Saturday, August 13, 2022

Which Credit Cards Have Primary Rental Car Insurance

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Notable Exceptions To Primary Rental Insurance Through Credit Cards

Major credit card companies provide free rental car insurance

Not to make you think insurance could be simple, there are exceptions. Aside from the business / personal use exception listed above, there are other things to know.

Where Youre Driving the Car

Most rental coverage doesnt cover certain places. Aside from the Treasury Departments Office of Foreign Assets Control and their countries you basically cant do business with , there are other countries often not covered. The most common countries blocked from coverage policies: Australia, Israel, Italy, Ireland, Jamaica & New Zealand. Renting a car in these countries? Take a longer look at your coverage options before picking up the car.

Special Cars

Most coverage only applies to standard cars. Anything from compact to full-sized sedan should be good. If youre renting a Hummer or a Ferrari, youre probably not covered. Non-standard is a catch-all term that means cars that are overly pricey or likely to lead you to risky driving wont be covered. This also applies to large vehicles like an RV or a huge van for your family reunion.

Non-Standard Driving Behavior

Speaking of going off-roading, check your coverage terms. If youre doing something outside of normal street driving, you might not be covered. Racing, driving off-road without a special policy addition, or committing a crime behind the wheel can void your coverage.

Length of Rental

What Is Primary Coverage

Primary coverage is offered by far fewer credit cards but is more useful.

For one, primary coverage kicks in before your personal car insurance.

If you have an accident: You wont need to file a claim with your personal insurance company.

That means you wont have to worry about your personal insurance premiums increasing.

Additionally, primary insurance will cover the full cost of damage or theft of nearly any rental car. Primary coverage insurers publish maximums, but these usually exceed the total value of nearly any car that is covered.

Rental Car Insurance: How Your Credit Card Has You Covered

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Its the hard sell at the car rental counter that everyone knows is coming but few know how to handle: rental car coverage. You might recall that your credit card provides some type of free protection for rental cars. Thats probably true, and that coverage can be valuable.

But you have to know what coverage you have and when it applies to your rental.

Consumers can often be confused about what their credit card does and doesnt cover, says Loretta Worters, spokeswoman for the Insurance Information Institute. Thats why its important that they contact their insurance agent as well as their credit card company before signing that contract.

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How Rental Car Insurance On Credit Cards Works

To take advantage of rental car insurance from your credit card, decline the collision damage waiver from your rental car company. If you damage your rental car, you need to submit a claim to your credit card company if you have primary coverage, or submit a claim to your auto insurance, then a claim for any left over expenses to your credit card company.

Primary Vs Secondary Car Rental Insurance: Whats The Difference

Credit Cards with Primary Car Rental Insurance Coverage

When checking to see if your credit card offers car rental insurance, you want to find out as much information as you can about the policy. You can usually find the details in your cards guide to benefits.

If youre lucky enough to have coverage, one of the first things you should determine is whether its to want to find out is if it is primary or secondary coverage.

Lets talk about the differences between the two.

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Do I Need To Decline The Rental Companys Insurance To Use Credit Card Rental Insurance

To use the Collision Damage Waiver protection that comes with many credit cards, you typically do need to decline the insurance products offered by the car rental company. If you purchase insurance coverage from the car rental company, then that insurance will come into play first.

This is generally true even if your credit card offers primary coverage. As always, check the fine print of your credit cards benefits guide to understand the full terms and conditions of the insurance offered by your credit card.

Does Your Personal Auto Insurance Matter

When you rent a car, your personal auto insurance still matters. Just because youre driving a different car than you usually do does not mean that your insurance no longer covers you.

Possibly the most important aspect of your personal auto insurance is the liability coverage.

Liability insurance isnt usually included. If you are at fault for an accident, liability coverage will cover the costs of damage to other vehicles. It will also cover the cost of any injuries suffered by other people that are involved.

If youre relying on secondary coverage for your car rental, your personal auto insurance is actually incredibly important.

Secondary coverage will only kick in once youve exhausted the coverage offered by your personal insurance policy. This includes insurance for collision damage to the vehicle youve rented.

If you decline to purchase insurance from the rental company, your personal insurance will have to cover damage to the car.

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What Credit Card Rental Insurance Wont Cover

While credit card insurance will provide collision, damage, and loss coverage for the rental car itself, it wonât provide third party or personal injury insurance.

