6 On Your Side Answers: Do credit card companies provide insurance coverage on rental cars?

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Summer always brings a big boost in business for rental car companies as many people hit the road for vacations, and many people ask if you need extra insurance when you rent a car.

Sandra from Jefferson City asks: “If I have a credit card, is there some kind of coverage on rental cars?”

A recent nationwide survey shows that 20 percent of licensed drivers who rent cars always purchase supplemental insurance.

The study from Progressive Insurance shows that another 20 percent take out extra coverage on occasion.

Nearly two thirds of drivers, 62 percent, did not believe their personal auto insurance automatically covers rental cars,  and 24 percent, nearly a quarter of drivers, aren’t sure whether their credit cards provide any sort of coverage either.

However, all four major card networks provide some form of rental car insurance. They include American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa.

To be eligible, they all require you to charge your entire rental card purchase on their credit card and to decline supplemental insurance and collision damage waivers offered by the rental company.

However, if you are going to rent an exotic car, an antique car or an off-road vehicle, none of the four major card networks provide coverage.

Visa will not cover accidents occurring on dirt or gravel roads.

American Express will not provide coverage for renting certain popular SUVs, including the Suburban and Tahoe, Ford Expedition, Toyota Land Cruiser and its Lexus equivalent, and the Range Rover.

It is best to check with your card provider to find out what restrictions there might be on the type of card you hold. Also, check with your insurance company to find out if rentals are covered under your standard policy.

You can see Don Dare’s 6 On Your Side Answers every Tuesday and Thursday on 6 News at 4:00.

If you have a question you can send Don an email at ddare@wate.com or call his 6 On Your Side hotline at (865) 633-5974.

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