Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/a26f9f83/public_html/articles/includes/config.php on line 159
European Car Rental - Top Ten Tips for Europe Travel: Tip #3 Insurance > NetSparsh - Viral Content you Love & Share

European Car Rental - Top Ten Tips for Europe Travel: Tip #3 Insurance

Car rental insurance has to be one of the most widely misunderstood phenomena of the 21st century. In the 3+ years I have worked in this industry, close to 25% of all the issues that arise have to do with deductibles, authorizations, refunds and the geocentric validity of insurance. These situations tend to come about once a client has dropped off their vehicle and are presented with a bill that makes their eyes pop out of their head. Today we will discuss methods of avoiding this type of ocular discharge.

Let us first go over the types of insurance you will most likely be presented with when deciding what to rent for a car. There are five major types and a million different minor types, and new ones are being invented everyday. The ones you will have to keep an eye out for are:

1. Collision Insurance ? Also known as CDW or LDW, collision insurance covers the body of the vehicle in the event of an accident. Please keep in mind that the last sentence is an exact measure of what it covers and when. In no case does CDW cover damage to windows / windshields, tires, roof, mirrors, interior, headlights, blinkers or undercarraige. On top of that, it only covers for an accident, not vandalism, and sometimes not for single party accidents (i.e.- running into something that isn't another vehicle). Make sure you ask about these things when booking you reservation.

2. Theft Insurance ? Simply put, it covers the car in the event that it is stolen. In order for this insurance to be valid you have to fill out a police report and alert the rental company (and credit card company if you are under their policy) within 24 hours or you will be liable for the price of an entire car.

3. Liability Insurance ? Also known as Third Party or TPL, liability is almost always included in a European rental. This will cover any damages incurred to things outside of the vehicle, such as people, buildings, property, etc. So when you happen to crash it through the front window of a crowded shopping mall, you can at least be thankful you don't have to pay for it (unless your liability insurance has a ridiculously low limit, most have unlimited coverage).

4. Personal Accident Insurance ? Or PAI, this covers medical expenses for people in your vehicle in the event of an accident. Typically this type of insurance can be circumvented with a good health plan here stateside and will almost always only cover you up to a few thousand dollars, up to 20 or 50 thousand dollars in the case of death or dismemberment, but we're all hoping that doesn't happen anyway.

5. Personal Effects Coverage ? Covers your belongings up to a predetermined amount. Usually is not valid unless you can prove the items were in the car (so take pictures of your stuff while you are there if you want this insurance).

Keep in mind that if you are cited for negligence or drunk driving, most of these insurances will be null and void. So if you are going out for a night or several of partying, it's best to leave the rental at the hotel and take alternate transportation.

Rental companies will always try to convince you that you need to take their insurance, but this isn't always true. In fact, if you have a US or Canadian issued credit card, it very may well have collision and theft insurance already covered for you. Most gold and platinum cards have decent coverage policies, with little to no deductible. The cards that may cover abroad are American Express & Visa (up to 30 days continuous), Mastercard (15 days continuous) and Diners Club (usually 30 days but varies). Under no circumstances should you try to use a Discover card overseas. Though you may be told by your representative that they cover the insurance, you can bet that it will not be accepted at the rental counter.

Also, don't expect to use your stateside car insurance policy in Europe. It won't work. Even policies that you purchase stateside with the sole intention of covering you for car rental overseas will generally not be accepted at the counter. Sometimes you can get a policy that will reimburse you for expenses related to car rental accidents, but these are treated separately since they do not directly involve the rental company.

There are exceptions to this rule, particularly in Ireland, where currently the only coverage accepted is Mastercard Platinum. It can be assumed that in the future there may be more than one country that accepts only a certain type of card so make sure you mention to your credit card company where you are picking up the car before taking their policy at face value. Get a copy of the policy in writing. Not only is this a good safety measure but it will speed up the process at the counter if the agent argues the validity of your coverage. Also, make sure to inquire into the claims procedures that your credit card company uses to enact coverage and recoup deductibles in the event of an accident. Usually there is a lot of red tape involved, but in the end if you decide to use your credit card coverage you can save anywhere from 50 to 500 dollars for a single week's rental!

