My rental car coverage didn’t apply — reader mistake story
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Today, I want to share a story from TPG reader Kelly, who had to pay more than expected for a rental overseas:
I was planning a road trip through Ireland, and was excited about how affordable my six-day drive around the southern coast was going to be. I had printed out a form from my Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express stating the rental car insurance policy, and when I went to pick up my car from Enterprise near the Dublin airport, I was asked to provide proof of insurance. Feeling quite proud of my planning, I produced my documentation.
Unfortunately, I was told that my Amex policy excludes some countries, and you guessed it … one of them is Ireland. The only way for me to drive away in my sweet international ride was to pay for the insurance provided through Enterprise, which would end up costing me an additional 34 euros per day. My adventure ended up being a few hundred dollars more costly than I planned.
In hindsight, I should have called American Express ahead of time and checked that my destination was covered. Had I done that, I could have arranged other insurance ahead of time or at least not been blindsided by the additional cost. I’ve now switched to the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which has a collision damage waiver policy that does cover rental cars in Ireland.
American Express doesn’t provide primary car rental coverage as a standard card benefit, but it does offer a Premium Car Rental Protection policy that insures rentals up to 42 days in length for a reasonable fee. Like many credit card benefits, this policy comes with various exclusions, one of which is that it doesn’t apply to rentals in Australia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, New Zealand or anywhere on the sanctioned country list of the Office of Foreign Assets Control. It also doesn’t apply to select vehicle types like antique cars or moving trucks, among other exclusions. As Kelly suggests, the prudent approach is to research benefit terms thoroughly before you need them, not after.
You may be asked to show proof of insurance when renting a vehicle even if you have primary coverage through your credit card. Most rental companies only request the name of your insurance provider if you’re a U.S. resident renting domestically, but they may need more information if you’re underage or using a debit card as payment. You’re more likely to be asked for proof of insurance when renting internationally; without it, you may not be allowed to rent unless you pay extra for a loss damage waiver. If you’re relying on your personal insurance, check the policy to make sure you’re adequately covered, since some terms may not apply when traveling abroad.
Related: Five steps to a perfect car rental
I appreciate this story, and I hope it can help other readers avoid making the same mistake. In appreciation for sharing this experience (and for allowing us to post it online), I’m sending Kelly a gift card to enjoy on future travels, and I’d like to do the same for you. Please email your own travel mistake stories to email@example.com, and put “Reader Mistake Story” in the subject line. Tell us how things went wrong, and (where applicable) how you made them right. Offer any wisdom you gained from the experience, and explain what the rest of us can do to avoid the same pitfalls.
Feel free to also submit your best travel success stories. If your story is published in either case, I’ll send you a gift to jump-start your next adventure. Due to the volume of submissions, we can’t respond to each story individually, but we’ll be in touch if yours is selected. I look forward to hearing from you, and until then, I wish you a safe and mistake-free journey!
Featured photo by Dave G Kelly/The Points Guy.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees