Why Consumers Should Watch for Changes in Car Rental Insurance
March 8, 2019
Before deciding on coverage, make sure you check the fine print
When renting a car, customers have traditionally turned down coverage from the companies they’re renting from and use the protection offered by insurance policies on their own vehicles or even their credit cards.
Recently however, credit cards companies like Discovery have cut out rental insurance, while competitors like American Express and Chase are limiting that service. In particular, Citibank cut the limit of its coverage, previously at $100,000, in half.
According to a finding by Consumer Reports, which alludes that other credit card companies may follow suit, that makes the prospect of getting insurance coverage offered by vehicle rental agencies a more likely option. Given these changes on the horizon, Consumer Reports suggests anyone looking at renting a car check the policies and stipulations concerning their own auto coverage, as well as what’s still being offered by their credit card.
“Should there be a claim, the credit card insurance could be in line to cover it, and your own auto insurance rates may not change,” said Octavio Blanco, the money editor at Consumer Reports.
Ordinarily, a renter needs to pay for the rental fee and all the additional expenses in such a transaction with a credit card. Those deciding to go with their car insurance policies instead would normally have the rental providing that same coverage. However, potential consumers need to check the terms of each option carefully for any differences in coverage.
For example, car insurance policies that don’t have collision coverage might want to take advantage of purchasing insurance protection for additional peace of mind in the event of an accident. However, for those planning to travel outside the country in a rental, an auto policy might not qualify due to different laws affecting rental insurance, making it ideal to get extra coverage from a car rental company.
That said, it’s best to purchase only what you need, as Consumer Reports revealed that with car rental insurance starting to look more attractive, some agencies might be more aggressive than others in trying to sell customers a bigger package than what’s necessary.
That means going the pick-and-pay route, and purchasing only what’s not covered by auto and credit card policies. When assessing how to fill those gaps, options and prices per day to consider include collision damage (up to $15), liability (up to $12), personal accident ($2) and personal effects (up to $4).
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