Rental car insurance advice in New England

May 13th, 2019, 05:19 AM
  #1  
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Rental car insurance advice in New England

I am renting a vehicle in New England later in the year and would value advice re insurance from my Fodors family please.
My travel insurance has a ‘rental car excess’ component - $5000 I think.
Thanks in advance.
Aussiefolk is offline  
May 13th, 2019, 07:10 AM
  #2  
 
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You haven't really provided enough info for anyone to give you meaningful advice.

First, you should know that in order for your credit card coverage to be in effect you have to use that cc to pay for the rental.

Second, it is unclear from your post what the "rental car excess" coverage provided by your cc company actually is in "excess" of (i.e. Liability, Collision or both) and what the amount of the underlying coverage (i.e. your own liability or collision policy or policies) you have to have and whether or not those policies will cover you for a rental car in the US (this will depend on whether you are living in the US or some other country).

I take it by your screen name that you might be from Australia. So, if you have your own auto insurance policy you should check with your broker to see if will provide coverage for you in the US. Some Auto policies have "Rental Car Coverage" others do not and some will cover you in a foreign country others won't. You need to find out this out before you can figure out how the coverage provided by your credit card company will work.

Once you know these answers, you'll be able to determine if you can decline the Liability Damage Waiver (LDW) or Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) offered by the car rental company.

Lastly, (assuming you are from Australia) you should know that if you do get into an accident that damages your rental car (and you've declined the CDW) you probably will have to pay for any damage when you turn in the car and then file a claim for reimbursement with your credit card company so keep that in mind when making your decision. Quite honestly, your personal insurance agent or broker will be the best person to advise you on this matter.
RoamsAround is online now  
May 13th, 2019, 07:27 AM
  #3  
 
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There are car rental brokers that cater to foreign visitors to the States that include full insurance coverage, unlimited mileage, etc. One is Holiday Cars (there are others but Holiday is one I know Fodorites have used successfully). I don't know if they operate in OZ but you can check that.
janisj is offline  
May 13th, 2019, 11:32 PM
  #4  
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Thanks to you both. You info gives me a starting point. Unfortunately my CC provider does not have an insurance component (though I will certInly check with my provider to see if that’s an option).
I will follow up the pints you have mentioned.
Much appreciated.
Aussiefolk is offline  
May 14th, 2019, 05:12 PM
  #5  
 
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Non-residents usually get good rates from the car companies with all the insurances and fees included. Compare rates on a site like happytoursusa.com which books you directly with the car company yet sometimes has lower rates. If you book directly on the websites of Alamo or Avis or Hertz, make sure you find the slot to note that you are from Australia as the rates/insurance requirements are different than for someone who already has their own insurance for the U.S.
clarkgriswold is offline  
May 14th, 2019, 05:25 PM
  #6  
J62
 
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Also look at Autoeurope.com to compare rates.
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May 14th, 2019, 06:32 PM
  #7  
 
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My brother is an Australian resident. He has found that renting through sites like AutoEurope and happytoursUSA gets him the best deals in the US. They have no cancellation fees, include excellent insurance coverage, allow a free additional driver, and have better rates too!
lcuy is offline  
May 14th, 2019, 09:07 PM
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Rentalcars.com is also great for international drivers. We have used them in the past and live in New Zealand. This time when we go to Las Vegas next month, we have booked through Alamo, and let them know what country we are from. The rental car amount covers the relevant insurance that we need.
nelsonian is offline  
May 15th, 2019, 08:48 AM
  #9  
 
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rentalcars.com often sells you "third party" insurance which can be a bit of a nightmare if you have an accident. If the prices are comparable, better to book directly with a rental company that includes complete "damage waiver" rather than "collision insurance".
In some places, (not sure about LV), rentalcars.com has cancellation policies that are questionable and the internet is full of complaints regarding such. Flights can sometimes be a few hours late, having your car rental "cancelled" if you do not show up within an hour of the reserved time is a money-grabbing policy indeed. Read the fine print!
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May 15th, 2019, 11:34 AM
  #10  
 
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make sure you find the slot to note that you are from Australia as the rates/insurance requirements are different than for someone who already has their own insurance for the U.S.
Puzzled as to what this means, the companies offer the same insurance to every nationality and assume that the driver has none. The onus is on the renter to know what insurance coverage they are bringing to the transaction, and what insurance components offered with the contract they can safely refuse.

Liability Damage Waiver (LDW)
The L stands for Loss, not liability. AFAIK LDW and CDW are synonyms. Some liability comes automatically with any rental. Often there is option to buy additional liability but I haven't sussed out whether that is some kind of a scam or not. I've never read about anyone needing additional liability.
tom_mn is offline  
May 15th, 2019, 01:31 PM
  #11  
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Thank you, thank you, thank you. I love the input from my Fodors Famiky. I can now make an informed decision.
Aussiefolk is offline  
May 15th, 2019, 03:38 PM
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tom_mn: >>Puzzled as to what this means, the companies offer the same insurance to every nationality and assume that the driver has none.<<

Not true. Almost no foreign visitors have auto insurance that covers hire in the States, whereas most Americans have private insurance that covers them in rental cars. Some brokers/agencies have filled the void by offering special deals for foreign visitors that lump insurance/unlimited mileage/drop off fees into one quote.
janisj is offline  
May 16th, 2019, 07:28 AM
  #13  
 
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Not true. Almost no foreign visitors have auto insurance that covers hire in the States, whereas most Americans have private insurance that covers them in rental cars. Some brokers/agencies have filled the void by offering special deals for foreign visitors that lump insurance/unlimited mileage/drop off fees into one quote.
You are not contradicting what I said: you will be offered directly from the agency the same CDW plans, glass and tire coverage, roadside assistance, theft from vehicle, and other add-ons regardless of your country of origin (would be happy to be proven wrong, though). The rental car company assumes that you have no coverage. Yes, American drivers may already have personal insurance that covers domestic rentals. The OP did mention having some travel insurance coverage with a very high deductible.

The only exception I have experienced with nationalities is that rental car companies may be required by EU law to cover EU residents at a higher rate of liability than others. Americans will be offered an "additional liability" add-on that buys them up to the coverage level that EU residents are offered for free. At least that was my experience with a Norway rental when entering 2 different countries of residence on the Avis website and comparing the rates and coverage offered. And I realize Norway is not in the EU but they follow some of the laws.

I believe everyone when they say that third party sites offer insurance bundles that save money.

Edit: I'm mistaken, it's more complicated. I just checked a possible California rental of an Impala using hertz.com and hertz.com.au same dates side by side and the insurance offered is not the same: CDW with a $2000 deductible is offered for free from the Australia site, and not from the American site.

Last edited by tom_mn; May 16th, 2019 at 07:55 AM.
tom_mn is offline  
May 16th, 2019, 01:06 PM
  #14  
 
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Yes that is what I have found tom_mn, which is why travellers from outside of the US, have to make sure they have adequate insurance cover when they are renting a car in the US.
nelsonian is offline  
May 16th, 2019, 02:07 PM
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>>Edit: I'm mistaken, it's more complicated. I just checked a possible California rental of an Impala using hertz.comand hertz.com.au same dates side by side and the insurance offered is not the same: CDW with a $2000 deductible is offered for free from the Australia site, and not from the American site.<<

THAT is what we've been trying to explain. There are heavy discounts through the rental agency foreign websites and sometimes even deeper discounts through foreign visitor-focused brokers. There is a niche but large market and there are a lot of players because everyone visiting from overseas needs insurance coverage.
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