Many of the offers appearing on this site are from advertisers from which this website receives compensation for being listed here. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). These offers do not represent all available deposit, investment, loan or credit products.
If you’ve ever rented a vehicle, you probably know that the rental company requires you to insure the vehicle through your existing car insurance policy, a credit card or by purchasing optional rental car insurance. However, rental car coverage can set you back between $8 and $47 per day.
American Express car rental insurance is an additional member benefit that could come in handy — and save you money.
Here’s a quick overview of what you get when you opt for American Express car rental coverage.
American Express® cardmembers all qualify for car rental coverage, known as car rental loss and damage insurance. The level of insurance depends on the card. Generally, American Express cards with no annual fee have a maximum car rental loss and damage benefit of $50,000.
Premium personal and business cards with an annual fee such as the American Express® Platinum card, Hilton Honors American Express® Aspire Card or the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card bump up the car rental insurance benefit limit to $75,000.
American Express car rental insurance is a secondary type of insurance. This means that your existing vehicle policy will generally be the first line of coverage in case there’s a loss such as an accident, fender bender or rental vehicle theft.
If you don’t own a vehicle or don’t have car insurance, American Express car rental insurance will be the primary form of coverage — and a money-saving alternative to purchasing a rental car company’s insurance.
If you’re wondering when you should use American Express car rental insurance, the answer is anytime you rent a vehicle. Even if you have personal vehicle insurance that covers car rentals, the additional level of free coverage provided by American Express wouldn’t hurt.
Knowing what American Express car rental insurance covers takes digging into the fine print.
As mentioned, American Express car rental insurance provides secondary insurance on top of your primary car insurance. It’s meant to cover any additional costs above your primary policy’s limits. If you don’t have a primary policy, American Express car rental insurance will become the primary car rental coverage.
The points provided aren’t exhaustive. It’s important to read the American Express car rental insurance terms for your card type to know the details of what is — and isn’t — covered.
You don’t have to be the cardholder to be covered by American Express car rental insurance. The primary cardmember, spouse or domestic partner and eligible authorized drivers who are listed on the rental agreement are also covered.
There is no special activation required in advance to take advantage of American Express car rental insurance. All you need to do is pay for the entire vehicle rental and deposit with your American Express card and decline the Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) offered by the car rental company.
If you’re renting a luxury vehicle, the $50,000 to $75,000 benefit limit may not be enough. You could always buy American Express® Premium Car Rental Protection for a flat rate of $12.25 to $24.95 per rental, for up to 42 days of coverage. Premium Car Rental Protection will provide you with a higher limit of $100,000.
However, its best feature is the primary nature of the coverage. Unlike the free but secondary American Express car rental insurance, Premium Car Rental Protection from American Express provides primary coverage. This means you could opt out of using your main car insurance to cover theft or damage to your rental.
If you’re wondering why you would want to avoid using your car insurance for a rental vehicle, consider this. If your rental car is stolen or damaged, your personal car insurance will step in to pay for the loss but could increase your premiums due to the claim.
If you experience a loss or damage, American Express recommends you file a claim right away or within 30 days of the event. You can file a claim online or by contacting the American Express claims center at 1-800-338-1670 if you don’t have internet access.
American Express car rental insurance claims are typically process within 45 days and paid within 30 days of the filed claim.
American Express credit cards have many value-added perks, such as American Express car rental insurance. Declining a car rental company’s coverage and opting for free coverage from American Express can save you money.
If you already have car insurance for your personal vehicle, it may cover the rental car. However, it’s nice to know that American Express car rental insurance is there to provide secondary coverage to your car insurance policy or primary coverage if you don’t own a vehicle.
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Express. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express.
American Express is a GOBankingRates partner.
Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.
Share This Article:
Every day, get fresh ideas on how to save and make money and achieve your financial goals.
Sponsored Links by Zergnet
Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the offers appearing on this site are from advertisers from which this website receives compensation for being listed here. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). These offers do not represent all available deposit, investment, loan or credit products.
Sign up for our daily newsletter for the latest financial news and trending topics.