Credit Card Car Rental Insurance

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Credit Card Rental Car Insurance Explained

Credit Card Car Rental InsuranceFor Canadian residents renting a car in Europe one of the most perplexing parts of finding and securing the best rate is deciding on what insurance options to choose. Complicated terms, additional car rental fees, and varying laws by country all contribute to a gauntlet of options that leave many drivers worried about whether or not they'll have proper coverage. Well, fear not! If you're wondering about your credit card rental car insurance we've got you covered with information on everything from types of coverage to costs and benefits. Simply select your credit card provider from the list below to learn more about how you can ensure proper coverage and potentially save big on rates with your credit card car rental insurance.

Credit Cards with Rental Car Insurance

Rental Car Insurance Credit CardWhile there are many different types of credit cards available from various institutions, almost any card issued in Canada will fall under one of the four major processors: Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express. The processor logo will be stamped on the front or back of the card, identifying what type of credit card you have. In most cases, car rental insurances are provided by the processor, not your bank or credit institution, so this is what will determine the type of car rental insurances your specific card qualifies for. For example, Chase Freedom rental car insurance would depend upon whether your card is processed by Visa or MasterCard, as the card is available in versions from both processors.

Click a credit card processor below to learn more about their car rental insurance coverages:


Visa Car Rental InsuranceFind out what coverage you're eligible for, whether you have a standard or Signature/Rewards card, with this information on Visa car rental insurance.


Amex Rental Car InsuranceSave on insurance costs without sacrificing peace of mind; learn about what you'll be covered for with your Amex rental car insurance here.


MasterCard Rental Car InsuranceWondering what extra coverage you will or won't need with your Platinum or World Elite card? Check out the details on MasterCard rental car insurance here.


Discover Rental Car InsuranceUse this info to learn what extra coverages you can decline at the pick-up desk when you use your Discover card rental car insurance.


All general policy data was collected from respective card provider's websites as of July 2016. Please call your provider directly for the most accurate and up-to-date information. Visa®, MasterCard®, Discover®, and American Express® are individually registered trademarks and are not sponsors of or affiliated with autoeurope.ca.


Visa Rental Car Insurance Coverage Explained

Does Visa Cover Rental Car Insurance?

Qualification will depend upon the type, duration, and location of your rental, among other factors, but it is possible to use your Visa rental car insurance in place of that offered through the rental company. Your Visa card rental car insurance will have you covered in most European countries for a period of up to 31 days and includes coverage for most common vehicle models and classes. Benefits extend across the full range of available credit cards, from Standard to Premium Rewards, so theres a good chance you might be able to decline CDW as part of your rental rate to save some extra cash. 

Visa Credit Cards with Car Rental Insurance
Card Type CDW in Europe? Coverage Limit
(Days)
Coverage Excludes Primary Coverage? Countries Excluded
Standard Yes 31 Expensive/exotic/antique cars, trucks, motorcycles, limos, vans (9+ pax) No Ireland, Northern Ireland
Rewards Yes 31 Expensive/exotic/antique cars, trucks, motorcycles, limos, vans (9+ pax) No Ireland, Northern Ireland
Premium Rewards Yes 31 Expensive/exotic/antique cars, trucks, motorcycles, limos, vans (9+ pax) No Ireland, Northern Ireland
Chase Sapphire Preferred Yes 31 Expensive/exotic/antique cars, trucks, motorcycles, limos, vans (9+ pax) Yes Ireland, Northern Ireland
Chase/United MileagePlus Yes 31 Expensive/exotic/antique cars, trucks, motorcycles, limos, vans (9+ pax) Yes Ireland, Northern Ireland

IMPORTANT: Terms vary by issuing bank and there are some restrictions that may apply depending on the specifics of your rental that could void you from coverage under your Visa car rental insurance policy. See the tips below to get a better idea of whether or not you'll qualify for coverage and always call your card provider directly for the most accurate information. 

What type of coverage does Visa provide?

