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Does your credit card cover rental car accidents?

artringwald

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For many years I never had an accident with a rental car. This year I had my first. I cut a corner too tight on a narrow road with a rock wall. I heard a crunch, and this was the damage.
2023-02-08 18.39.10.jpg

Just got the estimate from the rental agency, $2600. It doesn't seem unreasonable since 3 panels were damaged and were starting to rust 7 days later when I returned the car (in Kauai). Fortunately, my the insurance for my car at home covered everything except the deductible, and my credit card covered the deductible. I won't owe a thing except perhaps an increase in my premium. I've probably saved a great deal over the years by not paying extra for the rental agency's optional insurance. If you have a credit card that covers rental car accidents, be sure to use it when you rent a car.
 

lockewong

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Wow. I think the Chase Sapphire Reserve covers that. But, I had an issue when I rented a car to tour colleges with my daughter in unfamiliar territory. Use AMEX or Chase Sapphire but check the coverage first. I took out a right view mirror once and it cost mega-bucks since I waived the insurance.
 

CO skier

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I hit a deer and cut it too close to a concrete support in a garage on one 30-day rental. Total repair cost was $860 (which I thought was extraordinarily reasonable), so I just paid it without filing a claim (that would undoubtedly increase my insurance premium beyond all reason) and getting my credit card company involved.

Soon after, I received an offer through my AMEX card for full, primary coverage for each rental for $19.99 up to a 30-day rental. $860 pays for a lot of $19.99 rentals, so I signed up. Now I just charge my car rental to my AMEX card and consider the $19.99 money well spent. I have yet to file a claim (fortunately), so I cannot comment on that part the agreement.
 

dioxide45

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There are a few cards out there that offer primary CDW coverage. Meaning you don't need to run it through your own auto insurance first.
 

Sandy VDH

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I had an accident just over a year ago, in a snow storm I slid into an 18 wheeler on the Highway. The damage was so bad that they wrote off the car. I had used my Chase Sapphire Reserve, and they paid the entire bill. CSR CDW is considered primary insurance. Some CCs only offer secondary coverage.
 

CO skier

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There are a few cards out there that offer primary CDW coverage. Meaning you don't need to run it through your own auto insurance first.
Check the fine print. Many credit card coverage is only for up to a 14-day rental.
 

artringwald

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And the renter is immediately responsible for "out of service time" charges.
Not with National. I reported the accident the day it happened, and they didn't charge me more than the original rate. I didn't get the estimate for repairs until over a month after I returned the car. The estimate included administrative and "out of service time" charges.
 

CO skier

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Not with National. I reported the accident the day it happened, and they didn't charge me more than the original rate. I didn't get the estimate for repairs until over a month after I returned the car. The estimate included administrative and "out of service time" charges.
I was not billed for "out of service" charges for my Enterprise accident. People still need to understand what they are getting in to when declining the rental insurance and relying on their credit card/personal car insurance. Not all rental companies are so "gracious."
 

dioxide45

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Last edited:

dioxide45

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Check the fine print. Many credit card coverage is only for up to a 14-day rental.
I think our United Explorer is 30 days. Something I noticed when renting with Alamo for 35 days was that they actually broke the contract up into 30 days then another contract for 5 days. Budget didn't seem to do the same.
 

CO skier

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That isn't correct. Many (most?) secondary credit card CDW coverages cover loss of use. You need to read through the terms of your CC CDW coverage.
It is not that it is not covered; it is when the bill comes due (immediately). It may take some time for the renter to be reimbursed for "loss of use" charges, if it is covered by their credit card.
 

CO skier

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That isn't correct. Many (most?) secondary credit card CDW coverages cover loss of use. You need to read through the terms of your CC CDW coverage.
One popular example of where you are wrong:

Discover​

Discover

Discover cards limit CDW coverage to $25,000 and don’t cover loss of use fees.
 