That means your credit card wonât cover you for any damage caused to someone elseâs property or medical costs associated with an accident . Outside of a few exceptions , most credit cards also wonât provide personal effects insurance. Personal effects is just a fancy word for valuables. So, if your rental car is stolen and your expensive laptop along with it, you wonât get any money back for your laptop.

Generally, though, if you own a car and already have an auto insurance policy, youâre probably covered for all the above and wonât need to pay out of pocket. But, if you donât and youâre just relying on your credit card, youâll only be covered for the cost of the rental car and youâll need to purchase liability and personal injury insurance.

What Coverage Is Included

I-Team: Top Three Credit Cards for Rental Insurance

There are many coverages that are included and many that are not. You need to make sure that whatever is not covered, you have personal insurance or something similar to help you make sure that all your injuries and damages to property are covered so you dont need to worry about outstanding medical bills and other bills that could affect your quality of life.

Also, keep in mind the specific conditions depends on your credit card company and the benefits each card provides, so check that out before to make sure you’re covered.

In most cases, the coverage includes:

  • Collision damage waiver

This is the most expensive damage offered at the rental counter and the one that makes renting a car outrageously expensive. Having it provided by your credit card company will save you tons of money.

  • Administrative fees

This can cover a wide variety of things including fees from the company or other labor fees that need to be paid for workers.

  • Towing expenses

If you get into an accident the car cannot be driven off the scene, your credit card company will pay for the car to be towed, which can be very costly.

  • Loss of use

This pays the rental car company for the time they dont have the car and cannot use it due to accident repairs or other problems with the car.

There are many things that are not covered that you need to keep in mind in case you get into an accident and might have costs that come from your own wallet.

Things not typically included are:

  • Liability and injury concerns

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Best Business Cards For Rental Car Coverage March 2022

Now lets take a look at the best business credit cards for rental car coverage. Once again, Im focused on cards that offer the best coverage while also offering the most rewards. I want to emphasize for business cards, primary coverage generally only applies when renting for business purposes .

Reward for rental car spending: Up to 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points Card annual fee: $95Other things to be aware of: The Ink Business Preferred offers primary rental car coverage globally with no foreign transaction fees and limited exclusions, all while maximizing the points you earn

Reward for rental car spending: 1x Chase Ultimate Rewards points Card annual fee: $0Other things to be aware of: The Ink Business Cash offers primary rental car coverage globally, which is fantastic for a no annual fee card however, the card does have foreign transaction fees, and doesnt offer bonus points on these purchases

Where Do I File A Car Insurance Claim

If you have both your primary insurance and credit card coverage and need to file a claim, you typically have to go through your primary insurance company first. This is because credit card insurance is considered secondary and won’t pay anything until your primary insurance has paid its part. When you file with your insurance company, your premium may go up. So don’t think that credit card protections will save you from a premium hike.

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Should I Just Get Rental Car Insurance Coverage From The Rental Car Agency

If your credit card doesn’t offer coverage, doesn’t offer good coverage, or it’s just too confusing to figure out, you might want to . You might also consider this coverage if you are renting a car and don’t have insurance. Keep in mind that purchasing additional coverage from the rental car agency won’t necessarily lower your cost. It only covers certain items and only after your primary insurance pays out.

American Express Premium Car Rental Protection

Credit Cards With Primary Rental Car Insurance / Cards that include ...

You can get primary coverage through American Express, but youll have to pay a fee. A charge of $12.25 to $24.95 gives you primary coverage for a rental period of up to 42 days. American Express cards also generally come with complimentary secondary car rental insurance if you dont pay the fee for primary rental coverage, your card will automatically default to secondary coverage.

To use primary rental coverage, youll need to reserve and pay for the rental car with your American Express card. Then be sure to decline all of the following coverages from the rental company:

  • Full collision damage waiver
  • Personal accident insurance
  • Personal property coverage
  • Any coverage similar to the above items

Youll get up to $75,000 in damage and theft coverage when you pay for rental protection, plus coverage for accidental death and dismemberment, and youll be covered worldwide, except in Australia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica and New Zealand.

Here are some popular American Express cards with optional primary rental car insurance:


For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the American Express® Green Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

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Best Personal Cards For Rental Car Coverage March 2022

With the above out of the way, lets take a look at the best personal credit cards for rental car coverage. To me the best coverage would be a policy that gives you a primary CDW benefit globally, and Ill also note how many rewards points you earn per dollar spent , since that should be factored in as well. After all, you want to maximize your return on spending while also maximizing your coverage.

