Be careful w/ American Express car rental insurance!

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jakebeller
 
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Be careful w/ American Express car rental insurance!

Postby jakebeller » Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:15 pm

Watch out because every time I’ve rented a car I have declined covered because of the American Express car rental insurance. I naively concluded that it would function in a manner similar to traditional auto insurance and it does not! I found this on americanexpress.com and I believe it is a bit misleading.

Renting a car? We've got you covered
Stop worrying about expensive car insurance policies when renting a car — you can be covered with Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance at no additional charge.
On the no annual fee American Express cards the car rental insurance is only for “loss and damage”. I am unsure if the cards with fees offer better protection but I did a search on americanexpress.com to find the definition and it stated it applies to theft or damage. What is the word “damage” entail? Because the way it reads makes it sound like it applies to collisions. How about things like vandalism, weather damage or a door ding in a parking lot from another vehicle?

Then I was even more surprised to see what vehicles are excluded.

Standard vehicles only. Excludes, but not limited to, luxury vehicles, SUVs, and pickup trucks
Pickup trucks and SUVs are excluded? If I rent a Lincoln or Cadillac am I excluded? Would a Buick be considered a luxury vehicle too?

Then the American Express car rental insurance does not cover a great amount.

Up to $50,000 in coverage for damage,
theft, or loss; Platinum Card® members
receive up to $75,000
Really, $50,000 is all? A crash into another vehicle would easily cost that if both were totaled.

Then you got to remember this is secondary coverage to regular auto insurance. That for most of us the crash would first get billed to the regular car insurance and that means a deductible to pay and an accident on the insurance record.

Thank God I have not had an accident or damage to a rental car yet and that I discovered this information now! Am I the only one that is disappointed with how American Express auto rental insurance works?


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Elliot Castro
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Postby Elliot Castro » Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:04 pm

Really, $50,000 is all? A crash into another vehicle would easily cost that if both were totaled.


If you had a crash that bad, I think you would be spending the next couple years going to church being just thankful you are still alive.

jakebeller
 
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Postby jakebeller » Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:55 pm

Elliot Castro wrote:If you had a crash that bad, I think you would be spending the next couple years going to church being just thankful you are still alive.


I know a man that tapped a car's bumper at a stop light. There was no damage whatsoever to either car. The paint was in mint condition on both cars without a scratch. The other driver said to forget about it and then 3 months later he received a call from his insurance company that the other driver was suing $100,000 claiming whiplash, backpain and loss of work from injuries. This is an example of how a fender bender can easily exceed $50,000 and if two cars were totaled it could be many times that amount. The American Express car rental insurance won't provide me much ease of mind in a world where ambulance chasers are abound.

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Elliot Castro
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Postby Elliot Castro » Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:33 pm

Time for that man to counter-sue for 2x as much in that case.

BTW, no one ever gets their opening bid in a suit, even when they win.

bubblebusteconomy
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Postby bubblebusteconomy » Sun Feb 13, 2011 4:04 am

Does this surprise you my friend? Credit cards are not your friend but your foe.
Cards: NONE!

DoingHomework
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Postby DoingHomework » Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:51 pm

The original post is correct. I was in an extremely minor incident last year in a rental car, paid for with Amex. There was no damage at all to the rental car. The other car was slightly damaged (probably under $500). Fault was hard to determine - I honestly thought it was my fault based on the facts. The cops said they Could not tell. The investigation determined it was the other guy's fault. My own car insurance company (State Farm) would have covered the other guy's damage completely had it been my fault (under my liability protection). Damage to the rental car would have been covered under my comprehensive coverage. Amex would have covered any deductible I had to pay. Knowing this let's me carry a very high deductible and save on premiums.

State Farm was very helpful in my situation and explained everything very clearly. They also stood firmly and did a good job protecting me. My rates did NOT go up. They explained exactly what coverage I had and made it clear that there was no reason ever to pay for rental car insurance at the counter given my regular coverage.

I agree though with the original post = it is important to know what is covered and what is not. Your regular insurance is far more useful than what you get from Amex.

CCG
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Primary Car Rental Insurance

Postby CCG » Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:43 pm

These are valid concerns to have and this is why it is extremely important for all credit card users to read and understand the benefits before using them.

If you would like a credit card that offered primary coverage on rentals instead of secondary, there are some that offer it. Here are my sponsored reviews for them:
Continental Airlines Credit Card (great signup bonus with this)
American Express Blue Sky Preferred(available as an optional add-on for $24.95 per rental)

Those cards offered it as of Feb. 2011 but in the future please check the above reviews and applications to confirm primary insurance coverage is still offered, since any credit card's benefits are subject to change.

All the best,
CreditCardGuru

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Pete838
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Postby Pete838 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:20 pm

AMEX is now offering a membership to a "premium rental car coverage" insurance. Every time you rent a car your card is hit for $24.95 extra. It's good for $100K, and up to 42 days continuous rental. If you rent a car today in LA and tomorrow in Boston you get charged 2x$24.95. The difference is that this is PRIMARY coverage, as opposed to secondary coverage, behind your personal auto insurance. It sounds like it could get expensive to someone who rents a lot. I have not signed up.

Interesting that the standard insurance excludes SUV's. I generally get an SUV and (apparently incorrectly) assumed I was covered.

https://www295.americanexpress.com/premium/car-rental-insurance-coverage/home.do?intlink=premiumprotecthub_hero_multiple_pcrp
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.
Ronald Reagan

DoingHomework
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Postby DoingHomework » Fri Feb 18, 2011 1:36 pm

Pete838 wrote:AMEX is now offering a membership to a "premium rental car coverage" insurance. Every time you rent a car your card is hit for $24.95 extra. It's good for $100K, and up to 42 days continuous rental. If you rent a car today in LA and tomorrow in Boston you get charged 2x$24.95. The difference is that this is PRIMARY coverage, as opposed to secondary coverage, behind your personal auto insurance. It sounds like it could get expensive to someone who rents a lot. I have not signed up.

Interesting that the standard insurance excludes SUV's. I generally get an SUV and (apparently incorrectly) assumed I was covered.

https://www295.americanexpress.com/premium/car-rental-insurance-coverage/home.do?intlink=premiumprotecthub_hero_multiple_pcrp


Also bear in mind that if you have 2 primary coverages (AMEX and your regular car insurance) you are not doubly insured. It just means that they will have to hash it out. It makes very little sense to have two primary coverages. My regular insurance company told me that it was a waste of money even though it could let them share costs in the event of an accident. Many people are suckered into thinking that if you have the AMEX coverage then your regular insurance company would not be told of an accident. But that is not true.

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Mogul of Pineapples
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Postby Mogul of Pineapples » Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:33 pm

DoingHomework wrote:Many people are suckered into thinking that if you have the AMEX coverage then your regular insurance company would not be told of an accident. But that is not true.


Their website for the premium program claims otherwise, think Amex is stretching the truth?
Disclosure: I am a moderator/paid staff of this site, which does have advertising relationships with some credit cards that are discussed and linked to. Regardless, anything I say is my honest opinion.

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