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car rental insurance facts/questions

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Posts: 67
Estimable Member
Topic starter

After much investigation....I am very surprised to find out most if not all insurance companies in the continental united states do not cover rentals in the us virgin islands. It looks like my other options are pay the collision insurance through the rental agencies $12.00 a day plus if we are in a accident then we also have a $1500. deductable. I have investigated the credit cards that offer rental insurance coverage, but they are not for liability only for thefts, cost of days the car is not usable for the rental agency and things like that. What does everybody else do when they rent a car in the islands?????

Posted : February 8, 2010 4:34 pm
Posts: 167
Estimable Member

Many insurance companies exclude vehicles operated abroad. If YOU read the policy coverage areas most also state coverage applies in US Territories and also while commuting with vehicle between the Territories. Also as and extra level of protection if you have an American Express Card you can purchase Primary Collision and passenger liability coverage for up to 42 days rental for $24.95. This is separate and different from the normal rental coverage provided by Credit Card Companies which is secondary Ins. and kicks in AFTER your own auto ins. The fee is charged when the rental occurs. You need to sign up for this option with AMEX. It's really great Primary coverage for the money. Check it out.|9f8ef0a22ad59827e28f6e358ebbf20f

Posted : February 15, 2010 5:21 pm
Posts: 313
Reputable Member

I HAVE checked out this AMEX policy and it is only primary coverage for damage or theft, if you choose to use it and not file a claim with your regular insurance company. It covers NO LIABILITY for someone or something you may hit. This is right from the Amex link provided and it lists what this policy covers and the key phrase here is "for you and your passengers" -(and, for your passengers, this is a drop in the bucket if someone is seriously hurt). There is NOTHING in this policy to cover the person or vehicle you may hit (liability) or extensive coverage for medical for you or your passengers.

Coverage (for you and your passengers)
Up to $100,000 of primary coverage for damage or theft of a Rental Car.
Up to $100,000 of Accidental Death or Dismemberment coverage.
Up to $15,000 for excess medical expenses.

I'm not willing to drive without liability coverage. What others do depends on how much personal risk they are willing to assume. But, let's not give people a false sense of security that they are getting liability coverage through any credit card policy - free, or for $24.95.

Posted : February 15, 2010 5:39 pm
Posts: 31
Eminent Member

If you have Allstate your policy travels with you, according to their website.

Posted : February 15, 2010 6:42 pm
Posts: 167
Estimable Member


I posted the link so people like you could check for themselves. If you read the entire post it clearly states "passenger Liability". I don't believe that is misleading to most folks. I still feel this is a good option in lieu of the rental car company damage waivers which I might also add is not a Liability coverage for other vehicles or persons passengers or otherwise. I do agree that liability coverage is a must and if your own policy does not cover you than you should purchase coverage which some or most rental agencies offer. I would again suggest that people carefully read their own auto policy and check coverage areas and then the exclusions section. Your own risk assessment will then dictate what you should purchase in addition or in lieu of. Keep in mind that "Loss Of Use" charges can become very significant, especially on Island. Should you severely damage or total a vehicle they will bill you the going daily rate for each and every day the car is out of service. Just think what that could add up to if they had to order a replacement and have it shipped in. Now is that worth the $24.95 for you entire rental period up to 42 days? When on Island I feel I am largely in control of how I operate a vehicle. What I have no control over is how others drive on the road and in parking areas. One must way the odds and make an informed decision. I believe you can purchase enough insurance to cover any eventuality but the costs may well make renting a car ridiculous. Taxi's would be a far better bet in that regard. Just my opinion of course.

Posted : February 16, 2010 10:50 am
Posts: 10
Active Member

I still have cars in the US which my daughters drive, and I have two down here.
My US cars are with ALLSTATE and Allstate does indeed extend to the USVI.

But take note: If you have Liability Only on your stateside vehicle with Allstate, then Allstate will over extend liability coverage on your rental vehicle down here. Thus, if YOU cause the accident in your rental vehicle, you will have to pay for the damage.

Another USVI Insurance oddity:
Also in the USVI, if my college age Allstate insured daughter visits and drives my St. Croix insured car, my St Croix insurance does not automatically cover her. I must add her to the policy for a fee.

Insurance companies down here do not extend coverage to family members under the age of 26. "Underage" drivers must be separately insured. (In the states, Allstate and other car policies routinely add your children to the policy with the same coverages as mom and dad. ) Thus, if my Allstate insured daughter who only has Allstate's liability insurance on her stateside "college beater" comes down and cracks up my car -which is insured by an island insurance agency, my island insurance will not pay anything, and Allstate will only pay liability, not comprehensive (damages caused by the insured). Instead, I must purchase a "temporary" insurance policy to cover my daughter when she's down here and wants to drive my car. Costs about $75 a year. This is still cheaper than paying for full coverage with Allstate on her college beater.

Posted : February 16, 2010 9:56 pm
Posts: 22
Eminent Member

After contacting a few of the local rental agencies, I have found that some do not take American Express (because of the high fees). The "Premium Rental Insurance Plan", that AmEx offers, kicks in when you charge the rental on your card. I couldn't find anything in the terms on the website that states this coverage could be purchased separately.

Posted : February 17, 2010 10:54 am
Posts: 6
Active Member


I go down to St Thomas every year. I take the insurance through my American Express it's 24.99 and you are covered for yo to 45 days. You must join the reward program through Amex and when you sign your rental and using your amex card you are covered. This is the best way to take additional insurance. Good luck and enjoy your trip.


Posted : February 17, 2010 1:36 pm
Posts: 109
Estimable Member

From my World MasterCard: You must waive the renatal companies collision/damage waiver. It covers physical damage and theft to vehicle, reasonable loss-of-use charges imposed by the rental company, reasonable towing charges to the nearest authorized repair facility. Coverage is secondary to any other insurances. If you or your insurance company pays for any covered loss, MasterRental will cover the deductible and any other eligible amounts not covered by other insurance. Does NOT include: personal injury, personal liability, or personal property, nor damages to other vehicles or property or injury to any other party. So the way I see it, between my MasterCard and my Allstate insurance, I think I'm covered pretty well.

Posted : February 17, 2010 4:55 pm
Posts: 313
Reputable Member

Speed - it's the same for us, too. Between our State Farm policy that covers us in the USVI and provides the important liability coverage and using our MasterCard for the rental, we are covered.

Posted : February 18, 2010 12:53 pm
Posts: 129
Estimable Member

Cool Breeze takes American Express. Just recently sent my downpayment to them on Am Exp, and we have also done this previous years. They have always treated us well.

Posted : February 18, 2010 4:57 pm
Posts: 14
Eminent Member

we have state farm and they covered us in STJ. They gave us insurance certificate so we could waive the insurance BS they try to get you to buy at the jeep rental. We also got a state farm visa, charged the jeep to that card and then had all sorts of extra miscellaneous coverage that some others have mentioned in their reply's.

Posted : February 20, 2010 3:30 pm
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