You might already be covered, experts say, so do your homework
updated 2/24/2008 5:09:19 PM ET 2008-02-24T22:09:19
A: With so many options at the car rental counter, it may be tempting to buy whatever insurance protection is available to safeguard your trip. But many travelers don’t realize they’re more than likely duplicating coverage they already have.
The best thing to do is to call your insurance agent and credit card company in advance. Just because you’ve used a gold or platinum card in the past, don’t assume that it still offers the same protection plans — the cards’ insurance benefits can change.
“More often, these prestigious cards are starting to change the advantages they offer to their cardholders, and often times the cardholders are unaware,” said Carolyn Gorman, vice president of the Insurance Information Institute in New York. “You could be driving uninsured and not even know it, until you get into a bad accident and have no insurance to cover you. It’s a dangerous, scary thing.”
If you’re not insured through a policy or credit card, the long list of available options can seem intimidating, with dozens of plans that can add as much as an additional $40 a day.
“This is just a classic way for these companies to make more money,” said Greg Daugherty, an executive editor at Consumer Reports magazine. “This is usually money that people are spending unnecessarily.”