Alamo Car Hire USA - Insurance

Discussion in 'Holidays & Travel' started by mercho, Jan 9, 2015.

  1. mercho

    mercho Member

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    Hi guys,

    My fiance and I are looking at heading to the states for the first time. We are looking at hiring a car while in CA for two weeks.

    We are looking at Alamo, they seem to get good reviews and have great rates.

    They offer 3 types of insurance, and I am not to sure what to go with, whether they offer a base insurance etc. i have emailed them but the response is pretty vague.

    They offer:
    Personal Accident Insurance/Personal Effects Coverage
    Collision Damage Waiver
    Extended Protection

    Just wondering if anyone has any experience with this?

    We have travel insurance that will cover up to $5K worth or rental excess, so i don't want to purchase anything unnecessary.

    Avis also look good and inc some insurance by default..

    Any suggestions appreciated!

    Cheers
     
  2. cbjaust

    cbjaust Member

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  3. kesawi

    kesawi Member

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    My understanding is:

    Personal Accident / Personal Effects - Covers medical costs/death to you and loss or damage to your belongings

    Collision Damage Waiver - Covers damage to the hire car. Normally in the US you are responsible for all damage to the car, so if you have an accident and write the car off, you need to stump up the full cost unless you have bought CDW (subject to policy exclusions).

    Extended Protection - This covers third party liability. So if you cause damage or injury to someone else or their property then this should cover your up to the policy's liability limit.

    Travel insurance will not cover CDW or EP, and may have limited cover for personal effects.

    The site you've linked to only offers cover for EU residents, which is common for most of the third party products. The disadvantage to using third party insurance is if you damage the car you need to pay the hire car company first, and then claim it back through your insurance. Also, some third party insurers can be notoriously difficult to get a response from and deal with to make a claim. There's nothing wrong with these products, the OP needs to understand they come with certain risks compared to the hire company's offerings.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2015
  4. supasaiyan

    supasaiyan Member

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    there's a HUGE thread on whirlpool about car hire in the US, my suggestion would be to read through that and it'll give you a better understanding of it
     
  5. redslert

    redslert Member

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    There are some coupon codes on the web with rates inclusive of Loss Damage Wavier (LDW).
    I use these for Avis quite often.

    Avis attempted to charge me for a flat tire. LDW saved me from having to pay.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    mercho

    mercho Member

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    thanks for all the info guys, will have a look and get back to you
     
  7. cbjaust

    cbjaust Member

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    Well that wasn't the case this time 3 years ago when I took out a policy with them because I was going to use hire cars in Canada and the US that year. It certainly paid for itself because the prices quoted by the hire car companies do not include insurance of any kind so if you take their insurance at the time your hiring the car it works out to be super expensive.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2015
  8. kesawi

    kesawi Member

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    I noticed this changed about six two twelve months ago and most of the companies stopped selling to residents outside of the EU. Not sure of the reason why. I took out a similar third party policy when I went to the US in 2012, however that particular company only offers to EU residents now as well. I agree, at $160 for a year's cover it was far cheaper than going through the hire company.
     
  9. Annihilator69

    Annihilator69 Member

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    What is the insurance cost compared to the rental cost.

    I was in the USA recently.

    I had free car excess insurance provided by my travel insurance but I got all the insurance with Avis anyway.

    1) It was a minor cost compared to the total cost of the car cost.
    2) Less stress if SHTF. CA is pretty easy to drive but they're a messed up state liability/insurance wise, don't want to be left holding a hot potato.
    3) The risk of having an accident is higher than usual as it's foreign and not familiar and you have to remember to drive on the wrong side of the road. But at the same time you're generally more cautious.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    mercho

    mercho Member

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    Its a fair bit more with Alamo, i stumbled accross a quote with avis that inc insurance which was cheaper, just trying to work out how i got it lol..

    Alamo almost doubles the cost with all three options for 2 weeks:
    [​IMG]
     
  11. kesawi

    kesawi Member

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    Who was your travel insurance with? The excess insurance provided with travel insurance in almost all cases only covers the excess under the hire car insurance policy. If you don't take out the insurance with the hire company then their is no excess as there is no insurance and you're responsible for the full amount of the loss, the travel insurance won't cover you. Also, in almost all cases the liability insurance provided with the travel insurance policy excludes operation of a motor vehicle.
     
  12. xplod140

    xplod140 Member

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    I've got a Dodge Challenger or similar hired through Fox in August picking up from LAX for about $1200 AUD for 2 weeks.

    I've been meaning to look at this as my friends who moved to SF warned that the insurance will cost as much as the car.

    I booked through Expedia and they didn't offer any extra insurance but did advise it wasn't included in the price. Keen to know of any other way to get the insurance cover without paying their exorbadent prices.
     