Visa Card Rental Car Insurance CoverageYour Visa rental car insurance will cover any damage or loss and towing charges resulting from an accident or theft as well as any loss of use fees charged by the rental company, provided that the rental company supplies a fleet log. Your rental insurance with Visa will not cover liability but, luckily, all Auto Europe rates include 3rd party liability insurance as standard!

...See our page on types of rental car insurance


Is the Visa insurance coverage primary or secondary?

With the exception of some Chase cards, any rental car insurance offered by Visa is secondary, meaning accidents will affect your personally-owned vehicle's insurance premium. The Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase/United MileagePlus cards feature primary rental car coverage but these cards typically require a yearly fee for membership.

What do I need to do to activate Visa insurance for my rental?

Visa Card Car Rental InsuranceIn order to use the car rental insurance from your Visa credit card, you'll need to decline any other CDW/theft insurances offered by the rental company, pay your rental rate in full with the specific card you intend to get the benefits from, and the primary driver listed for the rental must be same as the name printed on the credit card used. So long as additional drivers are properly authorized with the car rental company you book with, they will be covered, too, but the primary driver must match the name on the Visa credit card.

Always bring documentation from Visa stating that you are covered when you pick up your rental vehicle.

In the event of an accident, when should I submit my claim?

You must submit your insurance claim to Visa as soon as possible or, at max, within 45 days of the accident. If you do not submit a claim within 45 days you may void your eligibility for rental car insurance through Visa, leaving you to foot the bill on your own.

If you decline CDW from the rental company and opt for insurance through your credit card, you will be responsible for providing Visa with the required documentation to file a claim in the event of an accident, which will include:

  • Official Visa claim form
  • Copy of Visa billing statement showing full amount of rental charged
  • Notarized statement from your primary insurance company
  • Accident/police report
  • Copy of auto rental agreements (car rental contracts)
  • Itemized repair bill
  • Photographs of damaged vehicle
  • Any other documents requested by Visa 

Will I have to pay any extra charges with my Visa rental car insurance?

Although you can get car rental insurance through Visa for no additional fees, the amount of your deductible/excess will vary greatly depending on your rental specifics, among other factors. The Visa insurance will cover for damage/loss due to collision or theft, towing services, and loss of use fees, but you must make sure your rental qualifies according to the terms and conditions of your specific credit card's policy.

In the event of an accident you will have to pay any deductibles or charges from the rental company up-front, to be later re-imbursed by your credit card pending your adherence to their requirements for coverage. 
 

The bottom line

Declining CDW and opting for alternative insurance can help you save on your overall rental rate so long as you adhere to the stipulations of your credit card's contract, as briefly outlined above. For the ultimate in worry-free travel, the only way to drive your rental vehicle abroad in confidence that you are fully-covered is with zero deductible rental car insurance; granting you peace of mind without all the hassle!  

Jump to:
MasterCard Rental Car Insurance 
Discover Car Rental Insurance 
AmEx Car Rental Insurance

Back to Index

All general policy data was collected from respective processor's website as of July 2016. Please call your provider directly for the most accurate and up-to-date information. Visa®, Chase®, and United® are registered trademarks and are not sponsors of or affiliated with autoeurope.ca.


American Express Rental Car Insurance Coverage

Does American Express Cover Car Rental Insurance?

American Express Rental Car Insurance

Renowned for some of the best and most comprehensive benefits available, American Express rental car insurance can help you save money with a wide scope of coverage throughout most countries in Europe.  Coverage is available for all AmEx cardholders but certain restrictions do apply, so make sure you qualify according to your specific rental and travel plans to avoid being left without insurance. Use the information below to learn how you can make use of the benefits provided through your Amex card and don't pay any more than you have to the next time you rent a car!

