Primary rental car insurance in a pinch

Old Jun 20, 20, 10:08 am
  #1  
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Primary rental car insurance in a pinch

I realized too late that my Costco Visa offers primary insurance only outside the US.

I plan to rent a car for 20 days starting Tuesday. I donít have any credit cards with primary car insurance.

I applied for a no annual fee Amex card to get access to their premium car rental insurance but Iím not going to receive the physical card in time. I have the number of the card and added it to my Apple Wallet, but I have not found an agency that will take payment electronically or through Apple Pay or the contactless payment method.

Iíve looked at Sureapp and insuremyrentalcar which offer similar coverage at $6.50/day.

Any other ideas?
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Old Jun 20, 20, 8:01 pm
  #2  
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Any ability to "pause" whatever primary insurance you have so the Costco becomes primary for these 20 days? Or if you have decent insurance, just rely on that for the rental.
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Old Jun 20, 20, 9:38 pm
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Originally Posted by 49er View Post
Any other ideas?
How about your own insurance and be careful? Or purchase the necessary plans from the rental company?

FWIW - there is a misconception about credit cards' primary rental coverage, which does not cover any damages you cause but the rental car itself. So having primary rental coverage is not sufficient.
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Old Jun 20, 20, 11:39 pm
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Originally Posted by garykung View Post
How about your own insurance and be careful? Or purchase the necessary plans from the rental company?

FWIW - there is a misconception about credit cards' primary rental coverage, which does not cover any damages you cause but the rental car itself. So having primary rental coverage is not sufficient.
I'd rather not use my own insurance and expose it. The exposure isn't just from driving on a road trip, it's also the fact that someone else (the rental car company) decides whether or not you've damaged the car. So I prefer not expose my personal auto insurance to that.

The rental companies sell damage waivers, which are awesome since it waives the damages. The downside is the cost especially over long rentals. Sureapp and insuremyrentalcar are 1/3 the price and offer pretty good coverage. I'll probably go with one of those. Their only downside is that you have to make a claim and wait (hope) for it to get paid out.
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Old Jun 21, 20, 12:23 am
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Unless you regularly crash cars or rent with bottom-tier rental companies, you're getting way too worked up.
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Old Jun 21, 20, 2:02 pm
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Originally Posted by 49er View Post
I'd rather not use my own insurance and expose it. The exposure isn't just from driving on a road trip, it's also the fact that someone else (the rental car company) decides whether or not you've damaged the car. So I prefer not expose my personal auto insurance to that.
The exposure exists regardless you use the policy or not.

Remember - auto insurance is risk-based. So you total a rental car at fault. The waivers cover all of your liabilities. Still, there will be some kind of record showing you involve in an accident. That record will allow insurance companies to increase your premium, even it is not directly related to the insurance company.
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Old Jun 21, 20, 4:45 pm
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Originally Posted by m907 View Post
Unless you regularly crash cars or rent with bottom-tier rental companies, you're getting way too worked up.
Possibly. I've never actually crashed a car or even been in a single accident that was my fault. I didn't think much about insurance and rental cars until I had my parked rental car hit 3 years ago; the offender didn't stick around. I'm glad I had primary insurance via my credit card at the time.
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Old Jun 22, 20, 3:03 am
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Originally Posted by 49er View Post
Possibly. I've never actually crashed a car or even been in a single accident that was my fault. I didn't think much about insurance and rental cars until I had my parked rental car hit 3 years ago; the offender didn't stick around. I'm glad I had primary insurance via my credit card at the time.
So why the fuss? In the rare chance you get hit again, you pay your deductible and move on.
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Old Jun 22, 20, 1:41 pm
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As someone mentioned, a key point is that (standard) rental car insurance does not cover LIABILITY. It only covers the damage to the vehicle itself.
So driving with the rental company's LDW, or credit card "rental car insurance" does not provide adequate coverage. Depending on state specific laws etc. it may vary, but it is essentially driving without insurance, just that the cost of your own (rental) car is covered in an accident.

Since insurance is already an arcane subject, and the way "rental car insurance" is used as a term, it's understandable that people frequently get them mixed up. But you will still need to cover your own liability of damage to other vehicles/humans/property when driving a rental car, one way or another (i.e. if you have enough financial resources you can just throw cash at someone's $200K hospital bills).
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