Qualification will depend upon the type, duration, and location of your rental, among other factors, but it is possible to use your Visa rental car insurance in place of that offered through the rental company. Your Visa card rental car insurance will have you covered in most European countries for a period of up to 31 days and includes coverage for most common vehicle models and classes. Benefits extend across the full range of available credit cards, from Standard to Premium Rewards, so theres a good chance you might be able to decline CDW as part of your rental rate to save some extra cash.
IMPORTANT: Terms vary by issuing bank and there are some restrictions that may apply depending on the specifics of your rental that could void you from coverage under your Visa car rental insurance policy. See the tips below to get a better idea of whether or not you'll qualify for coverage and always call your card provider directly for the most accurate information.
Your Visa rental car insurance will cover any damage or loss and towing charges resulting from an accident or theft as well as any loss of use fees charged by the rental company, provided that the rental company supplies a fleet log. Your rental insurance with Visa will not cover liability but, luckily, all Auto Europe rates include 3rd party liability insurance as standard!
...See our page on types of rental car insurance
With the exception of some Chase cards, any rental car insurance offered by Visa is secondary, meaning accidents will affect your personally-owned vehicle's insurance premium. The Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase/United MileagePlus cards feature primary rental car coverage but these cards typically require a yearly fee for membership.
In order to use the car rental insurance from your Visa credit card, you'll need to decline any other CDW/theft insurances offered by the rental company, pay your rental rate in full with the specific card you intend to get the benefits from, and the primary driver listed for the rental must be same as the name printed on the credit card used. So long as additional drivers are properly authorized with the car rental company you book with, they will be covered, too, but the primary driver must match the name on the Visa credit card.
Always bring documentation from Visa stating that you are covered when you pick up your rental vehicle.
You must submit your insurance claim to Visa as soon as possible or, at max, within 45 days of the accident. If you do not submit a claim within 45 days you may void your eligibility for rental car insurance through Visa, leaving you to foot the bill on your own.
If you decline CDW from the rental company and opt for insurance through your credit card, you will be responsible for providing Visa with the required documentation to file a claim in the event of an accident, which will include:
Although you can get car rental insurance through Visa for no additional fees, the amount of your deductible/excess will vary greatly depending on your rental specifics, among other factors. The Visa insurance will cover for damage/loss due to collision or theft, towing services, and loss of use fees, but you must make sure your rental qualifies according to the terms and conditions of your specific credit card's policy.
In the event of an accident you will have to pay any deductibles or charges from the rental company up-front, to be later re-imbursed by your credit card pending your adherence to their requirements for coverage.
Declining CDW and opting for alternative insurance can help you save on your overall rental rate so long as you adhere to the stipulations of your credit card's contract, as briefly outlined above. For the ultimate in worry-free travel, the only way to drive your rental vehicle abroad in confidence that you are fully-covered is with zero deductible rental car insurance; granting you peace of mind without all the hassle!
All general policy data was collected from respective processor's website as of July 2015. Please call your provider directly for the most accurate and up-to-date information. Visa®, Chase®, and United® are registered trademarks and are not sponsors of or affiliated with autoeurope.com.