AmEx Rental Car Insurance
Card Type CDW in Europe? Coverage Limit
(Days)
Coverage Excludes Primary Coverage? Countries Excluded
AmEx Basic Yes 30 Exotic/antique cars, full-size SUVs, pickup trucks, cargo vans, vehicles with 9+ seats, off-road vehicles, RVs, motorcycles, and any vehicle with an MSRP > $50,000 No Italy, Ireland, Northern Ireland
AmEx Platinum Yes 30 Exotic/antique cars, full-size SUVs, pickup trucks, cargo vans, vehicles with 9+ seats, off-road vehicles, RVs, motorcycles, and any vehicle with an MSRP > $75,000 No Italy, Ireland, Northern Ireland
AmEx Premium Car Rental Protection
(available to all cardholders)
Yes 45 Full-size SUVs, pickup trucks, cargo vans, off-road vehicles, RVs, motorcycles, and coverage for vehicles up to $100,000 Yes Italy, Ireland, Northern Ireland

IMPORTANT: Qualifications vary by issuing bank and there are some restrictions that may apply depending on the specifics of your rental that could violate the terms under your American Express car rental insurance coverage. See the information below to get a better idea of whether or not you'll qualify for coverage and always call your card provider directly for the most accurate information. 

What type of rental car coverage does American Express provide?

American Express Car Rental Insurance

The benefits offered by American Express car rental insurance will cover damage/loss caused by collision or theft of the vehicle you are renting (CDW). While towing and loss of use fees are covered for all cardholders, only AmEx platinum car rental insurance and the optional premium protection will cover some costs for personal injury and property loss, as well.

...See our page on rental car insurance types

Is American Express rental car insurance primary or secondary?

The standard rental insurances offered for AmEx basic and platinum cardholders is secondary, meaning that any accident that occurs with the rental car will need to be reported to the driver's primary insurance (for their personally-owned vehicle). In most cases, an accident with only secondary insurance will affect the premium for a rental car driver's vehicle insurance at home. Primary car rental insurance is available for any American Express cardholder, but only through the Premium Car Rental Protection program.  

What is "AmEx Premium Car Rental Protection"?

AmEx Premium Car Rental Protection is an optional insurance package that can be purchased for an additional one-time fee of $24.95 per qualifying rental. This add-on upgrades the typical American Express rental car coverage to a primary insurance that offers additional protections such as coverage for longer rental periods (up to 45 days), a wider array of covered vehicles (up to $100,000 in value), and the added bonus of secondary insurance for personal injuries and property damage in the event of an accident. Incidents that occur with primary insurance such as this will not affect the driver's personally-owned vehicle's insurance in any way.  

How do I take advantage of AmEx car rental insurance the next time I rent?

AmEx Car Rental Insurance

So long as you use your valid American Express card to fully pay for a qualifying rental, you decline full CDW coverage offered by the rental company, and the primary driver for the rental is the AmEx cardholder, you will be covered with the basic American Express car rental insurance. In order to opt-in for the optional AmEx Premium Car Rental Protection, you must call your car provider prior to picking up your rental to engage the additional service. 

Always have official documentation from American Express with you when you pick up your rental stating that you are properly covered so you can decline the rental company's own CDW coverage.

When and how should I submit a claim if an accident or theft occurs?

You must report an accident to American Express as soon as reasonably possible and all forms/documentation for claims must be submitted within 60 days following the incident or else you can risk being denied coverage.

If you opt to decline CDW coverage offered by the rental company and use your credit card insurance instead, you will need to pay any deductible or charges due to the company you rented from, which is to be reimbursed, in turn, by your credit card processor. In order to seek compensation from American Express, they will require an official claim in the event of an accident or theft. The required documents will include:

  • Rental receipt showing that the full amount was paid for with your AmEx card
  • Official American Express claim form
  • Itemized repair bill
  • Police/accident report
  • Copy of fleet utilization log from rental company
  • Copy of official rental contract
  • Any other documents requested by American Express

Be sure to read over all official terms and conditions for your American Express rental car insurance carefully, as failure to adhere to the stipulations can result in loss of coverage.

The bottom line

American Express offers a wide range of coverage for all cardholders with additional coverage available as an option, making it one of the more comprehensive credit cards for car rental insurance. Be sure that your rental meets the terms and conditions of your specific card's policy, though, as exemptions from coverage are common. For the most convenient way to ensure peace-of-mind and avoid having to pay an excess while you wait for reimbursement, rent a car with zero deductible insurance and grant yourself a totally worry-free driving experience! 