Last edited:

dioxide45

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One example of where you are wrong:

Discover​

Discover

Discover cards limit CDW coverage to $25,000 and don’t cover loss of use fees.
Not wrong at all. I didn't say ALL. It seems that the Discover card coverage is garbage. And can you post a bigger image? Good grief!
 

dioxide45

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Discover

Discover cards limit CDW coverage to $25,000 and don’t cover loss of use fees.
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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As others have, stated read the fine print in your rental agreement to know what is and isn't covered. For my VISA card:

  • In the US, the card coverage is secondary to my personal insurance.
  • Outside the US, the card coverage is primary, except .....
  • there are some countries where no coverage is provided. Ireland, Israel, and Mexico are among the countries where the card provides no coverage.
  • Loss of use is included, where not covered by primary insurance.
  • Coverage is only provided when you decline all coverages offered by the car rental company.
 

dioxide45

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It is not that it is not covered; it is when the bill comes due (immediately). It may take some time for the renter to be reimbursed for "loss of use" charges, if it is covered by their credit card.
Generally, for most CDW claims, it isn't a pay and reimburse. You usually submit paperwork to the processing company and they take care of the rest.
 

BJRSanDiego

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About 4 years ago, while on Maui, someone damaged my rental car when parked. No witnesses - - just some damage that I noticed after-the-fact. IIRC, something under $1K. My credit card covered most of the damage. But I ended up having to submit about 45 pages of documents. That included some rental car contract documents that I didn't originally receive (and had to have sent to me). It seemed to be hurdle after hurdle. Three or four times I thought that I had provided everything that they wanted and .... then they demanded yet more documentation. I suspect that they were trying to wear me down. But in the end, the credit card covered the majority of the claim. My own insurance paid $7.
 

Ken555

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I received an offer through my AMEX card for full, primary coverage for each rental for $19.99 up to a 30-day rental. $860 pays for a lot of $19.99 rentals, so I signed up. Now I just charge my car rental to my AMEX card and consider the $19.99 money well spent. I have yet to file a claim (fortunately), so I cannot comment on that part the agreement.

This is what I’ve done for a very long time. It’s just $17.95 for California residents, and I pay it each time I rent.

I had an AMEX claim long ago when in the UK, before I had the premium insurance option, and they paid it all and simply told me to charge the fee on the card and they would credit an equal amount, and that’s what happened. It couldn’t have been easier.


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The Colorado Kid

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TURO car rental - any ideas on if credit cards would cover damage?
 

Ken555

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TURO car rental - any ideas on if credit cards would cover damage?

I last looked into this about six months ago, and they will not cover Turo. They don’t consider it a car rental company.


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klpca

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TURO car rental - any ideas on if credit cards would cover damage?
The fact that most Turo rentals are between two individuals and not a car rental agency disqualifies them from coverage. But I noticed that some of the car rentals in Kauai were actually through a local agency so I was unsure if they would be covered. My price dropped low enough that I didn't pursue it any further.
 

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Most of my car rentals have been overseas, not in the US, and I have only had two damage incidents. One was in France, where someone broke out a back window to steal a light jacket I had left in the backseat overnight. I spent a good part of a morning at the police station waiting for someone who spoke enough English to take the police report I needed. The other was during a timeshare vacation on Corfu where a Greek who had been drinking ran into the rear of my rental car, doing substantial damage, leaving it drivable but just barely. The rental agency office on Corfu swapped out the car for another and then I drove the replacement car back to turn it in at the Athens airport at the end of the rental period.

I rented both on Amex, and other than turning in the police reports, there was little I had to do, and no deposits waiting on insurance payments from Amex. The rental counter at Athens said it was lucky I used Amex because they did require deposits with some credit card coverage. I later dropped Amex because 1) I quit flying DL when they screwed up SkyMiles and DL miles were what Amex earned, and 2) it was either totally impossible or almost impossible to use Amex in the countries I was working in. I saw no reason to keep paying the Amex annual fee. My corporate card from my employer was Amex, but that was also useless.

I researched my other credit cards to use the best one for subsequent rentals, but I have never had any further damage to cars.
 

Luanne

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We found out that our credit card coverage covered everything when we had a small fender bender in Canada. It would not have covered if it has been in the USA. We did have to pay out of pocket, but then we were reimbursed for the full amount.
 
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