New Study Sheds Light on Credit Card Car Rental Insurance Coverage

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Many people don’t fully understand how car rental insurance coverage offered by credit cards works, but a new study from explores the ins and outs of using credit card car rental insurance. The detailed infographic and article just published by aims to help consumers decide whether or not to decline car rental insurance next time they find themselves at the car rental counter.

A new study by, titled “Credit Cards and Car Rentals – Are You Really Covered?” provides consumers with much-needed answers about credit card car rental protection, a subject that has seen plenty of press lately but can still be very confusing to anyone who has ever rented a car.

Many people may know that when they use a credit card to pay for a rental car, there is some sort of insurance offered by the card issuer, but most don’t understand exactly how it works or what will be covered. When offered an array of different insurance options by the car rental company – collision, loss, liability, medical – they often don’t know which to sign up for. That means they either end up paying for more insurance than they needed, or they may be going without important coverage and leaving themselves vulnerable to liability in case of an accident.

The study covers these basic points and more:

  •     What coverage is offered by different credit card issuers – what’s covered, what’s not
  •     How premium coverage from American Express differs from regular coverage by other issuers
  •     Which vehicles are covered by credit card insurance, and which aren’t
  •     Limitations, liability, and what consumers should do if they get into a fender-bender in their rental

“ took a cost-based approach in our study of car rental protection by credit cards. Our goal was to evaluate standard car rental insurance and compare it to the coverage offered by credit cards to answer the question - does it make sense to decline coverage?” says Michael Germanovsky, the editor-in-chief of

The study gives a side-by-side comparison of the different protections offered by credit card networks, including the premium coverage offered by American Express. This premium coverage, priced at $24.99 for the duration of the rental period, is compared with the cost of general car rental insurance offered by rental companies.

Germanovsky points out that “although many recent articles on this topic have highlighted the fact that luxury vehicles, commercial vehicles, and SUV's are not covered by most major card protection programs, they neglect to mention that these vehicles are covered by AmEx Premium Car Rental Protection – as we reveal in our study.”’s travel expert, Daniel Tulbovich, says that the study is important because many people don’t know that they need to have liability coverage, and no credit card provides that. “If you don’t get liability coverage through the car rental company, you can be in trouble.” The infographic accompanying the study shows what type of coverage is offered and what consumers need to get outside of their card issuer.

“Using American Express Premium coverage can make sense, especially if you rent expensive vehicles – even if you have other insurance, the American Express coverage will be primary coverage, so consumers won’t risk having their rates increased later on,” explains Tulbovich. “For other cards, even if the driver’s primary insurance pays for everything, it’s nice to have the deductible covered by the credit card.”

Tulbovich says that no one answer is right for every consumer – it depends on each individual’s situation, and being informed is key. The study tries to go beyond simply education consumers and actually spell out the savings and show readers the real value of credit card car rental insurance programs.

Please check our latest credit card studies at, and consumers are encouraged to submit any questions to Tulbovich and the rest of the team.

About Credit Land: Since 2000, has been matching consumers with credit cards. At, consumers can read full reviews on each featured credit card, see side-by-side comparisons between competing cards, and find the best cards for their personal credit history. Whether people are looking for balance transfers, zero-APR promotions, travel rewards, student credit cards, business credit cards, or other offers,’s team of experts is constantly on the lookout for the hottest deals to save people the most money and give them the biggest rewards.

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Michael Germanovsky
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