Non-owner insurance for rental car?

 
Old Feb 24, 14, 5:42 pm
  #1  
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Non-owner insurance for rental car?

Hi,

I have never rented a car on my own before, and as I am thinking about renting one for the coming weekend I got quite confused on the insurance issues, and would love some assistance/tips from members here.

I am 25, in CA, and have my license for less than a year, if that matters. Here are a few questions:

1. From what I read so far, it seems that credit cards in general would provide collision damage waiver at no cost, but not liability coverage. Is this correct?

2. I do not own a car, and it seems like liability coverage is a legal requirement that I have to comply if I rent a car. It also seems like liability coverage offered by car rental companies is minimal, unless you pay 10 bucks extra per day, which isn't exactly cheap. Is this correct?

3. Basically, I just want to rent a car for one day (probably need it very early 6am-ish, and kind of late 10-11pm ish, though probably use less than 100 miles or so). Currently I'm looking at Enterprise's 9.99 weekend plan but am really not sure how much this insurance thing would cost me for ~2-3 days (since I suppose I need to rent for 3 days if I am to use the 9.99 plan). Can anyone give a general estimate of that? Car rental companies' quote seems to be outrageous.

Thanks a lot!
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Old Feb 24, 14, 7:28 pm
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If you don't have any insurance, then the liability coverage from the rental car company is what you need. Like you said, it's around $10 a day; times 3 days = $30. Some companies have a maximum per rental, but it's high (as in $150 or $200, so doesn't make a difference for you on a 3 day rental).

Some Amex cards offer liability coverage for a flat fee (around $25 per rental, I think?).

If you rent more often, it might be worthwhile to get non-owned liability insurance.
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Old Feb 24, 14, 10:14 pm
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Originally Posted by WAS View Post
Some Amex cards offer liability coverage for a flat fee (around $25 per rental, I think?).
.
Thanks for your reply! I checked amex just now - don't seem to cover liability even for the $25 per rental one.

Is it okay if I waive the CDW insurance offered by rental car company, but just take their liability one? Would that invalidate the CDW insurance on my credit card? (I read somewhere that the insurance that comes with credit card is generally only activated if you say no to the insurance by rental car company)
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Old Feb 24, 14, 10:18 pm
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Originally Posted by soarerz View Post
Thanks for your reply! I checked amex just now - don't seem to cover liability even for the $25 per rental one.

Is it okay if I waive the CDW insurance offered by rental car company, but just take their liability one? Would that invalidate the CDW insurance on my credit card? (I read somewhere that the insurance that comes with credit card is generally only activated if you say no to the insurance by rental car company)
Taking one (CDW or liability) from the rental car company has no effect on the other coverage, so just buy what you need.
You are correct; to have CDW from the credit card, you have to decline the CDW from the rental place.
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Old Feb 24, 14, 10:46 pm
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Originally Posted by soarerz View Post
Thanks for your reply! I checked amex just now - don't seem to cover liability even for the $25 per rental one.

Is it okay if I waive the CDW insurance offered by rental car company, but just take their liability one? Would that invalidate the CDW insurance on my credit card? (I read somewhere that the insurance that comes with credit card is generally only activated if you say no to the insurance by rental car company)

Go with AMEX car insurance. $24.95 per rental for 40 consecutive days and it is primary insurance. No Liability though, but from what I have read, it is a great alternative.

https://www295.americanexpress.com/p...verage/home.do
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Old Feb 24, 14, 10:54 pm
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Take the car rentals liability insurance in that case.

Alternatives are to use zipcar which provides liability inclusive for it's hourly/daily rentals http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zipcar
or to find a discount code that offers liability. For example some companies include liability coverage (ask your company if they have a corporate rate with any car rental company) or if you are a USAA member then you can get liability included at no extra cost.
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Old Feb 24, 14, 11:10 pm
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Originally Posted by kxc262 View Post
Go with AMEX car insurance. $24.95 per rental for 40 consecutive days and it is primary insurance. No Liability though, but from what I have read, it is a great alternative.

https://www295.americanexpress.com/p...verage/home.do
Thanks! I'm actually curious - why would one want to pay 25 bucks just to get CDW etc, if you can get it for free for visa cards in general? The coverage amount is probably very different I guess.
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Old Feb 24, 14, 11:11 pm
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Originally Posted by TravelinSperry View Post
Take the car rentals liability insurance in that case.