Jump to:
MasterCard Rental Car Insurance
Visa Rental Car Insurance
Discover Car Rental Insurance

Back to Index

All general policy data was collected from respective processor's website as of July 2016. Please call your provider directly for the most accurate and up-to-date information. American Express® is a registered trademark and is not a sponsor of or affiliated with autoeurope.ca.


MasterCard Car Rental Insurance Coverage Explained

Does MasterCard Cover Car Rental Insurance?

MasterCard Rental Car InsuranceYour MasterCard car rental insurance coverage will depend upon what type of card you have, what type of vehicle you are renting, and where you plan to rent it. MasterCard insurance, known as MasterRental, is offered in most European countries, but credit cards only provide coverage for a limited number of days and do not cover larger or more expensive vehicles. MasterCard is a trusted credit card that offers rental car insurance, but you'll have to be careful to make sure that you qualify for coverage so that you can travel without worry!  

MasterCard Rental Car Insurance Coverage
Card Type CDW in Europe? Coverage Limit
(Days)
Coverage Excludes Primary Coverage? Countries Excluded
Standard No N/A

N/A

N/A N/A
Gold Yes 15 Off-road vehicles, motorcycles/mopeds, pickup trucks, 10+ passenger vans/buses, antique/exotic vehicles and any vehicles with an MSRP > $50,000 No Italy, Ireland, Northern Ireland
Platinum Yes 15 Off-road vehicles, motorcycles/mopeds, pickup trucks, 10+ passenger vans/buses, antique/exotic vehicles and any vehicles with an MSRP > $50,000 No Italy, Ireland, Northern Ireland
World Yes 15 Off-road vehicles, motorcycles/mopeds, pickup trucks, 10+ passenger vans/buses, antique/exotic vehicles and any vehicles with an MSRP > $50,000 No Italy, Ireland, Northern Ireland
World Elite Yes 15 Off-road vehicles, motorcycles/mopeds, pickup trucks, 10+ passenger vans/buses, antique/exotic vehicles and any vehicles with an MSRP > $50,000 No Italy, Ireland, Northern Ireland
Diner's Club Premier Yes 31 Off-road vehicles, motorcycles/mopeds, pickup trucks, 10+ passenger vans/buses, antique/exotic vehicles and any vehicles with an MSRP > $75,000 Yes Italy
Diner's Club Elite Yes 31 Off-road vehicles, motorcycles/mopeds, pickup trucks, 10+ passenger vans/buses, antique/exotic vehicles and any vehicles with an MSRP > $75,000 Yes Italy

IMPORTANT: Terms vary by issuing bank and there are some restrictions that may apply depending on the specifics of your rental that could violate the policy under your MasterCard car rental insurance coverage. See the tips below to get a better idea of whether or not you'll qualify for coverage and always call your card provider directly for the most accurate information. 

What type of rental car insurance does MasterCard provide?

MasterCard Car Rental InsuranceAll Auto Europe rates include liability coverage as standard and, so long as you qualify, your MasterRental insurance from MasterCard will cover damage/loss caused by collision or theft of the vehicle you are renting (CDW). In addition, MasterCard can reimburse you for extra fees like towing and loss of use, provided a fleet utilization log and proper documentation is presented.

...See our page on types of car rental insurance

Is Master CARD Rental insurance coverage primary or secondary?

MasterRental insurance is secondary on the majority of cards with the exclusion of Diner's Club cards, meaning if you get in an accident with your rented vehicle it will affect your personally-owned vehicle's insurance (your primary insurance) premium. Diner's Club cards provide primary insurance for qualifying cars rented in Europe.

What do I need to do to use MasterRental insurance on my next rental?

Mastercard Auto Rental InsuranceIn order to use your MasterCard MasterRental insurance, you'll need to decline any other collision and theft coverage offered for your rental, pay your rate in full with your valid MasterCard, and rent the car under the same name printed on the credit card used. MasterRental does cover additional drivers, but only so long as they are properly authorized with the car rental company you book with.

