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rental car insurance in the US

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GeorgeMM

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Given that the "excess" car rental insurance available with Australian travel insurance policies doesn't cover collision damage and other liability when renting a car in the US (only any "excess") - is there an Australian-based insurance company that will provide this cover? in the same or a similar way to what insuremyrentalcar.com offers for non-US residents.

Many of the options available to US residents when renting a car don't apply to non-US residents. Paying the comprehensive insurance at the car rental firms for an extended hire (14 days) to cover CDW/LDW; plus additional liability; plus towing and recovery fees; plus loss of use; plus admin fees, is incredibly expensive (and difficult to find out exactly how much before you show up at the rental counter in the US.

I called NRMA to see if they offered such a policy, but the person I spoke to wasn't able to help.

Any help, thoughts or guidance would be greatfully received.
 

cove

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I use argus car hire trawler site for the US and take up the Gold or Platinum insurance that is offered.
When you get to the counter don't let them change anything as they get up to half of the extra charges as a commission.
 

drron

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If you use any of the consolidators-argus,driveaway,globalcars-they all will include insurance.
I use Avis and as a preferred renter booking from Australia I get insurance included.I use them as they do not hassle me whereas if you use a consolidator that can happen.Also it is great just walking to your car without having to line up.
 

cove

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In the US I typically have the car for between 10 and 28 days so I am not worried about a wait at the counter to save more than a few hundred dollars. I just make sure that the car I click on is absolutely the size I want as the high pressure selling at the counter is pretty awesome but I delight in saying no thanks. Then the free tank of fuel is nice as you hire it full and return it empty.
 
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GeorgeMM

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If you use any of the consolidators-argus,driveaway,globalcars-they all will include insurance.
I use Avis and as a preferred renter booking from Australia I get insurance included.I use them as they do not hassle me whereas if you use a consolidator that can happen.Also it is great just walking to your car without having to line up.

thanks - from my investigations so far, booking directly with Avis (at Jackson Hole) is much more expensive than the others - I didn't see Avis offered on the aggregator sites that I looked at.
 

GeorgeMM

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thanks everyone for the helpful advice.

One of the other confusing aspects is trying to figure out what is covered and what is not covered, and this also relates to the sales pressure at the rental desk (from reading other posts). eg there are claims that though CDW/LDW is included, loss of use (by the rental company, and I gather this might be high) is not, claims that towing/recovery fees may not be included also. I/m finding some of this is difficult to uncover beforehand
 

GeorgeMM

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has anyone used vroomvroomvroom.com.au/usa-car-rental/ - they seem to have an Australian office and make reference to US rental car insurance issues - would be useful to hear of any experiences with them
 

BAM1748

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If you use Alamo for example you can check the CDW price when you choose your origin country as Australia.

While you say the insurance is high and it can be nearly half the rental cost, I find that the actual rental cost itself is generally pretty cheap and overall car rental in the US is cheaper than Australia.

Matt
PS, too much insurance is never enough, but when you read the super fine print you don't seem to be fully covered anyway :shock:
 

cove

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Yes a claim in the US that you don't defend can become an enforceable judgement in Australia.
What that means is you are well advised to have proper insurance in the US or a bailiff may knock on your door to collect on a damages claim that you have ignored to do with a hire car.
 
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I came back 2 weeks ago and used rentalcars.com

I booked a SUV through Alamo and it included all insurances. They only thing they tried to sell me was roadside assist but then said as I was driving to Vegas from LA I could call them anyway of any problems.

I got to chose my car from a few available - I has a Buick Enclave on the way there and a brand new GMC Yukon on the way back. Both cars low kms and no issues at all.
 
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I note all the posts on this thread so far have been about the insurance inclusions. Can anyone give actual experiences of a collision and how easy/difficult/stressful the whole claims process was and whether the insurance company came to the party 100% or were there little (or big) gotchas along the way?
 

drron

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thanks - from my investigations so far, booking directly with Avis (at Jackson Hole) is much more expensive than the others - I didn't see Avis offered on the aggregator sites that I looked at.
For the major car rental companies you should always look at their UK websites-generally a lot cheaper than their US or Australian sites.Insurance is also included.
 
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For the major car rental companies you should always look at their UK websites-generally a lot cheaper than their US or Australian sites.Insurance is also included.
Does that then have the potential to become an issue in the event of an accident?
 

GeorgeMM

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I note all the posts on this thread so far have been about the insurance inclusions. Can anyone give actual experiences of a collision and how easy/difficult/stressful the whole claims process was and whether the insurance company came to the party 100% or were there little (or big) gotchas along the way?

Yes, I also would like to hear of actual experiences of making a claim and any issues as it is only when something goes wromg that you get to find out how effective the insurance is. - thanks
 

justinn

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I am a US Citizen and have rented "hired" cars abroad and my credit card company covers insurance on rental cars as it was my own auto policy, I would look into what your credit card offers.
 

GeorgeMM

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I am a US Citizen and have rented "hired" cars abroad and my credit card company covers insurance on rental cars as it was my own auto policy, I would look into what your credit card offers.
i have checked both aAustralian issued credit cards and my and other Australian issued auto and travel policies. in all cases they only cover (at best) the "ecess" cost of the claim over and above what the rental car company provides. in Australia ( and many other countries) rental car companies are legally required to provide a minimum level of insurance with the cost included in the rental charge). this doesnt seem to bea requirement in the US - at leas for non-US residents.
 

serfty

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I am a US Citizen and have rented "hired" cars abroad and my credit card company covers insurance on rental cars as it was my own auto policy, I would look into what your credit card offers.
As per GeorgeMM's post, Australian car rental companies have to provide a basic insurance. This insurance comes with a very high 'e3xcess' or 'gap' - $3K-$5k are common.

Renters can pay a premium the the rental company to have that excess waived/reduced or otherwise have insurance. Many Australian credit card companies provide cover this 'excess' but at the same time have nothing to do with CDW/LDW that is common in the USA.

As per other posts in this thread, it is something to be wary of.
 

TiredOldFlyer

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It's a nightmare !
most States in the USA require rental cars operators to have insurance ( and they don't often tell you this )so the companies have an excess up to $5000 and to remove this excess can be the very expensive part of the deal.
Several "high end" Australian credit cards offer cover. We have AMEX cards that include up to $125,000 in the event
of damage, however in saying this we mostly book through a consolidator, because as had been said they, fly include
Insurance in the rates but always exclude any excess cover.
Have used several different consolidators but recently have found Economy Car Rentals to be good and clear in their offers.
Sorry, have never had a claim in a rental car and do not look forward to having one - seems to be another rip off in the car
rent business.
 

cove

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Just like you Tired Old Flyer we have never had an insurance claim in 40 years of driving hire cars in the US. I always take US cover with the fall back on my US credit card plus our Chubb travel insurance from Australia.
 
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