Alternatives are to use zipcar which provides liability inclusive for it's hourly/daily rentals http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zipcar
or to find a discount code that offers liability. For example some companies include liability coverage (ask your company if they have a corporate rate with any car rental company) or if you are a USAA member then you can get liability included at no extra cost.
Thanks! I considered zip car, but it would be too costly given the time I want to rent it.
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Old Feb 24, 14, 11:12 pm
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Originally Posted by WAS View Post
Taking one (CDW or liability) from the rental car company has no effect on the other coverage, so just buy what you need.
You are correct; to have CDW from the credit card, you have to decline the CDW from the rental place.
Cool! I'll probably just do that then. Thanks so much!
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Old Feb 25, 14, 2:05 am
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Originally Posted by soarerz View Post
Originally Posted by kxc262 View Post
Go with AMEX car insurance. $24.95 per rental for 40 consecutive days and it is primary insurance. No Liability though, but from what I have read, it is a great alternative.

https://www295.americanexpress.com/p...verage/home.do
Thanks! I'm actually curious - why would one want to pay 25 bucks just to get CDW etc, if you can get it for free for visa cards in general? The coverage amount is probably very different I guess.
Here is a great link with graphic that explains card credit card coverage easily.

http://lifehacker.com/5931594/credit...-and-whats-not

Last edited by TravelinSperry; Feb 26, 14 at 5:22 am
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Old Feb 25, 14, 2:11 am
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Non-owner insurance for rental car?

You could also check the price for insurance via Aon (marketed by Expedia) https://expediacri.aontravelprotect....oduct/home.jsf

Last edited by TravelinSperry; Feb 26, 14 at 5:22 am
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Old Feb 25, 14, 12:53 pm
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Geico has very reasonable prices for insurance coverage if you don't own a vehicle (not per rental, you pay every six months, etc. for ongoing coverage). If you intend to rent a car several times a year, you might look into it; in which case, any coverage afforded by a credit card would be secondary coverage. fyi and fwiw
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Old Feb 26, 14, 1:07 am
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Originally Posted by TravelinSperry View Post
Here is a great link with graphic that explains card credit card coverage easily.

http://lifehacker.com/5931594/credit...-and-whats-not
Thanks! From amex website though, it doesn't seem that they cover liability anymore - contrary to what the pic says. That's pretty sad.

Originally Posted by randix View Post
Geico has very reasonable prices for insurance coverage if you don't own a vehicle (not per rental, you pay every six months, etc. for ongoing coverage). If you intend to rent a car several times a year, you might look into it; in which case, any coverage afforded by a credit card would be secondary coverage. fyi and fwiw
Thanks! Would look that up if I need to use a car more frequently.

Last edited by l'etoile; Feb 26, 14 at 7:44 am Reason: Merge
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Old Feb 26, 14, 11:34 am
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Originally Posted by soarerz View Post
Thanks! I'm actually curious - why would one want to pay 25 bucks just to get CDW etc, if you can get it for free for visa cards in general? The coverage amount is probably very different I guess.
For longer rentals, if you need CDW, the flat rate would be cheaper than the CDW from the rental car company. That is about the only benefit I can think off?
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Old Feb 26, 14, 4:10 pm
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Originally Posted by soarerz View Post
Thanks! I'm actually curious - why would one want to pay 25 bucks just to get CDW etc, if you can get it for free for visa cards in general? The coverage amount is probably very different I guess.
Main reason is to avoid dealing with issues where the rental car company says you owe this, then the other coverage saying we don't pay that, and getting stuck in the middle.

Single biggest benefit of the car company's insurance (even if you have your own insurance that covers rentals) is that if something happens that is covered, you just fill our some forms and should never hear about it again, it completely becomes the car rental company's problem and you can walk away from it.

Usually not worth it though (depending on your probability of an accident).
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