When you walk into a rental car agency, rarely do they let you leave with the price that you were quoted over the phone. Once at the counter, they will start listing a long list of insurance coverages that they recommend for your rental car. Depending on your credit card, you may be covered for some of these automatically by using it meaning you can forgo the added cost the rental car company wants you to pay.
The coverage that credit cards offer with rental cars varies widely so it’s important to read the terms carefully or contact your credit card company directly with the 1-800 toll free number they have on the back of your credit card to find exactly what rental car supplemental coverage they provide. In fact, the same card issued by the same credit card company may have two different rental car coverages for two different people.
When looking at the terms or when calling the credit card company, look for or ask specifically what collision and liability your credit card covers making sure that you understand any exclusions. A common exclusion is for certain high end cars. Others may include driving outside the US or the card may require you to rent from a certain rental car company for coverage to be honored.
Another common exclusion is that credit card companies will not let you use their collision insurance if you also purchase collision insurance from the rental car company. Since liability insurance is sometimes not covered by your credit card, if they don’t they will usually let you purchase liability insurance and still let the collision insurance remain active.
Once you know exactly what you are covered for under your credit card, you can decline these extras that the rental car companies push and save yourself some money.
NOTE: It is also worthwhile checking your own auto insurance policy before renting a car since most will also cover your rental car. Call your insurance agent to find out exactly what you are covered for to save even more money.