Credit card as primary rental car insurance?

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Topic Author
medic
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:30 am

Credit card as primary rental car insurance?

Post by medic » Tue Jul 30, 2019 9:56 am

All of our cars are >7 years old, so we only have liability coverage on our auto insurance.
All of my credit cards offer secondary insurance on rental cars.

Since my auto insurance coverage is liability only, does that make the credit card insurance primary if something happens to a rental car I'm using?

TravelGeek
Posts: 3186
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: Credit card as primary rental car insurance?

Post by TravelGeek » Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:05 am

I think the answer is yes. For example, my Chase Freedom Unlimited benefits guide (googled for it) states:

"What is Auto Rental CDW?

The Auto Rental CDW benefit provides reimbursement for damage
due to collision or theft up to the actual cash value of most rental
vehicles. Within your country of residence, Auto Rental CDW is
secondary coverage which means it supplements, and applies in
excess of, any valid and collectible insurance or reimbursement from
any source.
It does not duplicate insurance provided by or purchased
through the auto rental company. Auto Rental CDW will not pay
for theft or damage reimbursable by your own insurer, employer,
employer’s insurance, or any other valid and collectible reimbursement.
However, this benefit will pay for the outstanding deductible portion or
other charges, including valid administration and loss-of-use charges
not covered by your applicable automobile insurance policy.
Outside your country of residence or if you do not have automobile
insurance, you do not have to claim payment from any other source of
insurance before receiving coverage under this benefit.
"

(bolding added)

Obviously, read your own card's benefits guide, make sure you understand its rules regarding exclusions (types of vehicles, length of rental, ...). Also, benefits may change over time (Citi just decided to remove this benefit from a bunch of cards).

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Nate79
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Location: Delaware

Re: Credit card as primary rental car insurance?

Post by Nate79 » Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:12 am

When looking at credit card coverage also look at the $$ limits. For some I looked at in the past it was pretty pitiful small coverage compared to how much coverage I keep personally with my own insurance.

TravelGeek
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Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: Credit card as primary rental car insurance?

Post by TravelGeek » Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:15 am

Nate79 wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:12 am
When looking at credit card coverage also look at the $$ limits. For some I looked at in the past it was pretty pitiful small coverage compared to how much coverage I keep personally with my own insurance.
Are you thinking of Liability? Credit card coverage typically doesn't include that.

Iridium
Posts: 542
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 10:49 am

Re: Credit card as primary rental car insurance?

Post by Iridium » Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:27 am

TravelGeek wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:15 am
Nate79 wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:12 am
When looking at credit card coverage also look at the $$ limits. For some I looked at in the past it was pretty pitiful small coverage compared to how much coverage I keep personally with my own insurance.
Are you thinking of Liability? Credit card coverage typically doesn't include that.
OP's auto insurance would be primary for liability claims. So liability limits won't matter, just the limit on covering the car and loss of use.

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Nate79
Posts: 5311
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Location: Delaware

Re: Credit card as primary rental car insurance?

Post by Nate79 » Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:32 am

TravelGeek wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:15 am
Nate79 wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:12 am
When looking at credit card coverage also look at the $$ limits. For some I looked at in the past it was pretty pitiful small coverage compared to how much coverage I keep personally with my own insurance.
Are you thinking of Liability? Credit card coverage typically doesn't include that.
Yes, I think I misunderstood. Thanks for the clarification.

TravelGeek
Posts: 3186
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: Credit card as primary rental car insurance?

Post by TravelGeek » Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:21 pm

Iridium wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:27 am
TravelGeek wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:15 am
Nate79 wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:12 am
When looking at credit card coverage also look at the $$ limits. For some I looked at in the past it was pretty pitiful small coverage compared to how much coverage I keep personally with my own insurance.
Are you thinking of Liability? Credit card coverage typically doesn't include that.
OP's auto insurance would be primary for liability claims. So liability limits won't matter, just the limit on covering the car and loss of use.
Right. And the card CDW feature likely has a limit on the cost and/or type of vehicle they cover. For example, again from my Chase Freedom Unlimited (which I don’t actually use for rentals since I have a CSR with primary coverage):
Excluded worldwide are: expensive, exotic, and antique automobiles;
certain vans; vehicles that have an open cargo bed; trucks; motorcycles, mopeds, and motorbikes; limousines; and recreational vehicles.
• Examples of excluded expensive or exotic automobiles are these brands: Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Bentley, Corvette, Ferrari, Jaguar, Lamborghini, Lotus, Maserati, Maybach, McLaren, Porsche, Rolls Royce, and Tesla. However, selected models of Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac, Infiniti, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, and Range Rover are covered
Note to self: read the CSR terms and request details about the “selected models of...” because I quite often get Audis, BMWs or Mercedes in Europe. My gut feel is that those lower end models are covered, but...

orlandoman
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Re: Credit card as primary rental car insurance?

Post by orlandoman » Tue Jul 30, 2019 3:52 pm

"The Auto Rental CDW benefit provides reimbursement for damage due to collision or theft up to the actual cash value of most rental vehicles."

Not sure what card you have ... but, make sure to understand what's covered. For the quote above, notice that things like hail, floods, vandalism & probably more isn't covered.
"Don't Believe Everything You Think"

Topic Author
medic
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:30 am

Re: Credit card as primary rental car insurance?

Post by medic » Wed Jul 31, 2019 3:34 am

Thanks. Planning to use my Costco visa which still has rental car coverage covering whatever fleet vehicle Avis will put me in for a week.

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