Because our car is really old, we seldom use it when we travel for fear of the car breaking down in the middle of nowhere, thus, ruining our vacation.
Our best option is to rent a car and to avail additional savings, we select rental companies that accept our AAA card.
When renting cars, one of the things that the sales associate would push is their comprehensive insurance that would probably cost at least $15 per day. It covers only the losses and damages to the vehicle that you’re renting and medical expenses for you and your passengers. The biggest pitch is that when something happens to car, you can just “walk away” and the coverage is much better than the alternative.
But are they really pushing because of that? Or are they pushing it because it is one of the top money maker for the company?
From what I’ve heard, the sales associate and managers get a bonus for selling these types of insurance.
What Are Your Alternatives?
Own comprehensive Insurance.
If you have comprehensive coverage on your auto insurance policy, chances are that your rental car will be covered as well. However, you will also be subject to the same deductible you carry on the rental car. This is one of the pitches that the salesperson would tell you: With their insurance coverage, you don’t have to pay any deductibles, they will cover for almost 100% of the damage. But if you already have insurance coverage, there is no need to over insure yourself as you are just wasting money!
Credit Card Coverage.
Visa and MasterCard credit cards, specifically the gold and platinum cards, offer this coverage at no additional charge as long as you use those cards to reserve and pay for the car rentals. The advantage of using this method is that you don’t have to pay the deductibles. This is also a good option for someone who does not have any comprehensive coverage on their personal auto insurance (like us, we only have liability insurance coverage since we have an old car and do not need the comprehensive coverage!!)
American Express credit card also has a comprehensive coverage but you have to enroll your Amex credit card. There are no monthly fees for the enrollment but there is a fee for the insurance coverage which ranges from $15-25 per car rental. The good thing about this is that they offer more coverage than the gold and platinum cards and the charges. This is better than the rental companies insurance cost since the charges are per car rental and not per day!! The rental day’s coverage could vary from 30 to 42 days depending on the restrictions.
Lastly, if you don’t have any comprehensive insurance coverage or credit cards that offer the coverage, then I strongly recommend that you get the car rental companies’ coverage as you don’t want to deal with the financial loss that you may incur in case a damage or theft occurs.