Does My Credit Card Cover Car Rental Insurance?
Every time you rent a car, you’re probably faced with the question at the counter: Would you like to purchase car rental insurance? Put on the spot, it’s difficult to make the right decision. You never know what might happen, so being covered is always a good idea. Then again, buying car rental insurance from the rental company may be a waste of money if you’re already covered on your existing policy. Even better, if you have a credit card and you’re renting your car on that credit card, your bank might already offer some sort of coverage on car rentals.
The best way to find out if your credit card covers your car rental is to, of course, call the bank customer service and speak to a representative who can determine the exact details of your credit card benefits. Most Visa credit cards cover you if you are renting a car.
Before you decide how to answer that question at the counter, though, you should do your research. First, determine if your current auto insurance policy covers rental cars. Talk to your agent and see what and who is covered under your policy. Chances are you are already covered. If you’re traveling with a friend, your friend may not be covered under your policy, so it may be best to buy coverage from the car rental company. Furthermore, your policy may not cover certain types of vehicles, so you have to take that into consideration as well.
Your credit card may offer auto rental collision damage waiver insurance, which is a type of benefit that will cover to physical damage or theft of the rented vehicle. It does not include injuries to people or any damage to property inside the vehicle. According to Bank of America’s website, all of their consumer credit cards offer this benefit. You should check with your bank for your benefit details and determine what exactly your credit card company will cover in the case of an accident in a rental vehicle. To make use of this benefit, you have to reserve and pay for the rental using the credit card, and make sure your name is on both the rental agreement and on the list of authorized users on the credit card.
Some rental car companies will require that your bank provide a letter of eligibility if you decide not to buy coverage from them. Most banks will provide this letter easily if you request it ahead of time.
No matter what type of coverage you have or decide to buy, it’s always best to do your research well before you rent your vehicle. Talk to your insurance agent to decide what’s best for you.