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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Getting Rental Car Coverage for Luxury Vehicles


Bucks recently reported on the differences in rental car insurance that consumers get, depending on which credit card they use to pay for the rental. The report noted that for basic coverage, available to cardholders at no charge, the major card networks generally exclude luxury vehicles and that American Express also excludes some popular sport utility vehicles.

Michael Germanovsky, editor in chief at Credit-Land.com, contacted Bucks to say that if you are determined to rent a fancy vehicle, American Express offers “premium” insurance coverage, for about $25 per rental period (not per day, as is generally the case with insurance offered by rental car companies), for periods of as long as 42 days in most markets. The premium version does cover S.U.V.'s,and even luxury vehicles valued at more than $75,000, according to the American Express Web site.

Why rent a luxury car? Sometimes, he said, people on vacation in trend y areas (“Have you ever been to Miami?” he asked), or drivers needing a rental car while their own is being repaired,  want to splurge and drive something special. In those situations, the extra fee can be a good value, he said.

The premium coverage provides other perks as well. For starters, it acts as primary insurance - meaning, it provides coverage ahead of your personal insurance. That is different from most standard credit card coverage, which typically kicks in after your own insurance.

To get the premium coverage, you must enroll your card, according to the Web site. Then you'll pay the extra fee each time you rent using the card, until you terminate your enrollment.

Have you ever rented a luxury car? How did you deal with the insurance?