember reading somewhere on this forum that using an American Express card for the car rental gives you extra car rental insurance.

Is anyone familiar with the Premium Car Rental Protection (for $24.95) which is offered by American Express? If I use the AE insurance, does that mean I can choose a car option with limited or no insurance, as offered by AutoEurope or Kemwel? I would like a zero (-0-) deductible policy that covers any and ALL problems with the rental car.

Robyn
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Old Jul 21st, 2009, 03:53 AM
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Hi Robyn; In France you 'refuse' the insurance option the company offers and the American Express policy covers you with zero deductible. When receiving your car , you must check the 'box' that states that you are refusing the insurance option. Otherwise the American Express policy will not take effect. They also have a policy for $19.95 that gives you the same auto insurance coverage, but less 'life' insurance protection. Perhaps others can fill in more details. Dick
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Old Jul 21st, 2009, 05:46 AM
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Hi art,

Iris is correct. Refuse the CDW. Amex will be your insurer. It is a zero-deductible policy that covers almost everything on the car. Read the fine print.

The Premium policies cover medical expenses for you and your passengers.

The rental agency provides insurance for third parties.

Enjoy your visit.

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Old Jul 21st, 2009, 06:03 AM
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Yup, what iris and ira said.
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Old Jul 21st, 2009, 06:41 AM
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Call AMEX, I am not sure every level card offers the same limits and deductibles. Additionally, while I am sure France would be offered, I think under no circumstance will they cover a rental in Ireland, for example.

Also call your insurance agent to see if your auto or umbrealla policy will cover any of the liabilities.
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Old Jul 21st, 2009, 03:16 PM
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Thank you for your answers. The information about refusing the CDW was very helpful.

My husband called AMEX. The $24.95 Premium Car Rental Protection is good for up to 42 days of car rental in all countries except Ireland, Israel, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, and Jamaica. It offers Collision & Theft, Accidental Death & Dismemberment, Personal Property and Medical Expense coverage, so we signed up for it. I guess now we're ready to make our car rental reservations. Only 77 more days until we leave.

Thanks,
Robyn
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Old Jul 21st, 2009, 04:43 PM
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We just came back from France, and used the AMex premium car rental policy ( It was only $17.95 for residents of California). We rented from Kemwel/AutoEurope and picked up our car in Nice. Everything went fine with the car rental, our car was brand new, but there are a couple of things you may want to consider. Evidently AutoEurope ( which is actually the agency you will pick up your car from, Kemwell is just a consolidator working out of the US) rates are the cheapest right now in Europe. When we went to pick up the car at the airport ( xtra fee for airport pick-up) the line was horrendous. We waited at least 45 min. to an hour in the heat to pick up the car. There was no one renting a car from Hertz or Avis- I could see the lots. Turning the car back in was no problem. Also, GET A GPS or bring your own ( with Europe maps!)It is a godsend. We ended up buying one over the internet that had ll of Western Europe, Italy, Greece, Turkey etc. maps, with built in Blue Tooth and bringing it with us. Another great feature is a built in radar detector that warns you when you are entering a speed-trap so you don't get ticketed. They have a system on the roads in Europe where they can ticket you without your even being pulled over, just by radar and photographing your license plate. The ticket just arrive in the mail!! Something to watch out for. Have fun.
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Old Jul 21st, 2009, 05:57 PM
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Our Capitol 1 platinum master card offers the same coverage as AM EX without an extra fee- at least this is my understanding.

On one trip a friend scraped the side of our car. We had not declined the CDW and to pay about 300 dollars because we had to pay the deductible.

Buying extra insurance is expensive, but lots of people buy it because they don't know about these credit cards.
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Old Jul 21st, 2009, 06:05 PM
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I think Bubba may have made a slight error... it would have been EUROPCAR from whom he actually picked up the rental as AutoEurope is a broker who also operates under the Kemwel banner.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2009, 03:50 AM
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Bubba - During my research I checked out Avis & Hertz, but they came in more expensive. Maybe that's why their lots were empty.

Our travelling companion has a GPS and has already purchased the upgrade with the European maps. I know he's excited to finally get to use the maps on our trip. I've also been checking out some of our driving itineraries on viamichelin.com and I noticed that the directions indicate where there are "speed cameras". Since our travelling companion has a lead foot, this information will come in very handy.

