American Express Car Rental Insurance: Your Guide


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If you’ve ever rented a vehicle, you’re probably aware that the rental company requires you to insure the vehicle through your existing auto insurance policy, credit card, or by purchasing optional rental car insurance. . However, coverage for a rental car can cost you between $8 and $47 per day.

American Express Car Rental Insurance is an added benefit for members that might come in handy and save you money.

Pros and Cons of American Express Car Rental Insurance

Here’s a quick rundown of what you get when you opt for American Express car rental coverage.


  • Free coverage for up to 30 days per rental
  • Benefit limit of $50,000 or $75,000 depending on the card
  • Will pay your primary auto insurance deductible
  • Does not require additional registration for activation
  • Includes coverage for cardholder, spouse and authorized drivers

The inconvenients

  • Does not provide liability or coverage for uninsured/underinsured motorists
  • Not available for car rentals in Italy, Australia and New Zealand
  • Secondary coverage, which means it only kicks in after your primary car insurance has been exhausted

Who is eligible for American Express Car Rental Insurance?

American Express® cardholders are all eligible for car rental coverage, known as car rental loss and damage insurance. The level of insurance depends on the card. Typically, American Express no-annual-fee cards have a maximum rental car loss and damage indemnity of $50,000.

Premium personal and business cards with an annual fee such as the American Express® Platinum Card, Hilton Honors American Express® Aspire Card or Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card increase the car rental insurance benefit limit to 75 $000.

When to Use American Express Car Rental Insurance

American Express car rental insurance is a type of secondary insurance. This means that your existing auto insurance policy will generally be the first line of coverage in the event of a loss such as an accident, fender theft, or rental vehicle theft.

If you don’t own a vehicle or don’t have car insurance, American Express car rental insurance will be the main form of cover – and a cost-effective alternative to buying insurance from a company. car rental.

If you’re wondering when to use American Express car rental insurance, the answer is every time you rent a vehicle. Even if you have personal auto insurance that covers car rentals, the extra level of free coverage provided by American Express wouldn’t hurt.

What does American Express car rental insurance cover?

To find out what American Express car rental insurance covers, you have to dig into the fine print.

As mentioned, American Express car rental insurance provides secondary insurance in addition to your primary auto insurance. It is intended to cover any additional costs beyond the limits of your main policy. If you don’t have a primary policy, American Express Rental Car Insurance will become the primary rental car coverage.

What is covered

  • Car rental up to 30 days
  • Repairs for covered perils such as theft or damage up to the $50,000 or $75,000 limit, depending on the card
  • The actual cash value of the rental vehicle if less than the amount of repairs needed
  • Wholesale book value or invoice price less depreciation if the rental was stolen or a total loss
  • Additional related costs such as survey, storage or towing costs
  • Deductible from your main auto insurance

What is not covered

  • Utility vehicles such as a van
  • Vehicles rented in Australia, New Zealand or Italy
  • All Terrain
  • Illegal activity or driving under the influence
  • Liability and Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Claims

The points provided are not exhaustive. It’s important to read the American Express car rental insurance terms for your type of card so you know the details of what is – and isn’t – covered.

Who is covered by American Express car rental insurance?

You do not need to be the cardholder to be covered by American Express car rental insurance. The primary cardholder, their spouse or domestic partner and eligible authorized drivers who are listed on the rental agreement are also covered.

How to Use American Express Car Rental Insurance

No special activation is required in advance to take advantage of American Express Car Rental Insurance. All you need to do is pay the full vehicle rental and damage deposit with your American Express card and decline the Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) offered by the car rental company.

American Express Premium Rental Car Insurance

If you are leasing a luxury vehicle, the benefit limit of $50,000 to $75,000 may not be enough. You can still purchase American Express® Premium Car Rental Protection for a flat rate of $12.25 to $24.95 per rental, for up to 42 days of coverage. Premium car rental protection will provide you with a higher limit of $100,000.

However, its best feature is the main nature of the cover. Unlike American Express’s free but secondary car rental insurance, American Express Premium Car Rental Protection provides primary coverage. This means you can choose not to use your primary auto insurance to cover theft or damage to your rental.

If you’re wondering why you’d want to avoid using your auto insurance for a rental vehicle, consider this. If your rental car is stolen or damaged, your personal auto insurance will step in to pay for the loss, but may increase your premiums due to the claim.

How to file a complaint

If you suffer loss or damage, American Express recommends that you file a claim immediately or within 30 days of the occurrence. You can file a claim online or by contacting the American Express Claims Center at 1-800-338-1670 if you do not have Internet access.

To file an American Express car rental insurance claim

  • Log in to the complaints center.
  • Click on “Submit a complaint”.
  • Select the American Express card you used.
  • Enter the required details such as rental date, incident description and more.
  • Provide the required “proof of loss” documents, such as car rental agreement, American Express statement showing car rental charges, police report, itemized repair bill, and photos.

American Express car rental insurance claims are typically processed within 45 days and paid within 30 days of the claim being filed.


American Express credit cards offer many value-added benefits, such as American Express Car Rental Insurance. Declining coverage from a rental car company and opting for free coverage from American Express can save you money.

If you already have auto insurance for your personal vehicle, it may cover the rental car. However, it’s good to know that American Express car rental insurance is there to provide secondary coverage to your car insurance policy or primary coverage if you don’t own a vehicle.


  • Does American Express protect rental cars?
    • American Express provides free rental car coverage for cardholders, known as rental car loss and damage insurance. To activate, pay the full car rental and deposit to the card and decline the collision damage waiver from the car rental company.
  • Does American Express Platinum offer you auto insurance?
    • American Express Platinum cards come with no-deductible rental car loss and damage insurance with a limit of $75,000.
  • Does American Express Bonvoy cover rental car insurance?
    • American Express offers Marriott Bonvoy cardholders additional loss and damage insurance for rental vehicles with a limit of $75,000.
  • Which insurance company uses American Express?
    • Claims are investigated, processed and paid by AMEX Assurance Company based in Phoenix, Arizona.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Express. Any opinions, analyses, criticisms, ratings, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or otherwise endorsed by American Express.

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About the Author

Cynthia Paez Bowman is a personal finance writer with a degree in international business and journalism from American University. In addition to writing about personal finance, she writes about real estate, interior design, and architecture. His work has been featured in MSN, Brex, Freshome, MyMove, Emirates Open Skies magazine and more.

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