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    American Express Rental Car Insurance Coverage Explained

    Does American Express Cover Car Rental Insurance?

    Renowned for some of the best and most comprehensive benefits available, American Express rental car insurance can help you save money with a wide scope of coverage throughout most countries in Europe.  Coverage is available for all AmEx cardholders but certain restrictions do apply, so make sure you qualify according to your specific rental and travel plans to avoid being left without insurance. Use the information below to learn how you can make use of the benefits provided through your Amex card and don't pay any more than you have to the next time you rent a car!

    AmEx Rental Car Insurance
    Card Type CDW in Europe? Coverage Limit
    Coverage Excludes Primary Coverage? Countries Excluded
    AmEx Basic Yes 30 Exotic/antique cars, full-size SUVs, pickup trucks, cargo vans, vehicles with 9+ seats, off-road vehicles, RVs, motorcycles, and any vehicle with an MSRP > $50,000 No Italy, Ireland, Northern Ireland
    AmEx Platinum Yes 30 Exotic/antique cars, full-size SUVs, pickup trucks, cargo vans, vehicles with 9+ seats, off-road vehicles, RVs, motorcycles, and any vehicle with an MSRP > $75,000 No Italy, Ireland, Northern Ireland
    AmEx Premium Car Rental Protection
    (available to all cardholders)
    Yes 45 Full-size SUVs, pickup trucks, cargo vans, off-road vehicles, RVs, motorcycles, and coverage for vehicles up to $100,000 Yes Italy, Ireland, Northern Ireland

    IMPORTANT: Qualifications vary by issuing bank and there are some restrictions that may apply depending on the specifics of your rental that could violate the terms under your American Express car rental insurance coverage. See the information 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. 

    What type of rental car coverage does American Express provide?

    The benefits offered by American Express car rental insurance will cover damage/loss caused by collision or theft of the vehicle you are renting (CDW). While towing and loss of use fees are covered for all cardholders, only AmEx platinum car rental insurance and the optional premium protection will cover some costs for personal injury and property loss, as well.

    ...See our page on rental car insurance types

    Is American Express rental car insurance primary or secondary?

    The standard rental insurances offered for AmEx basic and platinum cardholders is secondary, meaning that any accident that occurs with the rental car will need to be reported to the driver's primary insurance (for their personally-owned vehicle). In most cases, an accident with only secondary insurance will affect the premium for a rental car driver's vehicle insurance at home. Primary car rental insurance is available for any American Express cardholder, but only through the Premium Car Rental Protection program.  

    What is "AmEx Premium Car Rental Protection"?

    American ExpressAmEx Premium Car Rental Protection is an optional insurance package that can be purchased for an additional one-time fee of $24.95 per qualifying rental. This add-on upgrades the typical American Express rental car coverage to a primary insurance that offers additional protections such as coverage for longer rental periods (up to 45 days), a wider array of covered vehicles (up to $100,000 in value), and the added bonus of secondary insurance for personal injuries and property damage in the event of an accident. Incidents that occur with primary insurance such as this will not affect the driver's personally-owned vehicle's insurance in any way.  

    How do I take advantage of AmEx car rental insurance the next time I rent?

    So long as you use your valid American Express card to fully pay for a qualifying rental, you decline full CDW coverage offered by the rental company, and the primary driver for the rental is the AmEx cardholder, you will be covered with the basic American Express car rental insurance. In order to opt-in for the optional AmEx Premium Car Rental Protection, you must call your car provider prior to picking up your rental to engage the additional service. 

    Always have official documentation from American Express with you when you pick up your rental stating that you are properly covered so you can decline the rental company's own CDW coverage.

    When and how should I submit a claim if an accident or theft occurs?

    You must report an accident to American Express as soon as reasonably possible and all forms/documentation for claims must be submitted within 60 days following the incident or else you can risk being denied coverage.

    If you opt to decline CDW coverage offered by the rental company and use your credit card insurance instead, you will need to pay any deductible or charges due to the company you rented from, which is to be reimbursed, in turn, by your credit card processor. In order to seek compensation from American Express, they will require an official claim in the event of an accident or theft. The required documents will include:

    • Rental receipt showing that the full amount was paid for with your AmEx card
    • Official American Express claim form
    • Itemized repair bill
    • Police/accident report
    • Copy of fleet utilization log from rental company
    • Copy of official rental contract
    • Any other documents requested by American Express

    Be sure to read over all official terms and conditions for your American Express rental car insurance carefully, as failure to adhere to the stipulations can result in loss of coverage.

    American Express offers a wide range of coverage for all cardholders with additional coverage available as an option, making it one of the more comprehensive credit cards for car rental insurance. Be sure that your rental meets the terms and conditions of your specific card's policy, though, as exemptions from coverage are common. For the most convenient way to ensure peace-of-mind and avoid having to pay an excess while you wait for reimbursement, rent a car with zero deductible insurance and grant yourself a totally worry-free driving experience!


    See Also: Other Credit Cards with Rental Car Insurance

    All general policy data was collected from respective processor's website as of February 2017. Please call your provider directly for the most accurate and up-to-date information. American Express® is a registered trademark and is not a sponsor of or affiliated with