Insurance while renting a car in France

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Mar 31st, 2012, 11:31 AM
  #1
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Insurance while renting a car in France

I am booking a car on rent from europecar.com.
The website says following are included.

1. Licenses & Fees (LAF)
2. Collision Damage Waiver (See T&Cs for excess charge details )(CDW)
3. Theft Waiver (THW) (See T&Cs for excess charge details )
4. Railway Station Surcharge
5. VAT


And the site says there will be extra Charges for
1. Serenity Pack (SER-PACK) Full "car" coverage, including broken windows and simple flat tires

I have read a lot about these insurance policies. But still confused now. Can someone explain me.

Basically i should have full insurance, theft coverage and full damage waiver. What and all i should opt?. I want a tension free travel.

What are the other "hidden things" should i look for ?

-Prashanth
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Mar 31st, 2012, 11:35 AM
  #2
 
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I don't ever take any insurance that's not mandatory, because my credit card covers me.
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Mar 31st, 2012, 11:38 AM
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If you have an American Express Card sign up for their premium protection plan. Charge the car to your card and you have full coverage. I had a car broken into last fall in Southern France and all charges were covered by the plan (lots of e-mails, but basically I was a bystander). They do a good job managing the coverage and the rental company
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Mar 31st, 2012, 12:12 PM
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What don't you understand? That gives you coverage for damage to the car and the misc. small fees you get when renting a car in France. There are some things excluded from their insurance coverage on the car but there isn't anything you can do about it (damage to the undercarriage).

That extra "super insurance" Serenity Pack will then also cover some or all of the deductible for the collision insurance and some things regular collision doesn't cover (the tires and windows). It's up to you as to whether the risk of those fees is worth whatever it costs (I believe their website says 10 euro a day). It also says it only halves the deductible owed (the "excess") rather than paying all of it, and only for certain car categories (compact, economy and a few others). I can't actually find what the amount of the excess or deductible is on their website, I suppose it varies by country and type of car, but it would be hard to make a decision without knowing how much insurance that is giving you for that extra 10 euro a day.

I don't take it either as I use my credit card coverage. I mean I don't take any insurance but I don't rent directly from Europcar so not sure what their possibilities are.

From what I've heard, some people don't understand the gas charge situation from Europcar, and there are some options or fees dependent on what you choose when renting and if you return it full (or something, don't know the full details as I have never had a problem and I've gotten a Europcar rental several times using AUtoeurope or Kemwel). I just always returned the car with a full tank and that was that.

There can also be extra fees if you choose certain optional equipment or for extra drivers.
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Mar 31st, 2012, 02:49 PM
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Rules I go by.

1. Know what your CC will cover, or not cover.
2. Get a firm grip on what the rental car company has for a
deductible on their premium plans. There are usually
more than one.
3. Always keep valuables hidden.
4. Determine risk vs. initial outlay.

I've had some incidents; blown tire (covered by CC), dings and dents, usually from a parking lot, where I've paid as much as 200 Euros. Given it was a 2 week rental, cheaper than the premium insurance.
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Mar 31st, 2012, 06:17 PM
  #6
 
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Check to see if there is a deductible, aka excess. If you do not want the deductible, you will have to pay extra.
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Apr 1st, 2012, 12:58 AM
  #7
 
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In addition to checking what is covered by your credit card I suggest checking what is covered in your travel insurance (if you have taken out such a policy) regarding car hire.
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Apr 1st, 2012, 05:38 AM
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The hidden things you should look for?
Are the following items included in your price quote:

1. environmental fees (up to 35€)
2. road tax
3. additional driver fees (usually 25€)
4. location surcharges (up to 40€)

Be wherry of:

5. Europcar´s fuel purchase plans. Agree only to return the car with the same level of fuel it had at departure. Do not pre-purchase fuel.
6. Excess/deductibles which can be very high with insurance offered by rental companies.
7. Secondary insurance coverage such as what is offered by credit cards. This means you pay initially for any and all damage and are then reimbursed by the credit card company for what, in their estimation, it the covered amounts.

The best insurance is primary coverage offered by third parties such as American Express (at $25 per rental up to 40 days I believe) or Insurance 4 Car hire:

http://www.insurance4carhire.com/ind...D=1301&curID=3
http://usa.visa.com/personal/cards/b..._personal.html


Before you depart the rental office, make sure you have:

8. The required additional equipment: road flares or road hazard reflectors, breathalyser tube, and reflective jacket.

9. A blank copy of the constat, usually found in the glove box. This is filled out in the event of an accident, English is on the back side. Keep a pen handy somewhere in the car as well.

