Auto rental insurance versus credit card

Apr 6th, 2002, 03:21 PM
  #1  
Ted
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Auto rental insurance versus credit card

Usually when I rent a car, I use my gold credit card which provides me with insurance and allows me to avoid the ripoff insurance charges of car rental companies. However, I was told that you cannot avoid buying the insurance in Italy even using your gold credit card. I tried to get an answer from my credit card company. I called twice but got two different answers. Does anyone know if using a credit card will work in Italy or if there is some law that requires you to buy the insurance?
 
Apr 6th, 2002, 07:59 PM
  #2  
dean
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I wouldnt take the chance even if you could get the rental companies to waive the insurance. I have rented cars 5 times in Italy and 3 times I have wound up with damage to my car. Those 500 year old stone walls can sneak up on you. With the insurance coverages I just dropped off the car and was told "Arreviderci et grazie".

I would have hated to turn in cars with insurance provided by an American credit card company.
 
Apr 7th, 2002, 07:07 AM
  #3  
Jim
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Ted,
Italy is one of the countries in Europe that demands you buy insurance-Gold card or not.
Many travelers pick up their car in Nice or Locarno Switzerland and then drive into Italy.
Even buying your insurance in Italy can involve a rather high deductible.
I have always relied on my credit card coverage when possible. It's all about how comfortable you are using it.
 
Apr 7th, 2002, 07:29 AM
  #4  
Sherry
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Ted. SOME credit cards will work in Italy for the collision damage waiver insurance. Theft insurance is mandatory. You must purchase it from the car rental agency.
NOt all agencies will allow you to provide your own coverage for CDW. But SOME rental agencies will, IF your credit card provides you with coverage in ITaly.
For example: Auto Europe WILL NOT allow you to provide CDW insurance on their rentals in Italy. Hertz WILL allow you to provide your own coverage. But both require you to purchase Theft Protection from them.
It depends on your level of comfort in providing your own insurance, as Dean says. I have done it both ways. But I have never had an accident.
Your gold card may have language that states "you may have difficulty using the coverage we provide in some countries such as Italy, Ireland, etc." What this means, is, if you can find a company that will rent you a car with Collision Damage as an option rather than a requirement, they will cover you. This is why you are having difficulty getting a straight answer from the credit card company.
Usually theft protection and collision damage, purchased from the rental company adds considerably to the cost of the rental in Italy.
Price a company that has an "inclusive rate", both insurances provided and price one that has theft protection included (mandatory), but has optional collision damage. Sometimes there is a great deal of difference in the cost of the rentals, sometimes not. Then decide.
Make sure there are NO deductibles on damage even if you purchase all the insurance.
Does this help?
 
Apr 7th, 2002, 10:44 PM
  #5  
Jay
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to the top.
 
Apr 9th, 2002, 09:28 AM
  #6  
Stillconfused
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I'm confused by these postings. Does it mean that Italian law requires theft insurance but not CDW, and that CDW may or may not be waived depending on which rental company you use. Like the original poster, I usually rely on my American Express card to cover the insurance and have never had a problem in the states.
 
Apr 9th, 2002, 10:46 AM
  #7  
Sherry
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Theft insurance is mandatory in Italy and it is purchased by you from the rental company.
Contrary to what some people think, you may provide your own CDW insurance.
And this is where it gets tricky.
Some car rental companies that provide services in Italy will allow you to provide your own CDW insurance. But the majority of people renting on this Forum with advice to give will tell you that you must buy the CDW from the car rental company. This is because a large number of people renting in Italy use Auto Europe (a very good brokerage). Auto Europe will not allow you to rent a car from them in Italy without inclusive rates. They provide all of the insurance. And some others have this same policy.
This is not true of all companies. This is what Auto Europe tells you , but this is mostly their own policy. It is not a law.
Because of the high theft in Italy, a lot of credit card companies will not provide rental insurance for cars. But there are some credit cards that do provide CDW, even in ITaly.
You just must be careful to read the fine print on your credit card to see if you are covered.
This is the Collision Damage, not Theft Protection.
I have rented twice in Italy. Once with Auto Europe with an inclusive policy including theft protection and collision damage and once with Hertz. I purchased the theft protection from Hertz but used my credit card to provide the collision damage.
So, if you have the stamina to read all the fine print and check mulitple companies (both credit card and rental) and go through the extra steps if you have an accident to file with your credit card company, good for you.
For most people, it is just as easy in this country to take the inclusive insurance offered at the time of the rental.
I do not understand why this is so difficult. I just think it is misinformation, a lot of the time.
You would never want to waive the collision damage provided by the rental car company unless you have a back up, such as a credit card to cover you. Or some other form of insurance such as travel insurance.
Now you are going to get lots of responses saying I am wrong about not purchasing collision damage from the rental car company. But I really am not.
 
Apr 9th, 2002, 01:46 PM
  #8  
tania
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Beware of gold credit cards with insurance coverage. Most provide secondary coverage, ie, they kick in after your personal car insurance pays up, if needed. PRIMARY coverage covers you up front.

Check your policy.
 
Apr 10th, 2002, 09:07 AM
  #9  
Dan
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to the top for more helpful opinions. Dan
 
Apr 10th, 2002, 09:22 AM
  #10  
Joe
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Sherry,
You keep saying that some credit cards allow CDW in Italy.
How about naming just one.
 
Apr 10th, 2002, 09:28 AM
  #11  
Sal
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Tania,
Your US insurance is not valid in Europe. It is secondary only on US rentals
 
Apr 10th, 2002, 09:48 AM
  #12  
Sherry
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Joe. o.k. The one I know for sure is my MBNA Platinum Mastercard because I checked and I used it to rent in Italy.
I didn't name the card before because this is the only one I have experience with and I didn't want to be accused of pushing this card. But I know there must be others.
Just like there must be other companies that allow you to take CDW in Italy as on optional coverage. But I know Hertz for sure, so this is the company I named.
I also want to point out that I checked with many companies for my current trip to Italy. I seriously only considered three quotes.
Hertz WITHOUT collision damage coverage was the highest.
Hertz with a totally inclusive rate was the cheapest. I thought this was really strange.
Auto Europe was higher than the Hertz inclusive rate until I produced a rate quote from Hertz. And then Auto Europe undercut the Hertz rate. Only by $30, but less expensive is less expensive.
So this time I am taking full coverage because it is less expensive for me to do so.
We rent automatics and this is for twelve days, picking up in Florence and dropping off in Naples.
The AutoEurope rate is actually not cheaper because Hertz will allow both my husband and myself to drive for that amount. It is an extra $5 a day for every driver other than my husband with Auto Europe.
Hertz is not prepaid, AutoEurope is.
So, a lot of things to consider.
I also like the MBNA card as I get a very good rate when using this card in Europe.
 
Apr 10th, 2002, 11:30 PM
  #13  
Sam
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thanks for all these ideas. Sam
 
Apr 12th, 2002, 08:51 AM
  #14  
mike
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AMEX Gold does not provide collision insurrance in Italy. Call AMEX and they will email you a copy of what and where they cover.
 
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