No matter how often I cover the problems that come with collision damage under car rental insurance, consumers continue to share their frustrations. A reader recently emailed me: “I’m interested in finding a complete bumper-to-bumper, ‘drop off the keys at the counter’ car rental coverage when I travel. I recently thought I had complete coverage though a credit card, but when my car suffered a small dent, the car rental company flat-out refused to document that it actually lost income from having the car rental in the shop (which took three weeks to repair a small dent). I was left with responsibility.” Car Rental Insurance: 9 Nasty Truths This experience is uncommon, but not unique. Car rental companies desperately want you to buy their collision damage waiver, or CDW, and will go to great lengths to make you pay for even the smallest damages if you don’t. Here’s what you need to know. The One Way to “Drop the Keys and Forget … [Read more...] about 9 Nasty Truths of Car Rental Insurance You Need to Know
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Because it’s small and the locals speak English, Belize is relatively easy for travelers to navigate. You might choose to rent a car and explore the country’s jungles and Mayan ruins at your own pace — or, if you’re short on time, you can opt for a few short flights aboard the country’s two local airlines. Water taxis will speed you to the offshore islands, and if you want to chat with the locals, you can hop aboard a retired American school bus for a raucous trip down one of the major highways. Most international travelers fly into Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport, about 10 miles northwest of Belize City. American, United, Delta and Southwest are among the carriers that fly here from the United States. The airport isn’t served by public transportation, so you’ll need to arrange a hotel shuttle, rent a car or take a cab to get to your next destination. To save money, some budget travelers fly to Cancun, Mexico (where the fares are … [Read more...] about Getting Around Belize: Transportation Tips
When you step up to a rental car counter, do you automatically anticipate an adversarial relationship with the agent? Lots of us do, and with some good reason: The fear that the agent will try to get us to pay for something we don’t need—or gouge us for something we do need—is real and rental car companies do employ tricks for those purposes. You can avoid some of these with careful planning, but others you can’t. The biggest point of contention, almost everywhere, is the collision- or loss-damage-waiver (CDW/LDW). Legally it really isn’t insurance, but most consumers and many rental car agents call it “insurance” anyhow. And at somewhere around $30 a day, it can as much as double the cost of a rental. Just how much is that cost inflated over the company’s actual financial risk? A few years back, one company told travel agents they could offer customers the unbeatable rate of $0 a day, provided the customer bought the insurance. Rental … [Read more...] about 10 Dirty Secrets of Car Rental Companies
Is rental-car collision insurance overpriced? Yes. Here's how much: A car-rental company once informed travel agents that it could offer clients an unbeatable rate—$0 per day—provided only that the clients bought insurance. Even though rental companies sometimes call their policies "insurance," technically, they're not. The policy is really a waiver of the company's right to collect damages from you if you damage the rental. By whatever name, however, the price is outrageously high, at up to $30 per day in many cases. You know it's overpriced when you can buy equivalent coverage from third-party sources—proprietors that make a profit—for less than $10 per day or get it free through your credit card. Work-Around: Your regular auto insurance may cover you in a rented car, at least within the U.S., although many such policies do not pay for the full list of charges that rental companies add to a collision bill. You're better off using the free coverage … [Read more...] about 7 Worst Car Rental Rip-Offs and How to Beat Them
The most recent Business Outlook Survey conducted by Auto Rental News of franchised and independent car rental companies reveals that “40% of respondents believe their rates will increase in 2016. In the same survey conducted two years ago, 30% believed they’d increase. This is an opinion survey, but directionally positive on the tenor of operators.”That outlook — reported in this article by Chris Brown of Auto Rental News — may be great news for rental car companies and their stakeholders should it come to fruition; but it will most likely be bad news for you.Airfares were not the only part of the overall travel costs which had been increasing in the United States back in 2014.“Once on the ground, travelers aren’t going to find much relief”, Scott Mayerowitz warned in this article for the Associated Press. “The average nightly price of a hotel room in the U.S. during the first half of this year was … [Read more...] about Could Rental Car Rates Rise in the United States — and What Can You Do?