10. A spare tire. Don´t just assume it´s there, take a look.
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Apr 1st, 2012, 05:54 AM
  #9
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Hi S,

In addition, I suggest that you call www.autoeurope.com and www.kemwel.com. They will probably get you the same car from Europcar at a lower price.

In addition, you get better service should you need customer support.

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Apr 1st, 2012, 11:10 AM
  #10
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@All
Thanks a lot. Each one of you have give me valuable information. I will carefully read all these and check with my credit card company. These policies may not exist in Indian credit cards. Anyways let me check with them. i will contact Kemwel and autoeurope too.

I will reply back once i contact them. thanks guys . Great replies.

-Prashanth
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Apr 2nd, 2012, 09:10 AM
  #11
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Ok. I have contacted My credit card company. They don't have these kind of offers.

What i am thinking now is, i will be there in paris on 7th april. So i will visit a car rental office and rent a car there itself.I also need to park the car that day. SO not sure of the parking space too.

I have decided on Autoeurope + one of the insurance link sarastro has provided.
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Apr 2nd, 2012, 09:29 AM
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I don't understand. You're going to use AutoEurope, or you're going to walk into a car rental agency in Paris and rent one? The latter is likely a bad idea.

What do you mean by "AutoEurope + one of the insurance links?" If you use AutoEurope and aren't covered by your credit card, you just pay AutoEurope for the insurance.

And why would you rent a car for a day in Paris just to park it? Why would you even need or want a car in Paris?
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Apr 2nd, 2012, 09:38 AM
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exactly, Autoeurope will give you an option to buy insurance or not, you can get two quotes. You can buy it separately, of course, I bought it once as part of my travel insurance rather than through Kemwel as it was a better deal. But I don't know what travel insurance policies are available to INdians, of course.

I'm actually surprised credit cards in India don't offer auto rental insurance as that is a part of Visa/Mastercard's policies, not a particular bank or card issuer. But I suppose they could not include that in India if it's a big problem there (which I can see it could be).
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Apr 2nd, 2012, 09:38 AM
  #14
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basically i need to start from paris early in the morning. Say around 7:30. These rental agencies open only by 9am.Anyways while returning back i can return only after 12pm. So ther will be extra day added . it doesn't make a difference.

Really? booking online is better? can't i just walk in and book one?.


-Prashanth
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Apr 2nd, 2012, 09:42 AM
  #15
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@Christina
People here don't use all those things. Renting a car is only in major cities. And may be it depends on the card too.
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Apr 2nd, 2012, 09:47 AM
  #16
 
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bookmarking
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Apr 2nd, 2012, 10:01 AM
  #17
 
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No, you can't just walk into AutoEurope in Paris and rent one. AutoEurope isn't even a car rental agency - it's a broker; it's not like they have an office and cars in Paris. You call them or go online and arrange for a rental, and then they will tell you which company you'll get the car from - Europcar, Hertz, Cité, whatever. You'd better call them now if you're looking to get a car on April 7.

To deal with the parking issue, what I would do is go to whatever rental outfit is giving you the car the night before and fill out the paperwork and get the keys. Ask them if you can leave the car in their lot for the night; I'm guessing they will say yes (if not, you have another major issue of finding parking in Paris); then go back and get it early the next morning. Unless the lot is locked, that might work.
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Apr 2nd, 2012, 10:07 AM
  #18
 
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I'm actually surprised credit cards in India don't offer auto rental insurance as that is a part of Visa/Mastercard's policies, not a particular bank or card issuer.

I have the impression that this option is available only to users of cards based in certain countries: U.S., Australia ... residents of other countries can chime in to agree or disagree.
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Apr 2nd, 2012, 11:42 AM
  #19
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OKi. So i will cal them up and convey my concern over parking. Then will try to book with them.

Two more questions

1. I have read that they block a huge amount when we rent the car. How much do they block from my credit card if i pay the booking amount online while booking?

2. Any tips on fuel stations?
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Apr 2nd, 2012, 11:59 AM
  #20
 
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Don't call AutoEurope to talk about parking concerns. No one there will have any ideas what your parking options are. You talk about parking with the actual company you end up renting from.

Ask AutoEurope if they can tell you how much, if any, will be blocked. For one thing, it depends on which particular car you'll end up driving - compact, mid-size, van, luxury....etc.

The car will be turned over to you with a full tank of gas. You will be expected to return it with a full tank, too. I have no idea where you're driving to, so can't help with particular fuel stations.
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