Last Updated on December 2, 2020 by Jonathan
Renting a car outside the U.S. and Canada? Always check to see if your credit card benefits include rental car insurance in the country you are visiting. In September 2017, American Express car rental insurance coverage was extended to three popular destinations.
Amex coverage now includes more countries and more vehicle types. In an age when program “enhancements” are too often bad news, American Express added value for its cardholders.
CDW / LDW In Ireland, Israel and Jamaica
Since 2017, collision and loss coverage (CDW / LDW) now applies to vehicles rented in Ireland, Israel and Jamaica.
Credit card policies often exclude Ireland, Israel and Jamaica, so the value here is significant. These are countries where you routinely get the hard sell at the rental counter. Even if your credit card covers you for damage to the vehicle, rental car agents often refuse to waive the insurance requirement unless you can prove your card covers you in that country.
If that happens to you, show them the American Express benefits guide.
No CDW / LDW in Italy, Australia and New Zealand
American Express rental car coverage still does not extend to three key countries: Italy, Australia, and New Zealand. But this is a moot point for Italy.
In Italy, car rentals include collision and theft insurance by law as a default. Car rental quotes automatically include coverage and there is no option to remove it. Typically, for your credit card coverage to take effect, you’d decline the coverage provided by the car rental company. In the case of rentals in Italy, you don’t have the option to decline this coverage. Bottom line: There’s no need for Amex to provide insurance in Italy since all renters automatically have it.
If you’re renting a car in Australia or New Zealand, you’ll need to use a premium card that covers you. Alternatively, you can pony up for the insurance provided by the car rental company. But that can sometimes cost more than the base rental cost itself.
How Different American Express Cards Compare for Travel Benefits
Not all Amex cards are created equal. To know what travel benefits your card includes, check out its policy:
- Gold Card Travel Benefits
- Platinum Card Travel Benefits
- All Other American Express Travel Cards: Click on your card and then the “travel” tab.
What Else to Know About American Express Rental Car Insurance
Deciding which category of car to rent? Amex now covers all vehicles up to a maximum limit of $50,000. The one exception is vans for more than 8 passengers.
But be careful. Amex cardholders are still not covered for a long list of vehicles. These include expensive cars costing $50,000 or more and exotic cars regardless of value. Other exclusions are trucks, pickups, cargo vans, full-sized vans and full-sized SUVs like the Chevy Tahoe, Ford Expedition and GMC Suburban.
Be sure your rental car coverage extends to the vehicle you are renting before you drive off the rental lot. You don’t want to be unprotected if driving one of these vehicles.