Always bring official documentation from MasterCard with you when you pick up your rental to prove that you are properly covered and can decline the rental company's own insurances.

If I get into an accident, when and how do I submit my claim?

You must notify MasterCard that you will need to submit a claim within 30 days of the accident. All required documentation must be submitted within 100 days following the incident (180 days for Diner's Club cards).

If you opt to use your credit card insurance and decline CDW coverage offered by the rental company itself, you will be responsible for compiling and submitting the required documentation for submitting a claim to MasterCard in the event of an accident or theft, which will include:

  • Official MasterRental claim form
  • Receipt proving use of MasterCard to pay for rental
  • MasterCard statement showing the rental charges
  • Signed rental agreement
  • Copy of your driver's license
  • Notarized statement from your primary insurance
  • Official police report
  • Itemized repair bill from garage performing repairs
  • Copy of fleet utilization log from rental supplier
  • Any additional documentation requested by MasterCard

If you do not adhere to the stipulations in your MasterCard terms and conditions, you will void your contract with them and may no longer be eligible to receive coverage.

Will I have to pay any extra fees when I use MasterRental insurance?

The MasterCard rental car insurance will cover your collision damage waiver (CDW), towing fees, and any loss of use fees incurred so long as the rental company supplies a fleet log as proof of loss of use. MasterRental is provided to holders of applicable MasterCard credit cards for no additional fees so long as your rental does not violate the terms and conditions of your specific card's policy.

In the event of an accident you will be responsible to cover any deductibles or charges from the rental company up-front, to be later re-imbursed by your credit card pending your adherence to their stipulations for coverage.  


The Bottom Line

You may be able to save on your rental rate by declining CDW and using MasterRental insurance instead, but contract terms can vary greatly with insurances provided through credit cards and you will need to make sure you qualify according to your rental specifics. For the ultimate in hassle-free peace of mind, zero deductible car rental insurance is the only sure-fire way to ensure you have nothing to worry about when you drive your rental vehicle off the lot.

Jump to:
Visa Rental Car Insurance
Discover Car Rental Insurance
AmEx Car Rental Insurance


Back to Index

All general policy data was collected from respective processor's website as of July 2016. Please call your provider directly for the most accurate and up-to-date information. MasterCard® and Diner's Club International® are registered trademarks and are not sponsors of or affiliated with autoeurope.ca.


Does Discover Card Cover Rental Car Insurance?

Discover Card Rental Car InsuranceNobody wants to pay more for a rental than they have to, especially when add-ons like insurances may already be available through your Discover card car rental insurance policy! You can potentially save big without sacrificing coverage by taking advantage of benefits provided through Discover. The only question is; does your Discover card cover rental car insurance? Use the information below to get an idea of whether or not you qualify so you can get the best rate possible on your next rental.  

Discover Card Rental Car Insurance
Card Type CDW in Europe? Coverage Limit
(Days)
Coverage Excludes Primary Coverage? Countries Excluded
it (standard) No N/A N/A N/A N/A
it Chrome No N/A N/A N/A N/A
it Miles Yes 31
(45 if card is for a business)
Off-road vehicles, pickup trucks, mini-buses, antique/exotic vehicles and any coverage > $25,000 No Where prohibited by law
Motiva Yes 31
(45 if card is for a business)
Off-road vehicles, pickup trucks, mini-buses, antique/exotic vehicles and any coverage > $25,000 No Where prohibited by law
More Yes 31
(45 if card is for a business)
Off-road vehicles, pickup trucks, mini-buses, antique/exotic vehicles and any coverage > $25,000 No Where prohibited by law
Open Road Yes 31
(45 if card is for a business)
Off-road vehicles, pickup trucks, mini-buses, antique/exotic vehicles and any coverage > $25,000 No Where prohibited by law
Escape Yes 31 Off-road vehicles, pickup trucks, mini-buses, antique/exotic vehicles and any coverage > $50,000 Yes Italy, Ireland, Northern Ireland

IMPORTANT: Terms vary by issuing bank and there are some restrictions that may apply depending on the specifics of your rental that could violate the policy under your Discover car rental insurance coverage. See the tips below to get a better idea of whether or not you'll qualify for coverage and always call your card provider directly for the most accurate information. 

