Thousands of individuals obtain cars from car rental agencies each year, but when it comes to protecting themselves financially while in possession of the car, many individuals have questions about the best way to protect themselves. One of the biggest questions that may be on their mind is whether the rental car insurance supplied by their golden or platinum credit cards is adequate protection against damage or theft of the rental car. Many individuals decline the rental car insurance offered by the rental car company because they believe that the insurance offered by their credit card is enough to handle any issue that may arise. So are they correct?
The short answer is that it depends on the specifics of the insurance offered by the credit card company. There are many credit card companies that claim that if you rent a car using their credit card, they will provide insurance coverage for you for as long as you have the car. For many individuals, this seems like adequate protection for any instances where they need to rent a car. The problem occurs when the individuals fail to read the fine print of their credit card disclosures. Although many credit card companies offer rental car insurance, the actual items covered may vary from company to company.
Reading the disclosures for the rental car insurance portion of the credit card terms and conditions can save an individual a great deal of hassle in the long run. For instance, while some credit card companies claim to offer full coverage insurance for the rental car, it is only valid if the car is rented from a certain car rental agency. The coverage may also be limited to a certain type or class of car, meaning that if any other type or class of car is rented, the coverage will not be valid. Other credit card companies limit their liability to the amount of the deductible of your personal car insurance policy and will not pay above this amount to have the car repaired or replaced, leaving the card owner responsible for the rest of the costs.
Even the credit card companies that offer extensive insurance coverage for rental cars will typically only provide collision and comprehensive coverage for the car, leaving the card holder responsible for any property damage or personal injury costs that may be incurred. Credit card companies also do not typically provide reimbursement for any personal belongings that may be lost if the car is stolen while in the card holder’s possession. It’s a good idea to take any valuables you may have in the car with you. Although the credit card rental car insurance may help the card owner a great deal when an issue arises, a card holder that depends on this insurance alone may find themselves in a tight spot if the insurance does not cover what they think it does. Make sure that you read the fine print and are aware of the coverage that it provides before your next car rental.