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mwarnick

Have you ever used your card's travel insurance?

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I'm working on a story for a personal finance website about the supplemental insurance that comes with some credit cards, and I'm wondering if people have ever actually put it to work. If you have a story about using one of the following, I'd love to hear it:

 

Trip cancellation insurance

Lost luggage insurance

Rental car insurance

Travel emergency insurance

Cell phone insurance

 

Post here or drop me an email at melodywarnick at gmail dot com. And feel free to check out my website at www.melodywarnick.com, just so you know I'm, you know, a real human.

 

Thanks so much!

 

Melody

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My gf recently used her WF Visa supplimental insurance for car rental damage. It was fairly straightforward. I've referred your post to her.

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I have waived CDW using my credit card's coverage every time.

 

The only time a claim was ever filed was when I had a rental and someone rear-ended me in a parking lot, causing a large dent and scratches to the rental.

 

The claim was filed as a "just in case," because what happened is the rental company collected payment from the insurance of the person who hit me.

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A few years ago I was driving on a highway near Durango, CO when a pack of coyotes ran in front of me and I hit one. I had a fair amount of damage to the bumper, front grill and hood. I'd reserved the car with a Capital One Platinum MasterCard and my personal insurance policy covered rental cars so I waived the Hertz "collision damage waiver". BTW, note that hitting an animal invokes the "comprehensive" part of an insurance policy rather than the "collision" portion.

 

Damages from the accident were about $1500 and it took a couple of months before Hertz completed the repairs. Since the MasterCard credit card insurance was secondary to my personal insurance, the majority of the payment came from my auto insurance policy (at the time I had a $250 deductible). After this was completed the MasterCard policy paid all but $50. HOWEVER, Hertz wanted to add about $500 for "loss of use" of the vehicle which was not covered by either my personal policy nor the credit card policy. The MasterCard insurance representative convinced Hertz to reduce this fee from $500 to $25, and I don't think Hertz ever billed me for that $25. SO...the MasterCard insurance paid off $200 of my $250 but more importantly saved me a lot of money in "loss of use" charges.

 

I have since switched to American Express Premium Car Rental Protection which is primary insurance. According to the terms and conditions it includes "loss of use coverage" but does not cover "dminishment of value" and it is entirely unclear whether this insurance will cover any other administrative charges.

 

Here's hoping that I never have to use this insurance.

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MasterCard coverage will cover "loss of use," however it requires a fleet utilization log which can be a major pain to get from the car rental company.

 

You may have to escalate and insist that no payment can be made without the substantiation.

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Twenty years ago, when I was still in college, I rented a car from Hertz using AT&T Universal Mastercard which provided rental car coverage. Overnight, when the car was parked, someone sideswiped it, ripping the driver side rear-view mirror off the body panel. Damage was something like $2400, all of which was paid by AT&T Universal. Hertz wanted an additional $600 odd for loss of use, which AT&T said they'd not pay unless fleet logs were made available. Hertz never obliged with the fleet logs; I ended up paying it out of my own pocket. $600 was a lot of money for a college student, as you could imagine. Lesson learned: never rent a car. Ponied up $1000 and bought a clunker, a 1985 corolla, which lasted me five years before it died. I never really rented a car to this day since then.

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As a previous insurance adjuster, most insurance companies won't furnish a loss of use payment to a rental car company. Furthermore they need to prove that the vehicle under normal circumstances would be in use such as fleet logs.

 

Under those conditions most of the time that figure that they are claiming can be reduce significantly. Additionally, not at fault accidents which results in a third party or a comprehensive claim such as an animal, they should not request any loss of use. Where there is a third party, that portion would be requested from there insurance.

 

All in all keep in mind that most insurance companies will not pay loss of use and the rental car companies know but they sometimes try anyways. They will settle that at 0. Everything is negotiable. And most of the time they're claim will not and cannot hold up in court or arbitration.

 

So in short, don't let them scare you into paying "LOU".

