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Can I get Car Rental Insurance from a Credit Card?

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  • Written By: M.C. Huguelet
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 31 October 2016
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You may have heard that your credit card company provides insurance coverage when you rent a car. In order to ensure that you get car rental insurance from a credit card, however, you should be aware of a few common terms and conditions before you rent. First of all, you must follow certain steps at the time of rental to qualify for coverage. In addition, some cards offer only coverage that supplements your regular auto insurance, and many do not cover certain types of charges. Finally, should your car become damaged, you generally must follow a specific protocol to file your claim.

In order to get car rental insurance from a credit card company, you must usually begin by following two important steps at the time of rental. First of all, for coverage to be activated, most credit card companies stipulate that a rental must be fully paid for with an eligible card. Additionally, in most cases you must also refuse the rental agency’s collision coverage.

You should also be aware that some cards only offer coverage that supplements your regular auto insurance. Therefore, you may wish to contact your regular insurance provider before you rent a car to ensure that your policy includes some rental coverage. If your credit card company provides only secondary coverage and you have no regular auto insurance, it may be necessary to purchase coverage through your rental agency.

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Most card companies stipulate a number of situations in which insurance coverage will be refused. For instance, coverage will generally be refused if a rental car was damaged while you were intoxicated or while being driven by an individual not named on your rental contract. Some card companies do not offer coverage for cars rented outside of your home country or for long-term rentals.

Should your car become damaged, you generally must follow a specific protocol to file your insurance claim. Many companies stipulate that claims must be filed within a certain time frame and require documentation such as accident reports, photographs, and repair bills. Even if your card company agrees to pay your claim, you may be held accountable for certain ineligible charges, such as the fee sometimes assessed by rental agencies for the potential revenue lost while a car is being repaired. To avoid unexpected charges, you should consider reviewing your card company’s rental insurance policy each time you rent a car.

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