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New Member
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎04-08-2011
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Stupid Question: American Express Rental Insurance Coverage

Okay, I'm in the market for a new credit card or two, and I was just looking at American Express Clear, a card that I ALREADY HAVE, and it lists auto rental insurance as a benefit.

 

Is this benefit automatic?  I.e. When you go to Enterprise and pay with your American Express Clear, it's automatically covered?

 

Because I've paid extra rental insurance every single time and if it's automatic from AmEx, I feel so stupid.

Super Contributor
Posts: 5,759
Registered: ‎01-28-2008
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Re: Stupid Question: American Express Rental Insurance Coverage


Corona wrote:

Okay, I'm in the market for a new credit card or two, and I was just looking at American Express Clear, a card that I ALREADY HAVE, and it lists auto rental insurance as a benefit.

 

Is this benefit automatic?  I.e. When you go to Enterprise and pay with your American Express Clear, it's automatically covered?

 

Because I've paid extra rental insurance every single time and if it's automatic from AmEx, I feel so stupid.


Yes, its automatic.  Most prime cards(including Capital One) have that benefits.  I never pay for car rental insurance when using my credit card.  But be sure to read the fine print about the car rental insurance benefit. 

Established Contributor
Posts: 982
Registered: ‎05-27-2009
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Re: Stupid Question: American Express Rental Insurance Coverage

I may be incorrect, but even though AMEX offers that benefit, they typically charge you $19.99 flat fee for the whole rental (rather than paying a daily fee).


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Established Contributor
Posts: 1,003
Registered: ‎05-14-2008
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Re: Stupid Question: American Express Rental Insurance Coverage

[ Edited ]

Not a stupid question at all and the answer is not as clear cut as it would seem.  The FREE coverage you get with almost all credit and charge cards is SECONDARY coverage, in other words if you have a crash or some other claim the card company will tell you to contact your own PRIMARY insurance company first and jump through all the hoops yourself, including paying your deductible.  The coverage by the CCC then picks up the difference.  This is fine as far as it goes as it prevents you from suffering a huge financial loss but it can be a hassle, especially since your probability of a claim is enhanced with a rental car (strange vehicle, driving in strange areas, target of rental vehicle by thieves and crooks).  And if that happens your own premium may well go up.

 

The insurance pitched by the rental companies clears you of all that hassle but it is hideously expensive and is not a good deal in most cases.

 

Enter the AMEX Premium Car Rental Plan ---- For $24.95 PER RENTAL (up to 42 days) it covers you completely.  For a ten day rental it costs $2.50/day.....peanuts for a zero liability situation.  Total the car?  Flip the keys back to the rental company and tell AMEX to take care of it.  I've used it for years (I'm grandfathered in at $19.95 per rental period as they used to have two plans, one with slightly less coverage), the premium automatically shows up on your account whenever you rent a vehicle.  It's one of the great benefits of AMEX, a zero liability cost to the cardmember (other than the premium) with full coverage  for a very reasonable price.  And except for a few countries (Australia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, and New Zealand) it is good worldwide.  Think about it, would you really want the hassie of dealing with an accident or vehicle theft on your holiday in the Czech Republic through your own insurance company?  Or would it be easier to walk away and have AMEX take care of it?  It's a no brainer.  

 

 

 

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Regular Contributor
Posts: 246
Registered: ‎11-05-2008
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Re: Stupid Question: American Express Rental Insurance Coverage

Watchmann is correct, most all credit card companies offer secondary insurance coverage but not primary.  There are a few that offer primary coverage, Discover Escape and a credit union or two.  I'm sure there are more that I am unaware of, but they are rare.  I signed up for the coverage on my platinum card and I think it offered 2 options, one I believe was $19.99 per rental and the other was $24.95 as Watchmann stated.  They were both primary but the higher priced one had higher limits and is the one I chose.  I've never done this and don't advocate it but I suppose I could rent a car using my Amex card and then when I got back put the charges on another card if there had been no damage.  The $24.95 is well worth the freedom from any complications should there ever be a problem. 

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