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Old Jun 6, 19, 1:39 pm
  #15  
guv1976
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Originally Posted by Qwkynuf View Post
No, your credit card should cover, because it covers *you*. It is assuming your personal liability.

Try this:
  • You rent a car on university business
  • Scenario 1: You run a stop sign and total someone's 1992 Geo Metro (thankfully, no one hurt)
    • The rental company's basic liability covers the full cost of the damage to the Geo
    • Your credit card doesn't get involved because it is "secondary" insurance and only comes into play if the rentals company's maxes out.
    • You are on the hook for any damage to the rental that you are driving, unless your university's agreement includes CDW or you have paid separately for it.
  • Scenario 2: You run a stop sign and total someone's 2019 Porsche Carerra (thankfully, no one hurt)
    • The rental company's basic liability covers the cost of the damage to the Porsche, up to their liability limit.
    • Your credit card is "secondary" insurance and pays any excess damage costs up to their own liability limit.
    • If your credit card insurance maxes out and there is still damage to pay for, your personal auto liability would cover (if you have it)
    • If you don't have personal liability insurance, you are on the hook for any remaining costs
    • You are on the hook for any damage to the rental that you are driving, unless your university's agreement includes CDW or you have paid separately for it.
I'm afraid that your analysis is mistaken on a few points:

1. The rental-car coverage provided by U.S.-issued credit cards only covers damage to the rented auto; it does not provide any third-party liability insurance, which is what would be needed to cover injury to third parties, or damage to other people's property.

2. For credit-card coverage to apply, one typically must decline the rental company's LDW. If you are renting on a contract rate that includes the LDW, then you obviously are not declining the LDW, so there would be no credit-card coverage.

3. If the renter is relying on the rental-car company's "free" liability coverage (not available in California), be aware that, in all but a handful of states, if the rental company must make a payment to a third party because of the renter's actions, the rental company can go after the renter for that amount. There are only about half a dozen states where a renter who does not have a personal liability insurance policy gets "primary" third-party liability coverage from the rental company. (It's also possible to get primary liability coverage if you are a member of certain organizations -- like AARP or USAA -- and rent from participating rental-car companies using the organization's discount code.)

Those who do not own a car but who rent cars with some frequency should consider obtaining a personal, non-owned-auto liability insurance policy. Mine is issued by Travelers Insurance.
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