If your rental company offers you damage waivers that would cover the vehicle in the event of an accident, theft, or vandalism, many wonder if they should take the offer. While the waivers can individually run as much as $15- $25 per day or more, sometimes having the peace of mind might be your best option. However, for some lucky card holders, there is no need to take out these insurance waivers as certain damages that occur to the Kauai rental cars may be covered by their credit card company.


Not All Credit Cards are the Same


Don’t just assume that because you have a credit card that you’re automatically covered. You need to understand that not all cards offer the same type of coverage. There are some that don’t provide insurance for your Kauai rental cars at all while others offer minimal coverage. Therefore a quick call to your credit card company is ideal to determine what your options are.


General Breakdown of Coverage by Network


The four major credit card companies:  Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover all provide some form of rental car insurance that offers a bit more coverage than your primary insurance provider might offer. However, keep in mind that there are some limitations to this. Review below a brief breakdown of what you might expect:


Visa: Most drivers would say that Visa offers the most benefits of all the major networks. Any card they have issued offers some form of rental insurance. If the car is stolen or damaged visa will cover any expense that the rental company and/or your primary auto insurance provider will not cover.


Mastercard: MasterCard is another network that offers rental insurance for Kauai rental cars. However, in most instances they do not cover “loss of use” or theft for a vehicle that is proven to be unlocked. Also, not all Mastercards offer this rental insurance, typically this only counts for card holders that have Platinum and World MasterCards.


American Express: American Express offers their cardholders rental car insurance for a small fee. For this fee account holders are allowed secondary coverage in the amount of up to $50,000. They also offer primary coverage with higher limits for injury and/or property damage. In order to receive these services you have to report the vehicle as damaged within 48 hours of it happening.


Discover: Unfortunately of all four major credit card networks, Discover is  not the best. The coverage is only for a handful of cardholders. Unlike the other networks, Discover does not make any claims of covering “loss of use” fees. They only cover collision damage up to about $25,000.


In conclusion you can see that while your credit card might be a great back up to either using your primary auto insurance provider or signing a waiver for your Kauai rental cars. While no one hopes to ever get in an accident or to have the rental car stolen, things happen that you cannot control. This is why planning ahead of time and knowing the facts is essential to keep you out of legal and financial trouble.

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