As there is an upside (saving money) and a downside (filing extensive paperwork) to using your credit card coverage, the same is true of taking the insurance from the rental company. The downsides are that you have to pay the premium to begin with, and then if you get into an accident, there is usually a deductible between $200 to $2000 or more depending on the type of car that you will be liable for. In theory you are only supposed to pay for the amount of damage done but somehow the rental companies can make a dented bumper work out to cost $2000. The unforunate thing is that you can't really stay to contest it. Normally you have to jump on a plane to your next destination! The upside of this is that you can walk away without having to do anything else. That block on your credit card will become a charge and that's the end of it, until the bill gets to your house of course.

Understanding the insurance limitations and capabilities can be a mind-numbing practice. However it is one of the most important parts of the car rental experience, so it is better to be safe than sorry. Considering that the rental companies make a good portion of their profits on unused insurance, you can see why they would intentionally make it time-consuming and confusing to approach it any other way. God forbid you ever have to really apply this information to your car rental. The more prepared you are, the less you have a chance to lose during your experience. In the next chapter we will talk about how to prepare for the fun part: the actual driving.

Murdoch Morris has worked in the European car rental industry for 3+ years, learning about the intricacies of insurance so others don't have to. Feel free to contact him with any questions you may have specific to your next trip to Europe.

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at


Making Vacation Rentals Work For Your Investment Portfolio
I have been developing residential and vacation rental real estate in Central Florida for about 20 years and have seen the recent surge in economic activity in the region. Industries such as high tech, virtual reality, aerospace and life sciences are ...
A significant chunk of Hawaii's houses are used as vacation rentals, report saysFox News
Report: Out-of-State Buyers, Vacation Rentals Squeeze Local Housing MarketHonolulu Civil Beat
Report: 1 in 24 homes in Hawaii is now a vacation rental - Hawaii ...Hawaii News Now
Gainesville Times
all 8 news articles »


Spectacular vacation rentals with unforgettable mountain views
(CNN) — Waking up to the sight of a spectacular mountain view is an extraordinary experience. Few people know that better than Sebastiaan Bedaux, a traveler who has turned his love of rooms with vertiginous views into a new book about some of the ...

and more »

Vail Daily News

Vail, Summit County vacation rentals often, but not always, more profitable than long-term leasing
Vail Daily News
As such, only properties in the top 25 percentile of five-bedroom vacation rentals eclipsed or came close to surpassing the $100,000 mark in Summit or the $160,000 mark in Vail, according to the report. "Another way to look at that," Becker said, "is ...

San Francisco Chronicle

Tahoe ski town cracks down on vacation rentals: Too much tourism ...
San Francisco Chronicle
South Lake Tahoe police Officer Louis Klingelhoffer passes a trash pile that may be the work of a bear. Photo: Michael Macor, The Chronicle. Image 2 of 5. Two homes in the Al Tahoe neighborhood on Sun. March 11, 2018, in South Lake Tahoe, Calif. The ...

and more »

San Diego Community News

Short term vacation rentals cause a stir at Coalition of Town Councils
San Diego Community News
Like the tide rolling in, the movement to curb proliferating short-term vacation rentals is sweeping through coastal neighborhoods, gaining in strength and intensity as it goes. That was clearly evidenced at a March 8 meeting of the newly formed San ...

Report: Number of Hawaii Vacations Rentals Is Rising
U.S. News & World Report
A report by an advocacy group found that about 1 in 24 homes in Hawaii is a vacation rental, contributing to the state's shortage of affordable housing. March 24, 2018, at 12:46 p.m.. Report: Number of Hawaii Vacations Rentals Is Rising. Share ...

San Francisco Chronicle

HomeAway must give San Francisco records on vacation rentals, court rules
San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco levies a 14 percent tax on temporary rentals, whether they occur in traditional hotels or the new breed of vacation rentals in private homes. Airbnb has collected this tax from guests since October 2014 and remits it directly to the city ...

