So confused on credit car auto rental insurance - did I get ripped off?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by syphlix, Jun 22, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. syphlix
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    syphlix Silver Member

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    So i was renting a car in Texas, and they wouldn't let me rent the car without purchasing insurance from them even though I was using a card that has the Auto Rental coverage (Visa CitiBusiness card)

    I don't have personal auto insurance (I don't own a car).

    He said that in TX, I need liability insurance, or else I can't drive, and the CC doesn't cover that.

    Is that correct? I've rented cars plenty of times in TX and other states/countries, and never had a problem with just declining the insurance.

    Here's the link to visa's car policy page

    I've read it all, and I guess it doesn't say it covers liability, but if so, then how come I could rent a car all those other times?
     
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  2. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Most auto rental policies do include liability insurance, but it is possible that some might not. I have never encountered one of those. They always offer a Collision Damage Waiver that covers the deductible on collision insurance. That is what is typically covered in you credit card. In the dozen or so countries in which i have owned cars all my auto policies covered both collision and liability for rental cars according to the policy terms. On that YMMV. I have rented in TX many times and have never heard of such a situation. BTW, what was the rental company? If you are under 25 years of age it is very possible that they would charge extra for insurance. That is common, as is a blanket prohibition of rentals to people under 25 years of age.
     
  3. syphlix
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    syphlix Silver Member

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    by auto rental policy do you mean the personal one you have for the cars you own? or the one that comes built in to credit cards?

    this was with Enterprise in TX, and not under 25
     
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  4. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    The policy reference was to policies for owned cars, not your situation. Enterprise is known to be very enterprising with insurance charges. Here is the fine print on the optional $13.99 per day supplemental Liability Insurance

    SUPPLEMENTAL LIABILITY PROTECTION (SLP) FOR THIS BRANCH IS $13.99 PER DAY. - SUPPLEMENTAL LIABILITY PROTECTION (SLP) IS OFFERED AT THE TIME OF RENTAL FOR AN ADDITIONAL DAILY CHARGE. IF ACCEPTED, SLP PROVIDES THE RENTER AND AUTHORIZED DRIVERS WITH UP TO $1,000,000 COMBINED SINGLE LIMIT FOR THIRD PARTY LIABILITY CLAIMS. IF THE RENTER ACCEPTS SLP, ENTERPRISE PROVIDES THIRD PARTY LIABILITY PROTECTION UP TO THE APPLICABLE MINIMUM FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY LIMIT AND EMPIRE FIRE AND MARINE INSURANCE COMPANY PROVIDES EXCESS THIRD PARTY LIABILITY INSURANCE COVERAGE FROM THE APPLICABLE MINIMIM FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY LIMIT TO $1,000,000. THIS IS A SUMMARY ONLY. SLP IS SUBJECT TO THE TERMS, CONDITIONS, PROVISIONS, LIMITATIONS AND EXCLUSIONS IN THE SUPPLEMENTAL RENTAL LIABILITY INSURANCE EXCESS POLICY UNDERWRITTEN BY EMPIRE FIRE AND MARINE INSURANCE COMPANY OR EMPIRE INDEMNITY INSURANCE COMPANY DEPENDING ON LOCATION. THE PURCHASE OF SLP IS OPTIONAL AND NOT REQUIRED TO RENT A CAR. THE COVERAGE PROVIDED BY SLP MAY DUPLICATE THE RENTER'S EXISTING COVERAGE. ENTERPRISE IS NOT QUALIFIED TO EVALUATE THE ADEQUACY OF THE RENTER'S EXISTING COVERAGE; THEREFORE THE RENTER SHOULD EXAMINE HIS OR HER PERSONAL INSURANCE POLICIES OR OTHER SOURCES OF COVERAGE THAT MAY DUPLICATE THE COVERAGE PROVIDED BY SLP.

    Were I in your situation I would contact Enterprise, describe what happened and request a refund because you were sold optional coverage under false pretenses. If that is not successful i would contact the Texas Consumer Protection officials.
     
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  5. Mapsmith
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    Mapsmith Gold Member

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    Most States do require Liability Insurance. However, your personal Liability Insurance for your car at home often covers Rentals. That is why most Car Insurance Companies give you a card for your wallet. Just tell them that your personal Car Insurance covers Liability on Rentals.

    Although, I have found that if you are renting in Canada, you need to get a separate card showing the coverage is good in Canada. Usually referred to as a Yellow Card.
     
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  6. SC Flier
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    SC Flier Gold Member

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    The Visa policy clearly is only for Collision Damage and theft. Liability coverage is not provided by this Visa policy.

    It sounds as if you've gotten away with not carrying any liability insurance at other places, and you've probably been in violation of state laws each time that you've done so. If you got in a wreck and injured someone else or damaged someone else's property, you wouldn't have any insurance to cover the expenses. The other rental locations have taken you for your word when you said that you don't need to purchase liability insurance, but this particular rental shop held their ground that you do. It sounds like they were right to do so.

    Since you don't own a car, it is possible for you to purchase a non-owners insurance policy -- probably for a few hundred dollars per year -- to provide you with liability coverage when you rent cars. If you rent often, this would probably be worth the cost. Otherwise, you should probably be purchasing liability insurance with every rental.

    IANAL.
     
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  7. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    Good advice from SC Flier. You need the liability insurance to protect your financial interests above all. If you are held liable for an accident, you may be responsible for tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage. This is not just property damage, but bodily injury to another party. It is in your best interest to have this coverage, state mandated or not.
     

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