While it’s true that many credit card companies automatically provide rental car coverage to cardholders, that statement is not as cut-and-dried as you might think. If you’ve ever taken the time to read the back of your credit card statement, you know that those companies and their lawyers are in love with fine print. Even professionals in the industry sometimes have trouble understanding all the exceptions, limitations and exclusions that are contained in credit card agreements. So let’s take a quick look at some tips related to car rental insurance and credit cards.
First, if you reserve a car through RentaCarNow.com and plan to take advantage of any coverage offered by your credit card, you need to make sure that you use that card to pay for the rental. If you determine that your Visa card has the best rental car insurance coverage but you pay with your American Express, then you can’t count on any assistance from Visa. Second, your credit card is only likely to cover anything that happens while you are driving, and not a co-worker or friend. Also don’t assume that the coverage from your credit card company will be all-inclusive. While it will generally cover damage to the car, it might not cover what is called “loss of use” that might be charged by the rental car company. Basically that’s a charge for lost revenue by the rental car company because the damaged car could not be rented while it was being fixed. Also check for other exclusions – some of the more common ones are rental trucks, long-term rentals of more than 30 days and car rentals in foreign countries. So the best advice is to read through your credit card agreement to see exactly what is covered, and if you determine that there might be gaps in that coverage, it’s a good idea to at least consider buying the insurance coverage offered by the rental car companies.