Tahoe ski town cracks down on vacation rentals
They'd like to ban vacation rentals altogether in residential areas. But business and civic leaders fear hurting the region's No. 1 industry, tourism. Some 41 percent of the alpine town's jobs are directly related to out-of-town visitors, while many ...

CBS Denver

Vacation Rentals Booming In Colorado Mountain Towns
CBS Denver
Donations Being Accepted For Children Found On Polygamist CompoundThe Denver metro area community is coming together to help a family with four young children who were kidnapped and taken to a polygamous compound. Warming Trend On The WayWatch Lauren ...

and more »

The News-Press

Feud over vacation rentals continues; Fort Myers Beach council delays vote on regulations
The News-Press
“They should have taken a vote today,” said Amy Lefebvre-Loughrey, owner of Distinctive Beach Rentals. She's against any further regulation of the vacation rental properties, but added that with all of the impromptu wording changes, she wasn't entirely ...

and more »
Google News

Vacationing in Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is a pristine recreational lake area. With high-stake... Read More

Disney World Lodging Options in Orlando Florida and Nearby Cities

At the heart of Central Florida lies one of the... Read More

Travel Journals ? Preserve Your Travel Experiences

Traveling is a great way to escape the rat race... Read More

Italy with Kids ? Seven Ways to Get the Most from Your Family Travel in Italy

Italy is a popular vacation destination for families because it... Read More

Vacation Villas in Orlando Florida - What are They?

What is a villa? Come to Orlando, Florida to find... Read More

Smokey Mountain Cabins - There Is Only One!

Did you know there are no Smokey Mountain cabins for... Read More

Ditch The Hotel For A Villa Or Vacation Home

Two visits to Budapest. Two apartments, walking distance from downtown.... Read More

French Property - Looking to take a holiday in France ?

Aquitaine with its 5 departments; Dordogne, Gironde, Landes, Lot-et-Garonne, Pyrénées-Atlantiques.Weather:... Read More

Lodging and Entertainment Deals in Orlando Florida

Disney Area Lodging DealsThe Orlando area communities of Lake Buena... Read More

A Dream Vacation

What is the meaning of a "dream vacation"? What is... Read More

Thailand Golf Packages and Thailand Hotels Reservation

Thailand is a popular golf paradise and home to many... Read More

Why Visit Magical Cape Town?

People often ask me why we keep returning year after... Read More

Mindfulness and Retirement: Considering Brazil

I have a 17-year-old daughter who is finishing up a... Read More

Pigeon Forge Hotels

Hotels are a large component of Pigeon Forge lodging. As... Read More

Advantage of Renting a Condo While on Vacation

So you may be asking yourself, why would I want... Read More

Earning Rental Income from a Gatlinburg Cabin

Gatlinburg has a small but thriving community of property owners.... Read More

A Guide to Punta Cana Beaches

Punta Cana Beaches are among the most beautiful in the... Read More

Looking Closely at Pigeon Forge Vacation Packages

Vacation packages are a great way for travelers to book... Read More

Finding Travel Deals

If your vacation time is coming up and you are... Read More

Vacation Rentals in the Bahamas

The Bahamas serve as the perfect relaxation destination. With pristine... Read More

Costa Rica - A Paradise in Central America

Family Vacation in Costa RicaYou will not have any problem... Read More

Coastal Vacations Club Offers Up to 85% off Week Long Condo Stays

When vacation time rolls around, some people choose to stay... Read More

Buying Real Estate in Cozumel

As beautiful and modern as Cozumel is, visitors must remember... Read More

A Fabulous Guide to Floridas Best Rentals: Condos for Rent, Rental Houses, and Rental Condos

A Fabulous Guide to Florida's Best Rentals: Condos for rent,... Read More

Chiang Mai Guesthouses - What To Expect

No visit to Thailand is complete without visiting the city... Read More