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  • Writer's pictureJeff Guymon

American Express Rental Car Insurance

Updated: Sep 10, 2020

When you go on a trip, travel insurance may not be your first priority. However, if you’re renting a car you’ll need to decide what type of car rental insurance to include. It’s better to err on the side of caution, especially when you’re traveling! We therefore recommend insurance coverage if anything were to happen to you or the vehicle while on your trip.

If you have an American Express card there are two car rental protection plans available for you to choose from. The following article will answer the following questions you may have about the rental car insurance:

Table of Contents

  • How does AMEX Rental car insurance work and how much does it cost?

  • What does AMEX Rental car insurance cover?

  • How do I use AMEX Rental car insurance?

  • How do I file a rental insurance claim with AMEX?

  • Once back from your trip, save money on your own car!


How does AMEX Rental car insurance work and how much does it cost?

American Express rental car insurance is a secondary coverage option for those that have an American Express credit card or charge card. Cardholders are able to enjoy the usual perks such as cashback, travel credit, and rewards points that are included in the annual fee. Along with these perks come two options for rental car insurance coverage that include:

  • Only pay when you rent: personal or business card will be charged when rental enrollment ends

  • Coverage everywhere in the United States and select other countries: excludes Australia, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, Israel, and Italy

  • Up to 42 consecutive days of car rental insurance coverage: except for residents of Washington State, then it’s 30 consecutive days

Types of Insurance Available

The two types of rental car insurance available for American Express members are Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance, and Premium Car Rental Protection:

  1. Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance typically comes at no extra cost for American Express members. The insurance includes the damage or theft of a rental vehicle that is secondary to other sources of insurance.

  2. American Express premium car rental protection is an additional fee that can be added to the car rental loss insurance that each cardmember receives. This AMEX premium plan covers accidental death and dismemberment, and secondary medical and personal property coverage, in addition to the benefits for the vehicle damage or theft.

Enroll now for the premium car rental protection insurance through American Express.

What does American Express Rental car insurance cover?

Secondary coverage auto insurance is important because it provides peace of mind knowing that if anything happens, you are covered to a certain extent. The insurance benefits for the entire rental period are listed below.

AMEX Rental Car Insurance Coverage Limit

For residents in most states there is a $10,000 coverage limit for passengers, except for Florida residents it is $40,000, and for California residents, it is $250,000.

AMEX Rental Car Insurance Coverage Cost

The price of the insurance varies if the customer selects the higher rate, which has higher coverage limits.

  • Florida(FL) residents: $12.25 / $15.25

  • California(CA) residents: $15.95 / $17.95

  • All other states: $19.95 / $24.95

AMEX Rental Car Insurance Coverage Type

Damage to or theft of the rental vehicle does not include liability coverage, underinsured or uninsured, or disability.

AMEX Rental Car Insurance Coverage Coverage Amount

Depends on the coverage option that is selected, but up can be up to $100,00 for damage (accident insurance) or theft to the vehicle if the highest option is the one chosen.

AMEX Rental Car Insurance Covered Vehicles

Standard road vehicles, SUVs, coupes, pickup trucks, and luxury vehicles. Coverage for vehicles such as cargo vans and limousines vary depending on the insurance policy.

Who is covered through the plan: Accidental death or dismemberment coverage and secondary medical coverage for drivers and passengers. Passengers also included are those that are legally married to the cardholder or are dependent children, under the age of 23.

What is not covered?

  • Off-road operation of the vehicle

  • Medical expenses

  • Towing anything - not discussed before signing in the contract

  • Liability insurance coverage

  • Lost items

  • Tires (unless from an accident or theft of the entire rental vehicle)

How do I use AMEX Rental car insurance?

  1. Go to the American Express Premium Car Rental Protection page

  2. Click Enroll Now

  3. Log in to your American Express account

  4. Select your card and the plan you’d like

  5. Find a rental agency

  6. Decide (as the renter) which vehicle you want

  7. Use the AMEX you enrolled in the protection plan to pay for the rental car

  8. Sign a collision damage waiver (CDW)

Good to note:

Credit card rental car insurance will serve as secondary coverage, which will require your personal auto insurance plan to pay out first in the case of an incident. Meaning, if anything happens, you will need to file a claim with both your primary coverage and secondary coverage (the credit card company). Primary insurance is not required but comes highly recommended.

Best credit cards for Travel benefits (AMEX)

The following 57 cards include car rental loss and damage insurance. American Express travel cards vary slightly in their coverage plans and the fees associated with them. To verify your benefits, call the number on the back of your card for more information. A few of the notable cars are listed below and include a link to their specific policy plans.

Other notable credit cards:

How to file a claim with American Express

If you need file a claim with American Express the information below will help you through the process:

What you will need to file a claim:

  • The car rental agreements and contracts

  • Your insurance information

  • Police report - notification of damage from law enforcement

Steps to follow for filing a claim:

  1. Visit the website

  2. Select “Start new claim”

  3. Follow the steps in the portal using the information from your insurance, the police report, and contract agreement

  4. The process will take about 15-20 minutes

The process for receiving a decision on your claim takes about 45 days for domestic cases, and 60-90 days for international cases. It will begin with American Express contacting the car rental company you used in order to obtain the appropriate documentation needed to fully assess your claim. If the credit card company has already charged you for the claim you are filing for, call 1-800-338-1670 immediately. Also, if the car rental company charged you for damages that are not correct, call the number on the back of your AMEX card for help through the process.

Once back from your trip, save money on your own car

When your rental period is up and your primary car needs attention, check out WithClutch! Learn how you can lower your monthly car payment by refinancing your auto loan in just 20 seconds from the comfort of your home. Start saving today and get your new rates approved within 24 hours!

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