If you decline protection at a rental automotive company in favor of the safety your bank card presents, you’ll most likely face that dreaded query from the salesperson: “Are you positive?”
You realize your bank card’s coverage doesn’t cowl completely every part. However on the similar time, you don’t wish to pay upward of $10 a day on the final second for protection you won’t want. So as an alternative of creating a split-second choice on the counter, evaluation your choices beforehand. Right here’s what your bank card safety won’t cowl.
Loss or harm already coated by your personal auto insurance coverage
Earlier than leaning in your bank card for rental automotive safety, discover out whether or not it presents main or secondary protection. To do that, ask your issuer.
“The protection on bank cards sometimes isn’t main insurance coverage,” says Neil Abrams, president of Abrams Consulting Group, a world consulting and analysis agency specializing in floor transportation and automotive leases. “It’s secondary insurance coverage, which suggests your personal [auto] insurance coverage stands in entrance of your bank card insurance coverage.”
Even so, this protection will be precious. In case your card presents secondary protection by way of an auto rental collision harm waiver, or CDW, it might choose up the invoice for sure prices that aren’t coated, equivalent to your auto insurance coverage deductible. And in case you don’t have auto insurance coverage, or are driving in a rustic the place your auto insurance coverage doesn’t cowl you, your card’s coverage might develop into main. For a lot of, that’s motive sufficient to skip the costly protection offered on the counter.
Even in order for you extra safety, shopping for main protection individually on the rental automotive company or by way of a 3rd occasion firm — equivalent to Allianz Journey or Bonzah — isn’t your solely possibility. You would additionally use a bank card that comes with main safety. Chase, for instance, presents main protection on lots of its bank cards. With American Categorical playing cards, you’ll be able to usually pay further for main protection that’s less expensive than the insurance policies you should buy at a rental automotive company. Phrases apply.
Sure automobiles, together with RVs and luxurious automobiles
Wrecking a Ferrari might show way more costly than wrecking a Nissan Altima, and your bank card auto rental CDW takes that under consideration. Usually, luxurious automobiles and different high-value automobiles are excluded out of your card’s protection. In some circumstances, you may need to offer extra paperwork to the rental automotive company when renting automobiles like these, too.
“For specialty automobiles, luxurious automobiles and high-value automobiles, many rental automotive firms might require you to offer your personal insurance coverage,” Abrams says.
Likewise, your bank card won’t cowl you if you’re renting leisure automobiles, bikes, vans and trailers. In that case, discover out whether or not your private auto insurance coverage or householders insurance coverage insurance policies cowl you. In the event that they don’t, buying separate protection — say, by way of a rental automotive company or a 3rd occasion firm — could possibly be a wise name.
Rental automobiles in sure international locations
Though you’ll be able to usually depend on your card’s auto rental CDW exterior of the USA, some international locations are excluded from these insurance policies. Take into account:
Visa: Protection excludes “theft or harm from rental transactions that originated in Israel, Jamaica, the Republic of Eire, or Northern Eire,” in line with phrases. It’s additionally not out there the place it’s prohibited by regulation or violates the territory phrases of the auto rental settlement or prohibited by particular person retailers.
Mastercard: Protection excludes “automobiles rented in Republic of Eire, Northern Eire, Israel, Jamaica,” in line with the phrases. It’s additionally not legitimate in international locations the place it’s prohibited by that nation’s regulation or its phrases are in battle with the legal guidelines of that nation.
American Categorical: Protection excludes “rental automobiles rented in Australia, Italy, New Zealand and any nation on the [Office of Foreign Assets Control] sanctioned nation checklist,” in line with the phrases.
Should you’re renting a automotive exterior of your card’s protection space, issue that into your funds. You may need to buy safety individually by way of the rental automotive company or a 3rd occasion firm.
Bank card rental automotive protection is designed for short-term leases, usually shorter than a month. You often gained’t see such restrictions if you’re paying for protection individually at a day by day price on the rental counter or by way of a 3rd occasion firm.
Phrases fluctuate. However usually, Mastercard’s auto rental CDW sometimes doesn’t apply to rental durations that “exceed or are meant to exceed 15 consecutive days.” Visa’s coverage sometimes comes with an identical restriction, although it covers longer leases if you’re touring exterior of the USA. AmEx sometimes covers leases lasting 30 consecutive days or fewer, although you’ll be able to pay for longer-term protection. Phrases apply.
Bank card rental automotive safety doesn’t cowl every part. However different insurance policies you would possibly buy — say, at a rental automotive company or by way of a 3rd occasion — additionally include caveats. It doesn’t matter what coverage you determine to go together with, loss or harm won’t be coated in case you’re:
Driving on sure surfaces. Driving on unpaved roads or off-road carries extra danger and could also be excluded from protection.
Being negligent. Should you go away the automotive unattended and operating, for instance, you would be on the hook if the automotive is stolen.
Driving whereas intoxicated. Should you’re drunk or medicine if you wreck, you’ll be answerable for any harm.
Deal with the rental automotive with further care, no matter whether or not you get protection by way of your bank card or elsewhere. That method, if you want protection, it’ll be there for you.
This text was written by NerdWallet and was initially printed by Forbes.