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Will my credit card insurance work in this scenario?

Will my credit card insurance work in this scenario?

Old Jun 15, 19, 11:32 am
  #1  
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Will my credit card insurance work in this scenario?

I'm a grad student in the U.S. My University has contracted rates with National&Enterprise, and provides car rental insurance for University travel. I can also use the contracted rates for personal travel, but the university insurance would not cover me for personal travel.

I will be renting through National for a conference in the U.S., so my University insurance would apply. But I will also use the car for personal travel during the conference, where my University insurance would not apply. I don't have personal car insurance because I don't have a car. But I will pay for the rental using my Citibank Costco Credit card, which provides car rental insurance as long as I decline the Rental Companies collision&damager waiver, and pay for the rental in full with my credit card.

I'm a little confused how this works, especially because National doesn't charge me until I return the car. I have to have a credit card on file with National at the time of picking up the rental, but they make no charges until after I return the car. So if I use my Citibank card to make the reservation, but I don't pay for the car until after I return it, would my Citibank card still cover me during the rental if an accident happens?

I called Citibank and inquired about this, and it seems the answer is "yes." But it seems kind of weird that they would cover me before I pay for the car?
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Old Jun 15, 19, 11:44 am
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Originally Posted by dzdang View Post
I'm a grad student in the U.S. My University has contracted rates with National&Enterprise, and provides car rental insurance for University travel. I can also use the contracted rates for personal travel, but the university insurance would not cover me for personal travel.

I will be renting through National for a conference in the U.S., so my University insurance would apply. But I will also use the car for personal travel during the conference, where my University insurance would not apply. I don't have personal car insurance because I don't have a car. But I will pay for the rental using my Citibank Costco Credit card, which provides car rental insurance as long as I decline the Rental Companies collision&damager waiver, and pay for the rental in full with my credit card.

I'm a little confused how this works, especially because National doesn't charge me until I return the car. I have to have a credit card on file with National at the time of picking up the rental, but they make no charges until after I return the car. So if I use my Citibank card to make the reservation, but I don't pay for the car until after I return it, would my Citibank card still cover me during the rental if an accident happens?

I called Citibank and inquired about this, and it seems the answer is "yes." But it seems kind of weird that they would cover me before I pay for the car?
What's the nature of your personal travel? If it's merely incidental to your business travel (like driving to a restaurant or a movie theater), I wouldn't think that that would change the business nature of the rental.

I don't know the answer to your question (your university's travel administrator might have one), but all credit-card coverage -- when it applies at all -- requires you to initiate and complete the rental with a qualifying card. So, if the Citi insurance were to apply at all, you would have to present your Citi card when you pick up the car, and pay for the rental with your Citi card when you return it.

Be aware, though, that if you use the rental in a non-business way, you might not be covered for third-party liability if you hit someone. Credit cards only cover damage to the rental, not damage to someone else's property or injury caused to someone else.

If you're planning a truly personal journey, the cleaner solution is to rent a second vehicle for that portion of your trip.
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Old Jun 15, 19, 12:41 pm
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Also, are you a U.S. citizen, or a foreign student? If you hold a non-U.S. passport and a non-U.S. driver license, you might qualify for special car-rental rates offered on the non-U.S. websites of major car-rental companies. These rates typically include LDW and million-dollar third-party liability insurance. And those all-inclusive rates might even be less than your university's contract rates.
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Old Jun 15, 19, 12:57 pm
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First, you need to sit down and read the policies word-for-word. Don't rely on phone calls or off-hand remarks from the credit card issuer (bank) or from your University.

The biggest hole in your coverage is likely to be personal liability in the event that you injure another person or cause substantial damage to some third-party's property. You may need to purchase supplemental coverage from the rental company for a one-off such as this.

Unfortunately, the information you have is not sufficient for a definitive answer. Remember, that if something does happen, it is the specifics which will matter the most.
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Old Jun 15, 19, 1:49 pm
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Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
What's the nature of your personal travel? If it's merely incidental to your business travel (like driving to a restaurant or a movie theater), I wouldn't think that that would change the business nature of the rental.

I don't know the answer to your question (your university's travel administrator might have one), but all credit-card coverage -- when it applies at all -- requires you to initiate and complete the rental with a qualifying card. So, if the Citi insurance were to apply at all, you would have to present your Citi card when you pick up the car, and pay for the rental with your Citi card when you return it.

Be aware, though, that if you use the rental in a non-business way, you might not be covered for third-party liability if you hit someone. Credit cards only cover damage to the rental, not damage to someone else's property or injury caused to someone else.

If you're planning a truly personal journey, the cleaner solution is to rent a second vehicle for that portion of your trip.
The personal travel may include an excursion to a national park about 2-3 hours away, so I don't think that'd qualify?
Oh wait hmm, are you sure about credit cards don't cover damage to opposing party's vehicle? I thought it did.

And yes, I am a U.S. Citizen.
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Old Jun 15, 19, 1:52 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
First, you need to sit down and read the policies word-for-word. Don't rely on phone calls or off-hand remarks from the credit card issuer (bank) or from your University.

The biggest hole in your coverage is likely to be personal liability in the event that you injure another person or cause substantial damage to some third-party's property. You may need to purchase supplemental coverage from the rental company for a one-off such as this.

Unfortunately, the information you have is not sufficient for a definitive answer. Remember, that if something does happen, it is the specifics which will matter the most.
I always have had a hard time with understanding how policies apply to some of my situations, which generally have been pretty unique.
But I had thought that credit cards will cover opposing vehicle if I am at fault.
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Old Jun 15, 19, 2:36 pm
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Originally Posted by dzdang View Post
The personal travel may include an excursion to a national park about 2-3 hours away, so I don't think that'd qualify?
Oh wait hmm, are you sure about credit cards don't cover damage to opposing party's vehicle? I thought it did.

And yes, I am a U.S. Citizen.
I am quite sure that U.S.-issued credit cards do not cover third-party liability. That means no coverage for damaging someone else's property (whether that property is another motor vehicle, a fence, a plateglass window, a pet, etc.); and no coverage for injuring or killing another human being.

It sounds like your best course of action is to rent another vehicle for your journey to a national park. You would likely need to purchase the rental company's supplemental liability insurance on that rental to protect yourself. If your side trip to a national park will occur on a weekend, you might well find cheap weekend rates that are better than your university's leisure contract rate.
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Old Jun 15, 19, 2:44 pm
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From the Citi/Costco Guide to Protection Benefits (rental-car section):

"This coverage is not all-inclusive, which means it does not cover such things as personal injury, personal liability or third-party personal property. It does not cover any damages to other cars or property. It does not cover any injury to any party."
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