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Travel Insurance

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Lasher

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Sep 19, 2007
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Hi everyone - my first post :)

I've done a lot of reading on this forum in regards to travel insurance and I'm so disappointed its not so clear cut - just like all insurances I suppose...

I'm heading to the US next month and am looking at car rentals whilst I'm there. I have a Westpac Altitude AMEX card which provides *some* level of cover, but when I called up Westpac, they were very vague, but indicated they did cover me if I have an accident in a rental car - but what exactly...?

Just to be sure, I went ahead and took out some travel insurance with Columbus.

The picture is no clearer. When I book a car rental, do I still need to take out the optional insurance covers (and Columbus will pay the excess) or can I waive the insurance premiums and rely on my credit card's (which will be used to pay for the rental) cover, with Columbus picking up the balance, OR should I go ahead and pay the premium to the car rental agency just to be sure?

:confused:
 

Travel Guru

Established Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2006
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Car rental excess in the US is a little different to anywhere else in the world in that there's 2 options, you reduce to down or you own the car, there's no $2500ish excess level such as you'd expect in Australia.

The cover for rental car excess in the US is of no use to you for this reason.

I'd take a look at someone like driveaway.com.au which offers all inclusive rates that have already reduced your liability to zero.

Hope this helps

TG
 

Dave Noble

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2005
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6,419
Lasher said:
The picture is no clearer. When I book a car rental, do I still need to take out the optional insurance covers (and Columbus will pay the excess) or can I waive the insurance premiums and rely on my credit card's (which will be used to pay for the rental) cover, with Columbus picking up the balance, OR should I go ahead and pay the premium to the car rental agency just to be sure?
If you just want coverage for car hire, I would suggest taking out insurance cover which specifically covers car hire such as Car Hire Secondary Insurance, Rental Car Insurances. and will provide all that you need for Liability insurance and CDW cover

The Columbus insurance will only cover the excess where CDW has been taken
Columbus policy documents said:
Section 14
Collision Damage Waiver Excess
What You are covered for
Any motor insurance excess that You are required to
pay up to the amount stated in the Schedule in the
event of damage to a vehicle under a rental hire car
contract hired from a licensed rental vehicle agency
during Your Trip.
We will only pay under this Section if You have
complied with the terms and conditions of the rental hire
car contract and if a valid Collision Damage Insurance
is in force on the vehicle
.
so you will need ( assuming you want coverage ) to take out Third Party Insurance and LDW on the rental and then Columbus will cover the excess

Dave
 

Fifa

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Sep 17, 2006
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I have just booked two seperate car rentals in Florida (both one-way) with cheapcarrentals.com. The car rental company is Dollar and for US$46 per day I am getting a full-size car in Florida which includes:
"Unlimited mileage, Loss Damage Waiver (CDW), SLI, All Taxes and fees. CFC (Customer facility Charge) and the HSF (Homeland Security Fee)".
The rentals are only available for non-US residents.
I still have one more rental to research which is between Florida and Tennessee but this will incur a one-way fee.
 

Mal

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Keep in mind that when returning a damaged car to a rental agency, they will often debit your credit card (or other form of security) an amount equal to the estimated value of the repair, or the excess - whichever is lower.

If I write off a high end car in the U.S which is towed from the scene, and theoretically have an excess of say $40000 US (My insurance company notwithstanding), then I presume they will seek that excess from me there and then.

Interesting situation if LDW/CDW or the other applicable insurance hasn't been obtained?

Anyone dealt with a similar "high value collision" type incident before? (My only previous example was relatively negligible at ~$800AU - which was refunded eventually)
 

straitman

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Mal said:
Keep in mind that when returning a damaged car to a rental agency, they will often debit your credit card (or other form of security) an amount equal to the estimated value of the repair, or the excess - whichever is lower.

If I write off a high end car in the U.S which is towed from the scene, and theoretically have an excess of say $40000 US (My insurance company notwithstanding), then I presume they will seek that excess from me there and then.

Interesting situation if LDW/CDW or the other applicable insurance hasn't been obtained?

Anyone dealt with a similar "high value collision" type incident before? (My only previous example was relatively negligible at ~$800AU - which was refunded eventually)
This could be interesting for us in a company sense as our company self insures ALL the insurances, so it could get expensive if someone had a major accident. Not sure what authorisation level would be needed for a $US40,000 expenditure on the corporate AMEX :!:

p.s. The company can well and truely afford to pay, they just wouldn't be happy doing so.

... maybe they could buy out the rental company :!:
 

Travel Guru

Established Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2006
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2,002
straitman said:
This could be interesting for us in a company sense as our company self insures ALL the insurances, so it could get expensive if someone had a major accident. Not sure what authorisation level would be needed for a $US40,000 expenditure on the corporate AMEX :!:

p.s. The company can well and truely afford to pay, they just wouldn't be happy doing so.

... maybe they could buy out the rental company :!:
I've heard of several companies who do the same thing, though i've never heard of situation arising where anyone did any serious damage their rental vehicles.

I suspect in the case of GM etc, they would just wear it on the balance sheet of self insuring and put it down to an inevitable occurance now and then.

TG
 

oz_mark

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straitman said:
This could be interesting for us in a company sense as our company self insures ALL the insurances, so it could get expensive if someone had a major accident. Not sure what authorisation level would be needed for a $US40,000 expenditure on the corporate AMEX :!:

p.s. The company can well and truely afford to pay, they just wouldn't be happy doing so.

... maybe they could buy out the rental company :!:
When you self-insure you have to be prepared for the occassional lumpy hit. I used to work for a comapny that basically did the same, but they would take out separate cover for potentially lumpy things like third party damage.
 

straitman

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Travel Guru said:
I've heard of several companies who do the same thing, though i've never heard of situation arising where anyone did any serious damage their rental vehicles.

I suspect in the case of GM etc, they would just wear it on the balance sheet of self insuring and put it down to an inevitable occurance now and then.

TG
I'm not sure what level we self insure to, however I do know it's into the millions somewhere, probably billions.
 

Maca44

AFF Supporter
Joined
Sep 2, 2005
Messages
1,260
Travel Guru said:
Car rental excess in the US is a little different to anywhere else in the world in that there's 2 options, you reduce to down or you own the car, there's no $2500ish excess level such as you'd expect in Australia.

The cover for rental car excess in the US is of no use to you for this reason.

I'd take a look at someone like driveaway.com.au which offers all inclusive rates that have already reduced your liability to zero.

Hope this helps

TG
I second this suggestion by Travel Guru, having used driveaway.com.au on two occasions out of Seattle in the past 14 months. They were very good and all inclusive insurance.
 
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