Reward for rental car spending: 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points Card annual fee: $550Other things to be aware of: The Chase Sapphire Reserve offers primary rental car coverage globally with no foreign transaction fees and limited exclusions, all while maximizing the points you earn

Reward for rental car spending: 2x United MileagePlus miles Card annual fee: $250Other things to be aware of: The United Quest Card offers primary rental car coverage globally with no foreign transaction fees and limited exclusions, making it one of the best airline cards for renting cars

How Does Car Rental Insurance With A Credit Card Work

When you rent a car, the car rental company will insure it themselves for the legal minimum amount. Depending on the state or country where youre renting the car, this may be a much lower amount than you expect and may not cover any and all potential damage.

In the rental agreement that youll sign when renting a car, you agree to be responsible for any damage to the car during the rental period, and in some cases, regardless of whether you are at fault. Car rental insurance is a popular credit card benefit and can help ensure that you are not on the hook for hundreds or thousands of dollars in damage.

Car rental insurance is a credit card benefit that helps ensure youre not on the hook for damage to a rental car.

If you have paid for the car rental with a credit card that offers car rental coverage, then the credit card company will get involved if theres damage that requires an insurance claim.

If your credit card offers primary car rental insurance, then the credit card insurance company will handle all claims. If your credit card only offers secondary insurance, then it will only apply after your own personal liability coverage or other insurance providers are contacted.

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How To Tell If Your Credit Card Offers Rental Car Coverage

If your credit card isnt listed above, it may still offer you rental car coverage. There are hundreds of credit card issuers nationwide, including regional banks and credit unions. While rental car Loss Damage Waiver coverage may be provided by the Visa Signature program or by the World Mastercard or World Elite Mastercard programs, having a card that participates in one of these programs is no guarantee of having coverage.

The best way to know if you have Loss Damage Waiver coverage, and what its limitations are, is to consult your cards most recent Guide to Benefits. This is a small booklet thats mailed with your credit card. If, like most people, you no longer have a copy of it, one may be available online. And you can always call your card issuer, ask about your benefits and request a new copy of this guide. The card issuer may even be able to provide you with a link to an electronic copy of this document online.

How Does Coverage Vary For International Rentals

Is your rental car covered with insurance?

Rentals in some countries may be excluded. For example, standard Visa and Mastercard coverage excludes rentals in Israel, Jamaica and Ireland. American Express wont cover in Italy, Australia and New Zealand. Aside from excluded countries, the good news is that if your personal auto policy doesnt cover you outside the United States, your secondary credit card coverage could become primary coverage automatically.


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Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

The popular Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is good for both redeeming points and relying on the rental car coverage.

You can book rental cars with Chase Ultimate Rewards® points and when redeemed for travel, points earned on this card are worth 1.25 cents, meaning a $150 car rental will generally cost about 12,000 points.

Unlike a lot of other credit cards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card also offers primary rental car coverage, meaning itll pay for damages before your own primary auto insurance. The coverage limit is up to the cash value of most rental vehicles.

What Does Credit Card Car Rental Insurance Cover

A credit card with rental car insurance will typically offer a collision damage waiver.

Though this isnt technically insurance, its an agreement with your rental car provider that you wont be financially liable if the vehicle is damaged or stolen on your watch.

Secondary vs. primary coverage for credit card car rental insurance

To evaluate whether credit card car rental insurance works for you, its helpful to know the difference between secondary and primary coverage. You can see what type of coverage a card has in its guide to benefits.

  • Secondary coverage applies after your personal car insurance.This means after an incident, you must file a claim with your personal insurer and pay the required deductible. Most credit card car rental insurance policies offer secondary coverage. However, even if your card has secondary coverage, it might cover the deductible of your personal insurance.
  • Primary coverage applies before your personal car insurance.This is usually much more convenient, as it means you wont have the hassle of filing a claim with your personal insurer. Several credit cards offer primary coverage, most of them issued by Chase.

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Best For Frequent Travelers: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Heres why: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card provides primary coverage for car rental insurance and decent travel rewards.

Youll receive:

  • 5 points per $1 on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3 points per $1 on dining, online grocery purchases, and select streaming services
  • 2 points per $1 on all other travel purchases
  • 1 point per $1 on all other purchases

Plus it comes with travel insurance and no foreign transaction fees.

But youll have to weigh that against the cards $95 annual fee.

To help you decide, learn more with our review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

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