I take it by your forum name that you are from California (?). If you are an American, and use a VISA credit card, then you should become familiar with the terms set forth by VISA regarding rental cars and what your coverage is:
Please note: This benefit is available on all Visa Classic, Visa Secured, Visa Gold, Visa Platinum, and Visa Signature cards.
Protect against collision and theft
Visa Classic, Visa Secured, Visa Gold, Visa Platinum, and Visa Signature credit cardholders receive 24-hour Auto Rental CDW Coverage—at no additional cost—for damage due to collision or theft.
"Benefit at a glance - Collision and theft coverage.
To activate coverage—complete the rental transaction with your covered Visa card and decline the collision damage waiver (CDW) coverage offered by the rental company."
Unlike our European conterparts, you have the option of refusing the CDW insurance offered by the auto rental companies as VISA covers any damage, based on the type of VISA card you have; Visa Classic, Secured, Gold, Platinum or Signature.
If you accept the CDW insurance, then you will be responsible for any damage and should purchase the zero deductable policy offered by the rental agency.
Mastercard is slightly different in its coverage: mastercard.com/us/…index.html
wow! thanks for the advice. i'll look into visa's and master card's website. you've been very helpful...
I have the same question--what about third party liability insurance coverage when renting a car in Spain? If I understood the reply correctly, it addressed only first party coverage for damage to the vehicle one rents. I have a reservation with National; it's clear that CDW is included in the rate, but no one on National's international customer service 800 number nor on the e-mail alternative has been able to provide an answer about third party liability coverage. We live in the USA and neither our auto liability policy nor our MC Platnium or AMEX Blue card cover TPL although both cover damage to the vehicle itself. Auto Europe includes TPL and fire in the quoted rates but charges extra for CDW.
If TPL must be bought at the counter when you pick up the vehicle what does it usually cost and is there any alternative similar to buying insurance when one drives in Mexico?
If you have purchased the CDW (included), then your credit card company will not cover any insurance issues. It sounds like you're renting the car through a EU based agency instead of through a USA based agency (Auto Europe, Hertz, Avis, etc.).
CDW is not optional for those living in the EU and using a EU based credit card, effectively doubling the cost of the rental. You will not be able to use a 3rd party insurance, but you can purchase a zero deductible policy when you pick up the rental. It's a great policy if it is only for a couple of days, but rather expensive if the rental is for a couple of weeks or more.
Thank you for your reply. I suspect you are right about the agency, Even though our reservation is through National's USA-based domain website, Fodor's Spain 2007 notes that National is "partnered in Spain with the Spanish agency Atesa." The quotes was in euros, and converted to approximate USD at the end.
Our concern is not about CDW but about third party liability i.e. we injure a pedestrian or another driver or we damage another driver's vehicle. Our Platnium Master Card's Guide to Benefits states when discussing Masterrental Insurance: "This coverage is not all-inclusive, which means it does not cover such things as personal injury, personal liability, or personal property. It does not cover you for any damages to other vehicles or property. It does not cover you for any injury to any party."
As you noted, the Guide to Benefit states one must decline the rental agency's CDW option for the MC coverage to apply.
AutoEurope's Car Rental Spain Driving Information webpage states:
"All our car rental rates include fire and third party liability insurance. Our inclusive rates also provide collision and theft coverage at an advance purchase discount. You may elect to decline collision and theft coverage. If you plan to take advantage of coverage offered by your credit card, please contact your card issuer directly for details."
When we called AutoEurope about their lowest price guarantee, AutoEurope raised the issue about third party liability and fire coverage on the National reservation. (I believe in the states fire would be covered under Comprehensive coverage on a typical Automobile Insurance policy.)
It is our understanding that the zero deductible purchase you mentioned applies to the CDW and theft coverages only. National's international 800 customer service numer told us the deductible on National's included CDW and theft coverage was 540 euros.
When I go to the website: http://www.spanish-car-hire.co.uk/madrid.htm, it states:
What’s Included:Collision damage waiver/ theft waiver/ third party liability/ unlimited mileage / local taxes/Madrid airport fees/ 1 additional car rental driver."
Any clarification you can provide about third party liability coverage when a North American rents in Spain from a European based agency would be greately appreciated.
We've rented directly from National/Atesa and Avis in Spain, as well as through the car rental brokers, Europcar and Auto Europe (using Avis and Atesa). They are all a little different to work with, but generally Auto Europe tends to be the easiest to deal with if I have any questions regarding a particular rental, but the additional insurance is only offered through the actual rental car company itself; Atesa, Avis and Hertz being the major car rental companies in Spain.
You can waive the CDW, making your (American based) credit card company the primary insurer (the deductible is $250, and road damage in no longer included), but all of the major car rental companies will offer you the option of the additional liability insurance when you first pick up the car. It's a good deal if you are worried about something happening, but it also tends to be expensive for longer-term rentals, those lasting more than a few days. CDW usually doubles the daily cost of the rental, while the additional liability could end up doubling the price once again, depending on the car.
I don't believe that agencies such as Pepe Car offer any additional insurance at the counter, but I could be mistaken.
Thank for your reply. We received the following answer from National after we requested the question be referred to a supervisor:
"Thank you for your email.
TPL (Third Party Liability) coverage is included in the rates on all Alamo and National rentals in the European Network(including Spain), the Middle East and Africa. This is to comply with the State's Road Traffic Act, it is mandatory for all driver's of our rental vehicles to provide third party insurance coverage. As Third Party Insurance is mandatory Alamo / National must provide unlimited cover for third parties.
If we can be of further assistance, please feel free to email us or contact our reservations department at 1-800-CAR-RENT (1-800-227-7368). For customers outside the U.S. and Canada, please dial +1-801-533-4442.
National Car Rental"
It sounds like if the TPL coverage is unlimited there would be no need to buy additional protection.
You've been doing your homework.
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