View Full Version : AMEX Premium Car Rental Insurance

02-28-2012, 10:03 AM
I was wondering if anyone has had to make a claim for theft/damage to a rental car on Bonaire using the American Express Premium rental car insurance? The price is right and I always use my AMEX when renting a car. After reviewing the policy, I think I may still have to take the CDW when in Bonaire. Specifically, the policy will not pay benefits if "the Rental Car being left unattended and unlocked or a window not completely closed;" and "off-road operation of the Rental Car;" (no diving in Slagbaai) and "vehicles that, after manufacture by the maker, have had any part customized or modified, except for driver's assistance equipment for the physically challenged driver." Do the tank racks that are in some rental vehicles constitute modification?

I can't imagine leaving my rental car locked up on Bonaire - that's just asking for a broken window - and a day of paperwork and getting another car and not diving! Having had one rental car stolen on a previous trip, I want to make sure that I have adequate insurance.

Thanks for your thoughts,

02-28-2012, 11:12 AM
Many rental policies do NOT cover pickup trucks anyway, and when the vehicle is included in the room/diving package (e.g., Buddy Dive) then it is not clear that the CC will cover the vehicle rental as a separable item. I had a long talk with AMEX and Visa Gold about this, and frankly just gave up.

So I pay $10/day for my vehicle insurance in Bonaire and split it amongst the drivers.

02-28-2012, 01:26 PM
I had a hired pickup that got scratched by thorn trees on a trip to Bonaire a few years ago. When the rental outfit (Budget) wanted to charge me $125 for a "respray" I called Amex who provide my travel insurance through the Platinum card. I told them the situation, and they said to get a statement from the rental people and they'd pay me back. It was like getting blood out of a stone with the rental clerk - I suspect this scam had worked many a time - but Amex were totally helpful and covered my costs. Having used them for medical support on a trip to the US, (from the UK), when they were again very helpful, I cannot recommend them highly enough.

(By the way, they knew it was a pickup, but didn't care. I suspect it might be different if it was a claim for theft from the back. We don't lock, don't take anything valuable, and only leave t-Shirt/towel/cheap flip-flops in the car whilst we dive. Don't leave temptation in someone's way and they wont be tempted).

02-29-2012, 11:17 AM
I should clarify: AMEX Premium is over and above the standard protection that AMEX (and other credit cards) offer. It is a pretty good deal - for $24.95 per rental (up to 42 days), you get full coverage and it is primary insurance, so even if your personal car insurance covers rental vehicles, the AMEX will pay out first and your personal car insurance won't get tapped. Additionally, it specifically covers pick up trucks and luxury vehicles - which the standard AMEX does not.

Mel - you make a good point that perhaps people don't consider when getting a package deal - probably best to take the CDW in that case.

PandR - It's really good to hear your positive experience with AMEX. I am fortunate in that I've not had to use it yet!

03-01-2012, 08:57 AM
Although my claim was for alleged damage to a rental car while on Sint Maarten, I was extremely pleased with the courteous, efficient manner in which American Express handled the situation. There is a known scam with some rental companies on Sint Maarten that they claim your damage is new and thus charge your card. I have no idea if the damage the rental company I was using there was actually "new" or not, as it was on the passenger side, and the car could have been hit in a parking lot and since I always approached from the driver's side, I guess it could have been feasible that I never saw it. However, I hit no one, and no one hit me, at least that I was aware of.

However, when checking out, the rental company claimed the damage was "new" even though that area was marked on my rental agreement as having damage. I placed a claim with American Express (the normal coverage, not the extra coverage), and within a few weeks they refunded the money automatically charged to my account. I don't know what transpired between them and the rental company, and I guess it really doesn't matter, but I will ALWAYS use my AX to pay for car rental charges in the future.

04-14-2012, 06:31 AM
Hi PandR. I assume that you are a brit. I also have am ex, platinum, from sweden which I believe is insured as the British are. I did enquire about pick ups and was told that they do not insure trucks. When insisting the pick up is not a truck in the classic sense I was informed that the issue is not the type of vehicle but how it is registered! I than contacted several rental agencies on Bonaire and they all register their vehicles as trucks. Thus you were very lucky getting reimbursed

04-14-2012, 07:43 AM
I know it is expensive, but when I rent vehicles, especially outside the US of A, I always purchase the agency's full coverage policy. I figure that if anything happens, it is their issue. This approach paid off big-time in the UK last year -- with absolutely -0- hassles to me except for those caused by the mishap itself, which were unavoidable.

04-14-2012, 07:50 AM
I believe this extra am ex insurance is just for americans. I cannot buy it in sweden. However, our insurance gives full coverage for dive accidents (at recreational depths)

J Brown
04-16-2012, 11:49 AM
I use the AMEX premium insurance (from the states) and insuring the pickups was never an issue. I called and asked specifically giving them the make and model.

Just my experience.

04-17-2012, 12:53 PM
I'm trying to reserve a truck with AMEX for this year and can't find a car rental company who'll AMEX any more. Merchant's fees too high. Any ideas to help with this?

04-17-2012, 01:38 PM
Telerin takes Amex.

04-17-2012, 01:40 PM
thanks - and are they a good company to rent from? I was told to steer clear of them, that their cars were old. Do you have experience with them?

04-17-2012, 02:16 PM
Who told you to steer clear of Telerin? They are the best car rental company i have ever dealt with anywhere. Hell, it was one of the best customer service experiences i have ever had, regardless of the industry/service. Most people on here and SB seem to agree.

The trucks they rent aren't old, but trucks do take a beating being used as dive vehicles on Bonaire. Trust me you wouldn't want to be handed the keys to a brand new truck... and be responsible for parking it on the coral rubble, loading and unloading dive gear etc, all the while trying to keep it pristine. All the trucks I have seen from any rental company there are a bit beat up. Don't get me wrong, they aren't run down per-se, just well used. I mean I'm sure there are newer vehicles to be rented if you get there at the right time, but I would avoid that!

04-17-2012, 02:19 PM
What Tom said ... Poppy is the best experience you will have.

04-17-2012, 02:20 PM
Good to know. I thought what I was hearing might be a bit of "sour grapes" but didn't know for sure. Last year we rented from Total Car Rental. Truck was a new model but it did get dirty. As long as they run well and have A/C.

Thanks again.

04-17-2012, 02:24 PM
I can't believe that anyone would tell you to stay clear of Telerin. Telerin is run by Poppy who is extremely honest and IMHO would never do anything unethical. She treats her customers almost like family. All the pick-ups we have rented have been in good running condition. She has an assortment ranging from new to slightly older. She goes out of her way to please.
You will not find a better company to rent from!

04-17-2012, 02:30 PM
Again, thanks for these recommendations. Especially since she takes AMEX. A win-win all around!