Edited by Gjnnets

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I handle auto claims for one of the major rental car companies. Keep in mind that when you sing the rental agreement at the counter you are agreeing to the terms and conditions for the rental. Typically loss of use, administration fees and appraisal fees are included in this contract language. No one but the person who rents the car is responsible for paying the fees. There are some insurance companies that will pay them, but they are few and far between. Your major players like Geico, State Farm, USAA, Allstate, Progressive, and Liberty Mutual will not pay them. Sometimes try may do it in the best interest of their insured.

 

With credit card companies covering the fees Visa is by far the best. They will pay not only your deductible , but they will also pay the loss of use and admin fees with no questions asked. American express will cover the loss of use if a rental car companies fleet log shows 85% or greater utilization during the time in which the car was in the shop for repairs. The administration fee they hadn't covered for years up until just recently. I've seen two claims within the past 2 weeks where they have covered the admin fee. Maybe they have changed their in-house policies. I have yet to find out. Prior to two weeks ago they wouldn't cover it period as they required a breakdown of the fee even though they are fully aware it's a set standard fee that is charged.

 

MasterCard will not cover fees charged and even when a fleet utilization log is furnished they still deny coverage for it. Discover is the same way.

 

Two states specifically state admin fees can be charges. California civil code 1936 and within that section it will specifically state the amount that can be charged. Nevada being similar to California you can refer to NRS 482.3143.

 

My advice your best option regarding property damage is Visa. Also keep in mind if you carry liability only on your own personal vehicles then the credit card steps in as primary and covers the damages to the rental as first party coverage.

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I handle auto claims for one of the major rental car companies. Keep in mind that when you sing the rental agreement at the counter you are agreeing to the terms and conditions for the rental. Typically loss of use, administration fees and appraisal fees are included in this contract language. No one but the person who rents the car is responsible for paying the fees. There are some insurance companies that will pay them, but they are few and far between. Your major players like Geico, State Farm, USAA, Allstate, Progressive, and Liberty Mutual will not pay them. Sometimes try may do it in the best interest of their insured.

 

With credit card companies covering the fees Visa is by far the best. They will pay not only your deductible , but they will also pay the loss of use and admin fees with no questions asked. American express will cover the loss of use if a rental car companies fleet log shows 85% or greater utilization during the time in which the car was in the shop for repairs. The administration fee they hadn't covered for years up until just recently. I've seen two claims within the past 2 weeks where they have covered the admin fee. Maybe they have changed their in-house policies. I have yet to find out. Prior to two weeks ago they wouldn't cover it period as they required a breakdown of the fee even though they are fully aware it's a set standard fee that is charged.

 

MasterCard will not cover fees charged and even when a fleet utilization log is furnished they still deny coverage for it. Discover is the same way.

 

Two states specifically state admin fees can be charges. California civil code 1936 and within that section it will specifically state the amount that can be charged. Nevada being similar to California you can refer to NRS 482.3143.

 

My advice your best option regarding property damage is Visa. Also keep in mind if you carry liability only on your own personal vehicles then the credit card steps in as primary and covers the damages to the rental as first party coverage.

 

What if you don't have any auto insurance at all (i.e. don't own any vehicles)? Does this still hold true?

 

Are there any cases where you recommend buying the rental car company's auto insurance?

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I'm working on a story for a personal finance website about the supplemental insurance that comes with some credit cards, and I'm wondering if people have ever actually put it to work. If you have a story about using one of the following, I'd love to hear it:

 

Trip cancellation insurance

Lost luggage insurance

Rental car insurance

Travel emergency insurance

Cell phone insurance

 

Post here or drop me an email at melodywarnick at gmail dot com. And feel free to check out my website at www.melodywarnick.com, just so you know I'm, you know, a real human.

 

Thanks so much!

 

Melody

 

I use Capital One's all the time - even managed a free trip to Hawaii and free rental car. When I complained how my extremely long layover to the island interfered w/ my plans and my vacation, they refunded me. When Alamo over charged me by 4 days, they refunded me....its been great

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I don't tend to get travel insurance but maybe that's because I'm a bit cheap? But saying that, I've never had any problems while I was away anyway but now that I've said that I'll should probably get some travel insurance <_<

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