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Is credit card rental car insurance worth it??

Is credit card rental car insurance worth it??

Old Jul 29th, 2015, 11:19 AM
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Is credit card rental car insurance worth it??

I've been researching the different types of credit card insurance offered for car rentals in Europe recently and have come up with a lot of good info, but I've found accounts of personal experiences to be lacking, especially ones that turn out in favor of the traveler. On the surface, this would lead me to believe that filing a claim and securing reimbursement from a CC company is difficult and troublesome, but I also understand that people are generally much more inclined to write about a bad experience/horror story than they are about a transaction that went smoothly (at least I know I would be!).

So, my question is: has anyone declined CDW from the rental company when renting a car in Europe, had an accident, and had little trouble in getting reimbursed for the deductible/costs? The question, of course, assumes that the rental qualified and applied according to all the credit card's terms and conditions for use of the insurance (not just a result of consumer error).

DISCLAIMER: I know the laws and stipulations can vary greatly depending on the country rented in, etc. so my question pretty much excludes anything in Ireland or Italy right off the bat just because of all the added complication and difficulties with opting for credit card CDWs there. I'm more just wondering how reasonable it is to expect the same type of service from a CC provider in the event of an accident as you would from a rental company when purchasing full coverage in the non-outlier countries for car rental insurance like France, Germany, etc.
Anyone ever decline direct CDW, have an accident, and no problems claiming reimbursement from the CC?
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Old Jul 29th, 2015, 11:30 AM
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Provided all of the conditions are met, there is not a difficulty from my (limited, one accident was a fender bender) experience. The situations involved Avis and AMEX platinum took care of everything seamlessly (one phone call)
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Old Jul 29th, 2015, 11:41 AM
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I was in an accident in France. It was not my fault but the rental company initially charged my card for the damage so I filed with Visa insurance for a reimbursement.

Understand that credit card insurance is secondary insurance meaning that you are liable for and pay all damages. Then, pursuant to your claim, you are reimbursed an amount that is considered adequate. The amount may or may not actually reimburse you the total of the actual charges you incurred.

A claim will involve a lot of paperwork and effort. I had completed a constat> and was given a déclaration de main courrante> by the local Préfecture de Police, absolving me of all liability for the accident. If you don´t know what a constat is and don´t fill one out, your claim will lack a certain credibility and could extend the claim review process.

Ultimately, the other driver´s insurance paid all damage and the charges from the rental company were reversed from my credit card.

For me, Visa and MC credit card insurance is problematic. It´s better than nothing, it´s inexpensive but it is not the best solution. I recommend the AmEx primary coverage for $25 per rental. It is primary coverage meaning basically you walk away in the event of an accident.

https://www295.americanexpress.com/p...do?source=CCSG
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Old Jul 29th, 2015, 11:45 AM
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It will depend on your credit card. Premium credit cards, like Amex Platinum and Visa Platinum cards offer the best coverage. Amex Platinum does not charge the card holder for the insurance coverage. It's part of being a Platinum card holder.

I've had a few fender benders type accidents over the years, but have never had to pay for any damage when using the Amex card.

I have also booked a car through Europe Car, which included the CDW (full coverage), which nearly doubled the cost of the three-day rental. But the damage done to the car, hit by another car, was completely covered.

If you're an American or Canadian, the CC companies offer the best car rental insurange coverage.
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Old Jul 29th, 2015, 12:08 PM
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Some good info on this thread in case you didn't find it already. It's slanted towards Amex which offers primary coverage if signed up and pay an additional fee.

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-or-kemwel.cfm
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Old Jul 29th, 2015, 01:01 PM
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I banged up a car in Portugal and was eventually fully reimbursed. It may take a few phone calls past the official waiting period (a month or so). In this instance the CC company was not receiving the proper paperwork from the rental agency.

Whenever possible I decline the CDW. That is not possible for all countries.
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Old Jul 29th, 2015, 04:38 PM
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Accident in Slovakia; local woman passed me in no-passing zone on mountain road, sideswiped car when an oncoming car forced her into mine. She eventually stopped. Police came. Luckily one of the cops had done a student-cop-abroad program in Pennsylvania once, and could speak enough English to have an English-speaking sergeant come. They gave me an accident report number and sent me on (woman was taken to station).
Later same trip, a Mercedes behind me in parking lot tried to zip around me coming out of lot, further creaming the side. Got accident report number.

