In the past, every time I rented a car for vacation, everything would be going great until the check-out counter or the online screen where it asks if you’d like to purchase the Loss Damage Waiver. (Learn more about the Loss Damage Waiver’s importance here.) The liability coverage was an easy choice. It’s inexpensive – a no brainer. But the Loss Damage Waiver?!
(Not this part again!)
The risk-taker (and, we’ll say “frugal”) part of me would want to decline the coverage. I’d think to myself, “The chances of something happening are so small.” But on the other hand, I am an insurance agent, so I’ve seen some pretty crazy things happen! Then the responsible and risk-averse part of me chimes in, insisting on some kind of coverage for that imminent rental car damage claim so that it stays off my personal car insurance policy.
The whole problem is that the Loss Damage Waiver ends up costing just about the same (or more) as the cost to actually rent the car. So you’re basically doubling the price of your rental car. Waa! There MUST be another way, I thought. Then began the research.
I had heard that many credit cards offer some free protection for rental cars as a benefit for being a cardholder. When I looked into this further, it turned out that this coverage only kicks in after your current insurance policy’s (the one you pay for the car you drive everyday) limits are maxed out aka its secondary coverage. Womp. Womp. I was like, “Well that’s not much of a benefit at all!” So on to something else.
Deep in the recesses of the internet, I found it. A glimmer of hope for my ordeal. Could it be the solution I was looking for? Would it really keep a claim for a door ding or a cracked windshield off my regular insurance policy? It looked too good to be true, but I just had to see for myself, so I inquired.
Beautiful. Inexpensive. Primary coverage. I had found a hidden treasure! And it was looking at me, blinking with its big ‘ole puppy dog eyes. It was the Premium Car Rental Protection from American Express. Because I’m an American Express cardholder, I could enroll my card in this program. For a fraction of the price of the Loss Damage Waiver (there was a small fee involved), it would provide primary coverage for damage to my vacation rental car.
You can check out this program here to find out if it will work for your situation. I think it’s definitely worth checking into!
Please read your insurance policy. If there is any conflict between the information in this article and the actual terms and conditions of your policy, the terms and conditions of your policy will apply.
Wendy Caplinger is owner and insurance agent at Neighbor’s Choice Insurance Agency, Inc. She has held her Property and Casualty Insurance License in Texas for over 12 years. She received her BBA in Finance from The University of North Texas and has 15 years of experience in the insurance and financial industries. Her interest and knowledge in insurance and finance, as well as her ability to see often unnoticed risk has allowed her to drive efficiency and growth within Neighbor’s Choice Insurance.