Monday, April 8, 2013

A Look At 10 Situations Where Your Insurance May Not Cover The Rental

You may have a clear idea regarding the extent and limitations of the coverage in your current insurance policy when it comes to your personal car, but these stipulations don't always apply for rentals. The situation is the same for the coverage provided by your credit card; that is typically the reason why it is so easy for rental agencies to "bully" clients into purchasing the most expensive insurance available. The problem is that even that contract has several exclusions and loopholes…

Therefore, you could very well end up spending a lot of cash in vain as you will still be requested to account for the damages/liability from your own pocket. Let's elaborate.

1. Covered, but only for a limited period of time

For instance, if you are relying on the coverage provided by your Visa card, then you should be aware you only have this safety net for a maximum of 15 days for the United States and 30 days for external rentals. Check for any mention of a time limit in your contract.

2. International exceptions to the coverage

Israel, Australia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica and New Zealand are only a few examples of countries where the credit card's protection for the rental is voided. Verify your contract to determine other potential exclusions. If you visit eRentals online, you can check out rates for the above listed countries before you decide on a final travel destination.

3. Unauthorized driver

In the event that the person driving the car when the collision occurs is not listed among the authorized drivers, the collision waiver is null. Ask the rental agency to include all potential drivers of the rental in the contract before signing.

4. Categories of cars

Visa card owners should be aware that pickups, sports vehicles or vans do not benefit from coverage, whereas American Express has listed SUVs in the category of exclusions.

5. Road exclusions

Typically mentioned in the fine print section, most rental insurance policies are immediately voided if the car is driven off-road. Therefore, if you want to hire the car to go on a fishing trip for example, make sure that this exclusion is not in the contract.

6. Contract violations

Also part of the fine print, conditions regarding the usage of the car like commercial applications or DUI could nullify the insurance.

7. Traffic violations

It is estimated that on average every driver will – deliberately or unintentionally – break a traffic law at least once every day. If you get caught and your traffic violation results in damage to the rental car, the coverage is voided.

8. Stolen vehicles 

You are always held accountable for the theft when your rental car is stolen because you left the keys in the ignition or on the dashboard, in plain sight.

9. Loss of use

A controversial clause, the loss of use is essentially an exception to the coverage and it implies that you have to reimburse the agency for the profits lost while the car is being repaired/replaced.

10. Improper method of payment

In numerous cases, the credit card insurance will only apply IF you pay the full amount for the rental vehicle, which means that utilizing a coupon or the points to obtain a discount could leave you unprotected in case of an accident.

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