I notified Visa immediately upon return. They charged me when rental company sent bill for repairs ($5K), but by then it was on hold, and I received a $5K check before the statement was due. Zero cost to me, and I got 5,000 miles to boot.
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Old Jul 29th, 2015, 07:18 PM
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Check....Ireland and Italy used to not be covered by credit cards (except maybe Amex which I don't have) but now my Citi Dividend World Elite Mastercard suddenly does cover them.
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Old Jul 29th, 2015, 08:49 PM
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2 years ago I had a minor accident with a Europcar vehicle. Europcar debited the deductible as per standard procedure, but my Gold Mastercard refunded the amount within three weeks. I did not find the process complicated at all.
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Old Aug 7th, 2015, 07:29 AM
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Thanks for the responses! I've found alot of information on other threads here and pages like http://www.autoeurope.com/go/credit-...car-insurance/ but the only real experiences I've ever heard/read about were horror stories, which I imagined couldn't be the case all the time.

Checking each cards individual terms and conditions (or calling the card processor), as suggested above, has proven to be the most direct sources of facts, but it's always good to see how the policies actually play out in practice.
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Old Aug 7th, 2015, 10:20 AM
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I've a hunch that the people who have "horror stories" in this regard weren't proactive in managing their accident.

It pays to familiarize yourself BEFORE you go on a trip where you'll be charging the car rental to your card.

If one IS in an accident, it pays to ask the investigating police officer (assuming that one DID call the police) for an accident report number.

If one is still in the same area as the accident, it pays to request a copy of the report.

It pays to call the credit card company the SAME day as the accident, just to create a record. Why procrastinate until the CC statement comes, showing the charge?
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Old Aug 7th, 2015, 11:01 AM
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I had an accident in Provence. I used my MasterCard to rent the car through Autoeurope. Prior to the trip, I called MasterCard to verify the insurance - declined the CDW per instructions. After my accident, albeit minor, I took pictures of the damage, license plate, registration number of the car. I immediately called Autoeurope to report it. They walked me through the process. Yes, it took several weeks to resolve, but with little work on my part - just some administration issues. It was easy amd painless. I would not do things any differently. Hope this is encouraging. Happy travels!
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Old Aug 7th, 2015, 11:18 AM
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This is a really useful question to ask and I have to say I think you're getting great advice. I rent very regularly in Europe and have had several claims over the years. The issue to think about it whether the insurance will deal with it for you or whether you have to deal with it and then you claim it back. I use Amex Premium Car Rental Insurance ALL the time and it's great. It costs about $20 per rental. This is primary insurance. I've had one issue in France someone dented the car while we were in a parking lot and we came back to see the damage. Anyway, the whole thing was seamless AMEX took care of everything and dealt with hertz it was NO hassle.

In Ireland I've used My BA Visa Signature insurance because like many CC companied AMEX will not cover you in the Republic of Ireland. The car ended up with a long scratch along the side and Hertz put in a claim for 1,000 euro. Yes Visa Signature paid the bill in the end but I had to deal with the process, pay Hertz and wait for reimbursement. IT worked but it wasn't with the same ease or process as Amex.

So my answer is in my experience these insurances work, but I would always use AMEX where possible and always pay for their premium rental insurance.
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Old Aug 7th, 2015, 12:08 PM
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For "minor" incidents (you would not believe how often your side view mirror can be demolished -- it has happened to be at least 4 times), whether it was Europcar or Hertz, they always deducted the full deductible and then refunded the difference later, sometimes after I prompted them. For example, they would charge me about 800 euros and then recredit me about 650 euros. Okay, a side view mirror is only worth about 40 euros, but you have to take into consideration labor and administrative fees.
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Old Aug 7th, 2015, 12:11 PM
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My CC coverage has no deductible.
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Old Aug 7th, 2015, 12:36 PM
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In those previous incidents, I wasn't using a gold card.

But even with a gold (platinum or whatever) card, the rental company will deduct the amount marked on your rental contract and then it is a matter for you of getting it refunded.
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