How Do I Know if My Credit Card Covers Rental Car Insurance?

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How Do I Know if My Credit Card Covers Rental Car Insurance?

Over the summer, Marble member Anna found herself in a sticky situation in South Carolina. After arriving in the Palmetto State to attend a wedding, she acquired a rental car to get from Charleston Airport to her cousin’s house. While Anna had visited her cousin before, she had never driven these roads herself, and certainly not at night. Although she was paying close attention and the lights were bright, she still didn’t see the deer until seconds before it collided with her car. Fortunately for both of them, Anna slammed her foot on the brake. The deer limped off, and the car was still drivable. Admittedly, the paint was a bit chipped and parts of the fender seemed a little bit looser than before. “Lucky for me,” thought Anna, “I have rental car insurance through my credit card.” But was her rental car insurance actually covered by her credit card?

Like Anna, plenty of us go around assuming our credit cards will protect us financially when it comes to the theft or damage of a rental car. Sometimes this is true, sometimes it isn’t. Unsurprisingly, rental car insurance offered by a credit card isn’t entirely clear cut. Keep reading to determine whether your credit cards cover rental car insurance. 

Does my credit card cover rental car insurance?

First off, it must be noted that not all credit cards cover rental insurance, and even if your credit card does, you might still have to opt in to the program. This might sound obvious, but for the insurance to apply, you have to book the rental carusing that credit card. And some types of rental cars (like limos, international rentals, or vans, for example) might not be covered. You’ll need to speak with your credit card provider to find out exactly what is excluded.

When rental car insurance is offered, it is often, though not always, a secondary form of insurance coverage, meaning that it typically kicks in only after your personal automobile insurance pays. In most cases, a personal auto policy will also cover any rental car, but you’ll want to review your coverage. 

If, however, you have a high deductible or low liability; don’t have comprehensive or collision insurance; or simply don’t want any claims filed on your personal policy, then it might be worthwhile to get insurance from the rental car company. (If you don’t have auto insurance, however, both the credit card policy and the insurance from the rental car company can function as your primary policy.) Again, you’ll want to check with your provider whether the coverage is primary or secondary. 

You may also want to find out what isn’t covered regarding the rental car. While these policies typically protect against collisions, loss of use if the car has to be serviced, and some towing expenses, they tend not to cover any medical or legal costs that may be incurred as a result of driving the rental car. 

Finally, it’s important to remember that the coverage period for rental car insurance is usually limited. The actual number of days can vary, but it’s worth investigating in advance — particularly if you’re planning a long trip or traveling abroad.

What credit cards cover rental car insurance?

Each credit card has a slightly different set-up, so as with everything, it’s good to read the fine print. 

But to help you out, we took the liberty of taking a look at some of the most popular credit cards out there (based on web search volume) and outlining the amount of coverage they offer, along with the duration of that coverage.

Card Coverage Type Period
Chase Sapphire Reserve $75,000 Primary Up to 31 consecutive days
Chase Sapphire Preferred Cash Value Primary Up to 31 consecutive days
Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi $50,000 Secondary Up to 31 consecutive days
Southwest credit cards Cash Value (usually) Secondary (usually) Up to 31 consecutive days
Discover It Cash Back $25,000 Secondary Up to 31 consecutive days
Chase Freedom Unlimited Cash Value Secondary Up to 31 consecutive days
Chase Freedom Flex Cash Value Secondary Up to 31 consecutive days
Citi Double Cash Not offered N/A N/A
Apple Card Not offered N/A N/A
Capital One Venture Rewards Cash Value Secondary Up to 31 consecutive days

Manage your insurance policies easily with Marble

Whether you’re off to South Carolina or Uzbekistan, you’ll want to protect yourself against life’s obstacles (and the world’s deer population) with a well-structured car insurance policy. That’s why we built Marble to help you organize and access your insurance policies and find everything you need when you need it, all in one digital hub. Set up your wallet today.


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