Are you planning a road trip or traveling to a new city? Renting a car can provide the freedom and convenience you need to explore your destination at your own pace. However, before you hit the road, it’s essential to understand the insurance coverage options available to you. In this article, we’ll dive into the details of Discover Card rental car insurance, exploring its benefits, limitations, and how it compares to other insurance options.
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Is There A Discover Card Rental Car Insurance?
No, Discover card no longer provides rental car insurance. The perk was discontinued in 2018, so cardholders no longer have access to this benefit. Previously, the card offered up to $25,000 in rental car insurance for damages or theft if the rental was purchased with the card and the rental agency’s insurance was declined. Along with this, Discover also discontinued other benefits such as extended warranty coverage, flight accident insurance, return guarantees, and purchase protection.
However, other credit card companies, like American Express, Mastercard, Visa, Chase, United, and Capital One, still offer rental car insurance. Depending on the card type, you might receive either primary or secondary coverage. Primary coverage pays for your claims without needing to involve your personal auto insurance, helping you avoid a deductible and potential rate increase. Secondary coverage kicks in after your personal insurance, covering your deductible and any remaining costs.
The common type of coverage offered is Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), also known as loss damage waiver coverage. This covers theft or damage to the rental vehicle. If it’s primary coverage, the CDW will cover the entire incident, while secondary coverage tops up your personal insurance. This insurance might also cover towing, roadside assistance, and administrative fees.
There are some things credit card rental car insurance won’t cover. These include liability insurance (for bodily injury and property damage), expensive or antique vehicles, rental periods over 15-30 days, personal injury protection (medical bill reimbursements), personal property insurance (for stolen personal items), and rentals in certain countries. For example, American Express doesn’t cover rentals in Italy, New Zealand, or Australia.
What other credit card companies offer rental car coverage?
Several other credit card companies offer rental car coverage as a perk for their cardholders. As of my last update in September 2021, these include:
- American Express: Many American Express cards provide secondary rental car insurance and offer the option to purchase premium primary coverage.
- Chase: Cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve offer primary car rental coverage, which means it kicks in before your personal auto insurance.
- MasterCard: Car rental coverage is available on many of their cards, but it’s typically secondary coverage.
- Visa: Most Visa credit cards offer secondary rental car insurance.
- Capital One: Some Capital One credit cards, including certain Venture and Quicksilver cards, offer secondary auto rental CDW coverage.
- United: The United℠ Explorer Card offers primary car rental coverage.
The type and amount of coverage provided can vary significantly from card to card. Always check with your credit card issuer to understand the details of your coverage before relying on it for a rental car. This information can usually be found in your card’s benefits guide or by contacting customer service.
What credit card rental car insurance doesn’t cover?
While credit card rental car insurance can provide valuable coverage, there are several things it typically does not cover:
- Liability Insurance: This includes bodily injury and property damage. If you’re at fault in an accident that injures another person or damages their property, credit card rental car insurance usually won’t cover those costs.
- Expensive or Exotic Vehicles: Luxury vehicles, antique cars, large vehicles like trucks or vans, and motorcycles or mopeds often aren’t covered.
- Long-Term Rentals: Credit card companies usually limit coverage to short-term rentals, typically up to 15 to 30 days.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP): Medical expenses for you or your passengers typically aren’t covered.
- Personal Property Insurance: If personal belongings are stolen from your rental car, most credit card insurance won’t cover the loss.
- Country Limitations: Some credit card insurances have country exclusions. For instance, rentals in countries like Italy, Australia, and New Zealand may not be covered.
- Other Exclusions: Wear and tear, off-road operation, and driving under the influence are typically not covered. The same goes for violation of the rental agreement.
These are general guidelines and the specifics can vary between credit card issuers and even between different cards from the same issuer. Always check the fine print of your credit card benefits to know exactly what is and isn’t covered.
In conclusion, while Discover discontinued its rental car insurance offering in 2018, many other credit card companies continue to provide this benefit. American Express, Chase, Mastercard, Visa, Capital One, and United are among those offering some form of rental car coverage, whether primary or secondary. However, it’s crucial to understand what these policies do and don’t cover. They often exclude things like liability insurance, coverage for expensive vehicles, long-term rentals, personal injury protection, personal property insurance, and rentals in certain countries. Knowing your credit card’s insurance benefits and limitations can save you from unexpected costs and help ensure peace of mind when you’re on the road with a rental car.