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3 Ways to Cover Your Rental Car when Traveling Abroad

Striking out and exploring the world is great fun, and even if you’re only visiting a country on business, you’ll likely get the pleasure of exploring the roads of your destination in a rental car. Europe is a particularly popular destination, especially for Americans, so today, we’re going to take a look at the different ways you can purchase auto insurance for your European getaway.

1. Does Your Credit Card Offer Free Coverage?

Most insurance companies in the United States won’t insure you on an international journey, but your credit card company just might. As a matter of fact, many credit card companies offer completely free coverage, freeing you of the burden of purchasing insurance at all.

If you’re going to be stepping out of the country, be sure to give your credit card company a call and ask specifically about insurance coverage for European rental cars. You may be eligible for coverage up to $50,000, and many major credit card companies will even cover the costs of towing and other expenses. This may be referred to as a collision damage waiver (CDW) or a loss damage waiver (LDW).

2. Stand-Alone Coverage

If your credit card company isn’t offering any insurance coverage at this time, your next option might be to purchase insurance specifically for your trip. Believe it or not, trip insurance exists and is offered primarily by travel insurance companies. Since you’re only paying for insurance by the day, expect to pay much less than you would for a full month of insurance. Some car insurance coverage plans can even be as cheap as $20 for a month of coverage, but these plans often come with stipulations.

3. Purchase Coverage at the Rental Desk

You should never feel pressured into buying insurance directly from the rental car provider, and this is generally the most expensive option. However, if you’re unsure about your credit card’s coverage options and you aren’t comfortable buying insurance elsewhere, buying insurance at the rental desk will give you peace of mind and guaranteed coverage.

Alternatively, it could be a good idea to purchase an additional policy to avoid putting credit card insurance claims on your statement, leaving you to temporarily foot the bill and carry the responsibility associated with it – not a great thing to have on your shoulders during a trip!

While this is certainly the most expensive option, it’s still a legitimate option for those in a hurry, those worried about their credit card’s policy, or those with few options.

So there you have it – check with your credit card company to see if they’ll insure you for free. If they won’t, compare quotes from some travel insurance companies and purchase a cheap car insurance plan just for your trip. Failing that, buying insurance at the desk will get you guaranteed coverage and peace of mind, but it costs much more than the alternatives. Be sure to explore all of your options, and give us a call or click today for more information on car insurance!

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