Post # 1
I’ve been meaning to write this for a while but I just forgot until now!
I learned a very important thing on our honeymoon and that is that rental car insurance? Total waste of money! I had never rented a car before and didn’t know or expect that when I arrived to pick up my car (which we paid $175 for a week for) I would be bombarded with up-selling. They tried to sell us a gps to use for our trip ($15 per day– no thank you we brought our own). An upgraded car (no thank you). And a tank of gas at a discounted rate (which I stupidly accepted because I didn’t understand what a waste it was).
But insurance? Biggest scam of all! We were given three options ranging from $15-35 per DAY and told that most people choose option #2 which was around $22/day. We were told EVERYONE buys the insurance because “if you don’t you’ll be totally responsible for any damage that you or your valet inflict on the car, even if it isn’t your fault. did you know you can lose your house if someone gets hurt when you’re driving?!”
At this point my usually quiet husband who prefers to let me deal with annoying sales people interjected that NO we would not get insurance. (I was surprised because usually he’s very “whatever” about this kind of thing). So I just went with his answer and said no. And I was told… “BUT…. EVERYONE gets it… you won’t be covered! You are taking a huge risk!”
And still we said no. They then made us sign a waiver (very ominous) and I was cautioned that we could come back at any time when we came to our senses.
What I didn’t know and my dear husband did is that our normal car insurance covers rental cars just like if i was driving my car or his. Duh, why didn’t I think of that?
Which I’m sure the rental car employees KNOW but if they can make more off of insurance (literally) than we were paying for the car… why wouldn’t they lie (or at least strongly imply) that doom and destruction would become us if we opted out?
So yea… just wanted to spread the knowledge. Don’t buy the expensive rental car insurance!!
and p.s. take your own gps too!
Post # 3
For us, it was worth it because the place we rented had a one time flat fee of like $25 that included rental insurance (which yes, we didn’t need because we already have coverage) but it also allowed us to return the car without filling up the tank and also to avoid having to do a damage report before or after. So for us, it was worth it.
Post # 4
@CorgiTales: Thanks for sharing this with the bees! I had a very similar experience in the Cayman Islands. My hubby, who is very wise when it comes to these sort of things immediately said NO! I’m happy that he spoke up, because it saved us about $200!
P.S. I have also recently learned that you should read the very fine print in regards to air-fare insurance. I recently had to change my flight on AirTran because my dog had a stroke and I need to fly home to have her euthenized. When I started reading more thoroughly about the reimbursement process, they do not reimburse you unless you have a physicians authorization/DSM code. I really think that pets are considered family members and vets should be included. What a double stab…the loss of a pet and the loss of $75 for change of flight fees!
Post # 5
@rachel_leigh: Sounds like a great deal! Obviously in that situation you went into it knowing what was what and you got a good deal– but my point was just that they try to tell you that you’re not covered if you have an accident and for most people that just isn’t true. (have i mentioned I HATE SALESPEOPLE.)
@melisslp: Ugh that is so wrong. I’m sorry about your dog 🙁
Post # 6
Also, look into what your credit card covers. I know both my Visa and Mastercard cover car rentals, so long as that was the card you used to do the rental with 🙂
Post # 7
I don’t think is a scam, a personal choice. A girlfriend of mine currently lives in Vegas. She was back in MN over the Christmas holidays and rented a car. Someone did a hit and run on her. She is lucky she had the insurance or else she would had to pay out of her own pocket for the damage done to the rental.
Post # 8
@bakerella: I have heard this too but I didn’t look into it since I knew our car insurance covered us anyways 🙂
@Sassygrn: did she not have car insurance? Yes I’m sure she had to pay the deductible if the other driver was uninsured or couldn’t be found, but that is the exact same situation as driving your own car and getting hit.
Post # 9
Hm, I never get rental car insurance because most of the time I use rental cars after a wreck. My car insurance takes care of everything. I’ll think about that if I ever rent a car. I’ll probably do whatever Fiance wants to do though.
Post # 10
It’s not always a scam. It’s true that your car insurance does cover your rental car. But, say the car gets broken into and you have a high comprehensive deductible (500, 1000) it would be an out of pocket expense for the glass, glass is typically covered under the comprehensive ded. Also, if a rock chips the windshield, most rental companies will elect to have the whole windshield replaced. Your insurance has to go along with what the rental company says b/c it is their car.
Also, rental companies have the authority to call your insurance company to make a claim against your insurance, nothing coverage related can be released until everything is verified with you, of course. I work for a car insurance company, so I’ve dealt with this a little.
Post # 11
The credit card you use to reserve should give you some kind of insurance (never use a debit card, always credit for this reason!) and also, if you have a reputable insurance comapny, then they will extend coverage to your rental car, and all deductibles and things that apply to your own car will apply for the rental. WORD OF CAUTION IF YOU DO NOT GET THE RENTAL INSURANCE FROM THE RENTAL COMPANY: if you do get into an accident, there are certain usage fees and other fees associated that your insurance company WILL NOT cover, so if you do get into an accident (regardless of fault, depending on where you are) you could still be liable for certain fees. This is where your cc company might be able to help out, and some will cover these fees. I’ve been an insurance agent for 7 years, so unfortunately I have seen good and bad sides to getting the insurance vs not
Post # 12
@CorgiTales: I am sure she did/does have auto insurance. I just know the rental insurance took care of it. I saw the damage myself when she was here and last time talked to her she said the rental insurance paid for it.
Post # 13
Yeah, if you have your own insurance, you don’t need theirs.
Also, a lot of credit cards also provide insurance, so check that out. We don’t own cars, and thus don’t have insurance, but a couple of our credit cards do – so, if we book the rental car with those cards, we have insurance.
Pretty much everything you can add extra for a rental car is an overcharge/scam. If you go in realizing that, you’re way ahead.
Post # 14
I wouldn’t call it a scam, it is a personal choice. But if you decline the rental car insurance and get into an accident, you may have to pay for damages upfront and work on getting reimbursed later.
I went to France a few years ago and my girlfriend said we did not need the insurance, as her credit card covered it. Well she never told the CC company she was traveling abroad so there was a hold on her card. We had to use my CC, and we tried very hard to ask all the right questions at the counter about whether her insurance (which was used to reserve the car and pay a deposit) would transfer over to cover us. We were in Marseilles and there was a signficant language barrier. We did not understand that now I was the “primary” driver, etc, etc. My friend drove the car into a pole and it was trashed. It was a nightmare. My friend dealt with the whole thing, but she had to pay cash upfront, and after a year of back-and-forth she finally got reimbursed a good portion of it. Obviously we had a lot of extraneous issues, but I am pretty sure it would have been easier had we gotten the rental car insurance.
Post # 15
@crayfish: yep! so glad dh knew even though i didn’t. it just seems wrong to bombard you with high pressures sales tactics after you’ve been traveling for almost 24 hours, you have a 1 hr drive ahead of you, and all you want more than anything is to just find a freaking bed. lol
Post # 16
Ugh I hate car rental places. My car broke down Christmas morning as we were preparing to visit family in 3 states in 1 day (aka-driving the entire day). Luckily, we were close to the airport and stopped to get a rental but we were SO stressed out. Then the sales people started in with their hour long pitch trying to sell us everything under the sun. They make it sound so scary like “if you don’t buy this, this, and this then you will probably get into an accident and pay 1 million dollars. So….just sign here, here, and here”.
That day stresses me out just thinking about it.