What type of car rental coverage does Discover offer?

Discover Car Rental InsuranceThe protections offered by Discover rental car insurance will cover damage/loss caused by collision or theft of the vehicle you are renting (CDW). This is not "all-inclusive" insurance and so personal injury and property loss coverage are not included. Loss of use fees and towing charges are also excluded for all Discover cards except the Escape card, which will cover for these expenses so long as a receipt and fleet utilization log from the rental company is provided.

...See our page on car rental insurance types

Is Discover rental car insurance primary or secondary?

The only Discover card that offers primary rental car insurance is the Escape card; all other Discover cards provide secondary auto rental insurance only. Secondary insurance means that any accidents will have to be reported to your personally-owned vehicle's insurance company at home, thereby affecting your premium, while primary car rental insurance would not affect your domestic car insurance rates at all.

What do I need to do to use Discover card car rental insurance the next time I rent?

In order to put your Discover card car rental insurance to use, you are required to decline any other CDW coverages offered for your rental, pay for your rental in full with your valid Discover credit card, and rent the car under the same name printed on said card. Your car rental insurance with Discover will cover additional drivers, but only so long as they are officially authorized with the car rental company at the desk when you pick up your vehicle.

Always have Discover provide you with official documentation to bring with you when you pick up your rental stating that you are properly covered and can decline the rental company's own CDW coverage.

When and how do I submit a claim if an accident or theft occurs?

You must report to Discover as soon as possible immediately following an accident and all required documentation must be submitted within 90 days following the incident.

If you opt to  decline CDW coverage offered by the rental company and use your credit card insurance instead, you will be responsible for collecting and sending in the required paperwork for submitting a claim to Discover in the event of an accident or theft. The required documents will include:

  • Copy of your account statement showing the full amount paid for the rental
  • Copy of your rental agreement/contract
  • Police/accident report
  • Copy of initial claim or report sent to the rental company
  • A notarized statement confirming that no other insurances are applicable
  • Copy of paid claim from the rental company
  • Any other documents requested by Discover

Failure to follow the guidelines in your Discover card contract will void your coverage and you may no longer be eligible to receive the insurance, so be sure to read over all official terms and conditions carefully.

Will I have to pay any extra fees for my Discover car rental insurance?

Your Discover car rental insurance will cover for collision damage waiver (CDW), but you will have to pay any additional fees charged by the rental company, including towing charges, administration fees, and any loss of use fees. The Discover Escape card includes some of these additional fees in its coverage, but only when sufficient documentation is provided. Rental car coverage is provided to holders of applicable Discover credit cards for no additional fees (aside from yearly fees associated with membership for certain cards) so long as your rental qualifies according to your specific card's policy.

In the event of an accident you will be responsible to pay for any deductibles or charges from the rental company up-front when opting for Discover rental insurance, to be later re-imbursed by your credit card pending your adherence to their requirements for coverage. 
 

The Bottom Line

You can save a good deal of money on your overall rate by excluding CDW and using Discover card rental car insurance instead, but deductibles and qualifications can vary greatly among insurances provided by credit cards and you will have to check with your specific provider to be sure you aren't excluded from coverage. The most convenient and least confusing way to ensure peace-of-mind is to leave the hard work up to the experts; book your car with zero deductible rental car insurance and you can travel with confidence knowing that your rental car is fully covered without any frills or exceptions. 

Jump to:
MasterCard Rental Car Insurance
Visa Car Rental Insurance
AmEx Car Rental Insurance

Back to Index

All general policy data was collected from respective processor's website as of July 2016. Please call your provider directly for the most accurate and up-to-date information. Discover® is a registered trademark and is not a sponsor of or affiliated with autoeurope.ca.