  13. cbjaust

    cbjaust Member

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    In April 2012 I hired a Corolla for 15 days out of San Francisco and I did not take out any insurance from the hire car company (Hertz) since I already had it from icarhireinsurance and the cost for the 15 days was AUD$228 so about $15 per day plus the insurance which cost AUD$208 for that year and I used it twice for a total of 23 days of rental car hire, so it cost either $0.57 per day or $9.00 per day depending on how you rationalise it, but to be fair say it was $9, all up the hire of a corolla was $24 per day all up.

    In Feb 2012 I had a Dodge Grand Caravan for 8 days out of Vancouver, BC, and it came to $447 plus $9 for the icarhire insurance as mentioned so about $65 per day all up.

    Back in 2011 I hired a ford fusion (Camry equivalent I guess) for 27 days out of Vancouver and that time I used the hire company's insurance and that cost AUD$1590 all up, so about $59 per day but only $16 of that was for the actual hire, all the other charges made it up to $59 (insurance, 17.75% location fee, licence fee, 12% sales tax). The insurance alone was 46% of the total cost, Hire was 27% with the rest fees and tax.

    Shame that iCarehire is apparently not selling outside EU any more as mentioned earlier in this thread.

    Also have you seen this site, specifically this page: http://www.carhireinsider.com.au/car-rental-insurance-usa-cdw-sli

    Had quick look for CDW/LDW insurance that would cover the hire car company's loss if it came to that and as Australians it does look like we're SOL for car hire insurance now. Maybe you can bargain them down on the cost of their insurance if you play them off each other.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2015
  14. 5tumpy

    5tumpy Member

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    The problem with 3rd party insurance and rental cars is that as far as the Rental Car company is concerned, you are uninsured... They will put the hard sell on you... In one case at Hertz at LAX, I even had the woman refuse to let me rent the car because I was 21 and refused their insurance... Rental car "excess" insurance on your travel insurance/credit card insurance is useless too, because they don't work like that in the USA... There is no excess... You are liable for whatever you hit, and the damage to your car... The other thing to consider is how ridiculous the system is over there... If you hit someone, and you hurt them... $1m is not unheard of as a finding when they sue you... A mate of mine is in Oregan, and he was rear ended 2 years ago... He broke his sternum and had pretty bad whiplash, US$1.3m was awarded to him by the courts for his medical fees, legal fees, mental anguish, loss of income for the time he was unable to work, and finally to replace his car, which was written off... Part of the reason for these ridiculous findings is because it's an evil corporation's money, not the little guy who happen to get caught in an accident... If you don't have sufficient insurance to cover the amount you're getting sued for, that money needs to come from your pocket...

    The best way I found to avoid the hard sell, and to ensure you arse is 110% covered is quite simple... Take the rental car company up on their offer to insure you... But don't do it at the bullshit rate they'll offer you at the counter or via quotes... Prepay your booking via www.thrify.co.uk and you'll get a tank of gas as well as full insurance....

    The UK has some sort of laws that the quoted rates have to include all taxes and insurance... It also seems to be a fair bit cheaper than the same rates quoted on the US website, even without the taxes, gas etc...


    Also, not sure if you're aware, but a 300C is a long wheel base sedan... The things are huge!
     
  15. OP
    OP
    mercho

    mercho Member

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    Thanks for all the info!

    I think I'm going to go with Avis or Hertz, CDW insurance is already covered in the quote and its substantially cheaper. As its with the hire company we shouldnt be left out of pocket if something happens..

    I have checked with a couple of insurance companies and as others said, the travel insurance won't cover personal injury while operating a car, so PAI is also the go.

    Yeh the mrs is keen on them, might end up going for a smaller one though!
     
  16. Zee

    Zee Member

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    Thanks for that tip... Will try it next time.

    Z...
     
  17. 5tumpy

    5tumpy Member

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    No worries mate! :)
     
  18. sanjay

    sanjay Member

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    just make sure you order your rental car in the US through the Australian or UK site of your chosen rental company and it'll include LDW and all that jazz by default, by law.

    sign up for hertz gold while youre at it. instant swapsies of your assigned car to anything in gold choice for free. ended up with a 300hp nissan maxima when we ordered a chevy cruze in LAX :)
     
  19. kesawi

    kesawi Member

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    Not sure who you spoke to, but there are quite a few policies out there which cover personal injury while operating a car. None of the policies cover injuries to third parties from your operation of a motor vehicle (which is where the confusion may have arisen). Most have small limits and strict exclusions for loss of valuables/property in a car. Double check your travel insurance policy, and if you haven't already purchased it, look for another one that covers personal injury to you and the other travellers. PAI limits are often far less than a travel insurance policy.
     
  20. 5tumpy

    5tumpy Member

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    Yeah, I took what he said to mean that it doesn't cover injuries to other people, now that I reread it, I'm confused... Good travel insurance should cover you for any misadventure you encounter (providing you aren't jumping off cliffs or whatever)... If they exclude injuries while driving, move on to the next company... Granted, driving the most dangerous thing we do, but that's all the more reason to have insurance that covers you while you do it... Especially in the USA, where medical care is so expensive!
     

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