The death thing you want to worry about on vacation is getting into an accident and having to foot a bill for several thousand dollars. fortunately, many credit card issuers offer an auto-rental collision damage release ( CDW ) as an accessory perk up .

Before you rely on it for your future trip, though, you should understand how credit card car lease policy works. It ’ s not the same as the policy you carry for your independent vehicle, and might not cover what you think. For example, injuries and property price aren ’ t generally covered, alone losses related to the lease car. evening then, depending on the policy, you might have to file a claim with your own car policy company first .

here ’ s what you need to know about how credit card car rental indemnity works, and which cards have the most comprehensive coverage .

primary v. secondary Car Rental coverage

Most cable car rental insurance policies are actually secondary—meaning your own car policy will be billed first. That ’ s not ideal, since you ’ five hundred necessitate to file a call with your insurance caller, which could increase your rate .

The best type of rental car coverage is a primary policy, which means there ’ s no necessitate to file a claim with your own insurance company for a covered incident ( typically if the rental cable car is damaged or stolen ). Since the transaction doesn ’ thyroxine involve your indemnity company, it ’ s unlikely that the pace for your personal car policy would be raised .

Types of coverage

One of the downsides of car rental policy from credit card issuers is that it ’ second not across-the-board .

You can get four types of car indemnity through your own car insurance company : indebtedness ( for property price ) ; personal injury auspices ( for your and your passengers ’ medical bills ) ; collision ( for damage from an accident ) ; and comprehensive ( for damage from non-collision sources ) .

But when you use the CDW with your credit circuit board, it generally only covers two types of losses : car wrong or larceny. Depending on whether it ’ s primary or secondary coverage, it could cover just the deductible on your primary insurance ( junior-grade coverage ), or the entire cost of the car, up to the coverage terminus ad quem ( primary coverage ) .

That ’ s an important factor when you consider that the average bodily injury claim from cable car accidents was $ 18,417 in 2019, according to the Insurance Information Institute .

You can rely on a CDW policy for most car damage claims, but to be in full protected against liability and checkup claims, make sure they ’ re covered by your personal car insurance policy.

extra coverage Features

Knowing the kernel details might help you down the road if you need to use your policy. here are some of the fine points to look out for in a rental car indemnity policy :

Loss of Use

Some car lease insurance comes with a “ loss of use ” policy. If the lease company needs to repair or replace its lease car because of price or larceny, it can ’ t gain money from the vehicle until it ’ s bet on in operation. In that case, the company can actually come after you for the misplace money. It ’ s like to how you can sue person for lost wages if they cause you harm that prevents you from working .

“ Loss of habit ” is a courteous feature of speech to look for if you ’ rhenium denounce around for a good credit calling card for car rental indemnity. For exemplar, the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire card and Chase Sapphire cards come with a policy that covers loss of function .

International coverage

Most policies restrict coverage in certain countries. For case, Israel, Ireland, and Jamaica are normally excluded from car rental policy policies. If you intend to rent a car while traveling afield, you should know whether your cable car rental policy policy covers you outside the U.S. A number of Chase cards, for case, have no area exclusions .

Types of Vehicles

many CDW policies specifically exclude certain types of vehicles ; trucks, motorcycles, large vans, campers, and lavishness cars are all normally left out. If you stick with coarse car lease models like the Nissan Altima, Chevy Cruze, or Toyota Camry, you probably won ’ metric ton run into any issues .

durable Rental coverage

Most car rental policy policies entirely apply to rentals of a month or less. If you rent cars for longer than a month, you may be able to split up your rental periods by returning the car for a day to stay under the limit, and then re-renting .

differently, you may want to look for a car lease policy policy that covers longer-term rentals. Amex ’ s Premium Rental Car Protection policies, available for buy if you have an Amex menu, cover you for up to 42 days.

Best Cards for Car Rental insurance

The accredit cards with the best car rental coverage will have primary car rental policy policies ( or primary rental policy available ) and offer more comprehensive coverage than their peers. here are some open standouts you might be concerned in, particularly if you travel a batch .

Best for Business Travelers

  • Chase Ink Business Preferred ($95 annual fee): This card and the Chase Ink Business Cash card provide primary rental insurance coverage up to the full value of the vehicle for business-related rentals up to 31 days. But if you travel for business frequently, you might prefer this card because it offers a 25% bonus when you redeem points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
  • Chase Ink Business Cash ($0 annual fee): This card offers the same rental car coverage as the Business Preferred version plus 5% cash back on up to $25,000 worth of purchases at office-supply stores and on internet, phone, and cable bills.

Best for leisure Travelers

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve ($550 annual fee): Provides loss-of-use coverage plus primary coverage on up to $75,000 of damage due to theft or collision, as well as a 50% points bonus when you redeem rewards points for car rentals and other travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal.
  • United Explorer Card ($95 annual fee): For a modest annual fee, this card provides primary coverage up to the full value of the covered vehicle with no country-based exclusions for up to 31 days.
  • Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card ($450 annual fee): This card is one of the few we could find that comes closest to covering medical payments, although it only pays out between $5,000 and $200,000 for accidental injuries, dismemberment, or death. It also covers loss of use plus $1,000 towards loss of personal property. (Primary coverage is available for $12.25-$24.95 per policy.)
  • The Platinum Card from American Express ($550 annual fee): This card offers the same car rental insurance benefits as the Hilton Honors card, and it comes with all of the other premium benefits you’d expect from one of the ritziest travel cards. (Primary coverage is available for $12.25-$24.95 per policy.)

All American Express cards—even the luxury ones—come with secondary coverage. But you have the choice to purchase a primary coverage policy for $ 12.25- $ 24.95, depending on where you live and the amount of coverage you want. You sign up in gain, so when you do rent a car, the monetary value of the policy is mechanically charged to your card .

Some wag issuers, including Discover, don ’ t offer car rental indemnity with any of their cards .

car lease policy benefits may vary for the same poster, depending on the card central processing unit, such as Visa or Mastercard. Check the benefits guide to confirm coverage details for cards you own or are considering.

How To Make surely You ’ re Covered

car rental policy international relations and security network ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate automatic. The details may vary by policy, but in general, to qualify you ’ ll want to do three things :

  • List your name as the primary driver
  • Decline the rental car company’s optional insurance
  • Pay for the rental with the credit card that has the CDW policy you’d like to use

If you ever do need to file a claim, call the benefits administrator for your card. You can contact them by calling the act on the back of your credit rating card. They ’ ll walk you through the work of filing a claim .

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