Robyn
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Old Jul 22nd, 2009, 03:54 AM
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<i>"Maybe that's why their lots were empty."</i> I meant empty of people... not cars. Oops!

Robyn
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Old Jul 22nd, 2009, 09:53 AM
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yup, it was Europcar, I plead jet-lag. I may have rented with Auto Europe on our last trip to France.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2009, 10:10 AM
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Hi Artstuff,

Check your Amex bill carefully when you return. We had the same $24.95 AMEX coverage when we went to the UK recently. This program charges $24.95 EACH time you have a car rental charge of any kind.

So, we rented the car online and AE charged us. Great.

THEN, a few weeks later when we picked up the car, the local agency also charged us for some local licensing fees & airport pick up, about $60 dollars US (all disclosed in the original contract so we expected it) and Amex charged us $24.95 AGAIN because it was a charge from a car rental company. If you have any secondary charges for the same rental (say for gas or whatever) they will charge you $24.95 each time.

By the way, shortly after we returned, I purchased airplane tickets to Grand Cayman for next Feb. AMEX had set us up on some sort of airfare/flyer insurance program at the same time we set up the premium auto rental coverage. Not sure that I ever approved that as I had no memory of ever seeing it or discussing it, but they did remove it from the ticket charges immediately and with zero hassle, along with the extra $24.95 car rental premium.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2009, 05:44 PM
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Go for the $19.95 option. Just make sure you sign up for it before you rent. I actually had to use this coverage on a recent trip to Peru (got our Toyota wedged against a building on a dead-end "street" in a small, remote village....very funny, looking back).

Amex was so extremely courteous and helpful. Their first concern was for our health and told us not to let this ruin our vacation. I felt so relieved within the first minute! They said that if the rental company insisted that we pay up-front (which isn't always the case), I should put it on my Amex card, and they would cover the bill (no out-of-pocket for me). Very straightforward and painless process.

As it turned out, Hertz opted not to move forward with the claim since they didn't think it was serious enough damage.
But it was a great test run!
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Old Jul 23rd, 2009, 06:19 AM
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> ambage on Jul 22, 09 at 09:44 PM <

In the incident that you described, your Amex card would have covered the damage without the Premiium insurance.

The Premium plan covers the occupants of the car.

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Old Jul 23rd, 2009, 11:37 AM
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Hi; Keep in mind that the Premium plan also covers 'collision and theft' and reduces the deductable to zero. Ira, I could be wrong, but most credit cards including American Express have a deductable for collision and that's were the Premium plan 'takes over'. Dick
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Old Jul 23rd, 2009, 11:59 AM
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I too talked to an AMEX representative about both the basic (automatic) car rental coverage and the premium ($19.95 and $24.95) coverage plans. He said the "basic" coverage is secondary insurance, meaning AMEX will go after your primary automobile policy coverage before agreeing to pay out any claims. The "premium" coverage, on the other hand, is primary insurance.

I'm not an insurance expert, but I would assume secondary coverage will involve a lot of additional paperwork and red tape before any claims get settled.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2009, 04:10 PM
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Rumseydog, you're right. This is exactly what the Amex agent told me when I had my accident in Peru. That's the advantage over the basic coverage. (By the way, your personal auto insurance usually covers rental cars if you're the driver - at least mine does).

I prefer paying the $19.95 for the Amex primary coverage rather than involve my own insurance. It's worth it not only to avoid a deductible and the add'l paperword as you point out, but also to avoid possible increases in premiums, impact on driving record, etc.
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Old Jul 24th, 2009, 04:53 AM
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Hi iris1745 on Jul 23, 09 at 03:37 PM

According to the info that Amex sent me, they cover everything on the car except the tires, window glass and undercarriage if the accident happens on a public road. If the car is stolen, you have to provide the key(s).

The Premium policy covers the occupants of the car as well as the above. I'm not sure about the tires, undercarriage and glass.

The rental agency has 3rd party insurance.
.................................................. .................
Hi Rum,
>He said the "basic" coverage is secondary insurance, meaning AMEX will go after your primary automobile policy coverage before agreeing to pay out any claims.<

My ins co does not cover me outside the US and Canada. Thus, Amex is primary.

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Old Jul 26th, 2009, 03:33 AM
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UPDATE - Car rental reservation has been made with Kemwel, using the American Express Premium package.

Thanks, HappyCheese, for the heads up about the possibility of a double billing.

72 days and counting....

Robyn
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