Avion car rental insurance
When you’re renting a car—whether it’s for business travel, a family vacation, or a weekend road trip—you don’t want to have to worry if you’re sufficiently protected in case of an accident. You just want to hit the road—and not have to spend too much time or money in the process.
While adding insurance to your car rental can seem like an extra step that’s keeping you from getting behind the wheel, the insurance choice you make before you drive away can have a significant impact on any claims costs down the road.
There are a few ways to get coverage on a rental car:
1. Purchase a “rental car rider” through your insurance provider.
By adding a “rental car rider” to your current policy, you may be able to transfer your car insurance coverage and claims services from your own vehicle to the rental car—often at a very reasonable price. When you insure a rental car this way, you may better understand what you’re covered for, and what type of service to expect.
Just keep in mind that when your “rental car rider” is being used, your car at home may not be insured and should stay parked.
2. Purchase coverage through the rental car agency.
Purchasing coverage through the rental car agency is convenient, but it may be expensive and could offer limited coverage with many restrictions. For example, it may not include protection from lawsuits, and claims service standards are typically basic. So if you choose this option, be sure you thoroughly understand the details of your coverage.
3. Use the coverage on your credit card.
You can also consider your credit card, as many credit cards provide some form of rental car insurance as long as you use the card to rent the car.
Again, you’ll want to know exactly what that insurance covers as it may have limitations and exclusions. It’s a good idea to call your credit card company and ask for the specific insurance details.
Whatever choice you make, it’s important to know exactly what your insurance covers, and understand all of your options—because nothing can ruin your day more than having to spend your own time and money on an unexpected event like a car accident.
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“We have since changed to RBC Rewards Visa Preferred, which does offer trip cancellation coverage,” Carole says.
I was surprised to hear you could be denied insurance if you got a free trip with reward points. So, I asked Milan Korcok, a retired medical journalist who runs a consumer advice website, www.travelinsurance.com.
“I recall seeing language that precludes trip cancellation coverage for trips earned by rewards. Since the trip was not paid for by the clients, it doesn’t qualify as reimbursable,” he said.
“I understand the clients ‘paid’ for the travel by their previous transactions, but they didn’t pay out any dollars for this trip. Thus, there was no loss.
“Insurers use the same rationale to not cover flight or cruise cancellations if the carrier issues a voucher for future travel. There’s no loss, as the carrier is promising to make good.”
Carole Brown asked Active Care Management (which handles claims for the McLennan Group, CARP’s travel insurance partner) why it didn’t disclose the lack of coverage for trips paid for with reward points.
“The claims department couldn’t tell us where it said so in the policy, but still maintained we were not covered,” she said.
Korcok agreed with Brown about the importance of clear disclosure.
“Most policies I’m familiar with bury this provision deeply into the weeds,” he said. “Since so many trips these days are done on reward points, insurers should be up front about these kinds of limitations.”
In his view, trip cancellation policies are the most poorly explained and misunderstood travel products in the market.
“They are full of exclusions, limitations and contradictions. You really need a roto-rooter to get to the heart of what is covered and what is not.”
By now, you’re probably getting curious — if not worried — about your own credit card coverage. What do you have and what do you need?
Luckily, there’s a new online tool that can help you do the legwork in searching for information about credit card benefits.
The Credit Card Navigator, available at www.insureye.com, allows you to browse through a database of more than 150 credit cards from major banks and retailers.
You’ll find 19 credit cards that have trip cancellation coverage, compared to 35 cards that have trip interruption coverage.
Some credit cards, such as Scotia Gold Passport Visa ($110 a year) and BMO World Elite ($150 a year), have both kinds of insurance coverage.
Other credit cards, such as CIBC Aerogold Infinite Visa ($120 a year) and American Express Gold Rewards ($150 a year), have trip interruption only — and offer a trip cancellation option if you pay for it.
And some cards, such as BMO Gold Air Miles MasterCard for Business, offer only trip interruption coverage.
“We want to help you manage the benefits you have on your credit cards and see where the coverage overlaps,” says Alexey Saltykov, co-founder of the InsurEye website.
An 89-year-old’s travel insurance mistake
Ellen Roseman writes about personal finance and consumer issues. You can reach her at email@example.com.
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† To get a short-haul flight to any adjoining province/state in Canada or the U.S, you will need a total of 15,000 RBC Rewards points, for a maximum ticket price of $350. To receive the 15,000 bonus RBC Rewards points which will appear on your first statement, your application form must be approved by us. Additional cardholder(s), as well as cardholder(s) with existing RBC Royal Bank travel rewards credit cards, applying for or transferring to an RBC Visa Infinite Avion card as of the offer eligibility period, are not eligible for this offer. This offer may not be combined or used in conjunction with another offer. All applicable taxes, service fees and surcharges are the responsibility of the traveller. For Air Travel Reward redemption details, visit www.rbc.com/travelredemption . Some restrictions apply. For complete terms and conditions that apply to the RBC Rewards program, please visit: www.rbcrewards.com or call 1-800-769-2512. Royal Bank of Canada reserves the right to withdraw this offer at any time, even after acceptance by you.
* RBC Rewards points are earned on qualifying net purchases only; they are not earned on cash advances, balance transfers, cash-like transactions and certain bill payments, interest charges or fees, and credits for returns and adjustments will reduce or cancel the points earned by the amounts originally charged.
◊ Please note that it will take two (2) to three (3) business days for your payment to be credited to your credit card account and to adjust your available credit. Redemptions are final and cannot be cancelled or reversed once submitted. For complete details, please consult the RBC Rewards Terms and Conditions
1) Coverage underwritten by RBC Insurance Company of Canada.
2) Under 65 years of age, 15 days of coverage. For age 65 and over, 3 days of coverage. Coverage underwritten by RBC Insurance Company of Canada.
3) Coverage underwritten by Aviva General Insurance Company in the Province of Quebec and by RBC Insurance Company of Canada in the rest of Canada.
4) Coverage underwritten by Aviva General Insurance Company.
All insurance is subject to limitations and exclusions. Please refer to the insurance certificates included in your Welcome Kit for complete details.