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Most credit cards offer rental car insurance

March 4, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
What you don't know about rental cars and credit cards can really cost you. 7 On Your Side has some tricks of the trade you should know about.

When renting a car, either because your car is in the shop or you are traveling, there are several important tips you must keep in mind to save yourself some real money.

Nearly every person renting a car at SFO will pay with a credit card and by doing so they'll receive an extra insurance policy. Nearly every credit card comes with rental car insurance. Coverage can be limited, but it can make a difference.

Richmond resident Mia Styles said one day she pulled out the car charger in a rental and it hit the windshield. The windshield broke and she ended up paying a lot of money for it, but she probably didn't have too. That is a mishap which would be covered by nearly any credit card.

In fact, that extra protection can make getting into a wreck while driving a rental car, less expensive than getting into a wreck driving your own vehicle. Why? That rental car insurance coverage doesn't kick in unless you are renting a car.

"That is really the beauty of having a credit card because often times with your automobile insurance you have a deductible of $1000 and you are liable for that if you don't have the supplemental coverage that is supplied by your credit card," said Rosemarie Clancy from Credit-Land.com.

It is a good deal, but it doesn't cover everything.

If you rent an exotic car, the credit card insurance doesn't pay. If you rent a truck or some SUVs, the credit card insurance doesn't kick in. And in nearly every case if you buy the insurance offered by the rental car company, the credit card insurance won't pay.

When traveling overseas, check with your credit card company to see if you're covered and always buy rental car coverage in Italy and Ireland. They have really strict laws there.


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