Check Your Credit Card For Car Shit

Photo: AP

Before the peanut gallery rises up to lambast me for stating the obvious, let me just say I had no idea this was a thing until this morning. We’re not all brilliant. Anyway, you might not know it, but if you’re renting a car for the holidays, take a look at your credit card benefits. Why? You might already have insurance for the vehicle.

Thanks to Jalopnik’s wonderful managing editor Erin Marquis, I was informed of this before setting out to grab my rental—a Ford Fiesta—for a trip this weekend to Michigan.

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So, I set out to see what my credit card covers. Sure enough, within minutes, I learned I have auto rental collision coverage. And since I don’t currently have auto insurance, my credit card covers everything from theft or damage, loss-of-use charges levied by the rental company, to “reasonable” towing charges.

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My credit card company’s website told me to call the Benefits Administrator to confirm that a Fiesta is covered by the policy. Sure enough, the very vanilla Ford sedan is a match. It doesn’t, however, carry any liability coverage, which means any damage to another vehicle, personal belongings, or medical expenses, according to the agent I spoke to. Still, it’s auto insurance I didn’t even know I had.

Of course, there’s numerous decisions to take into consideration when renting a car—maybe you want medical expenses covered. But, as I learned today, it’s worth checking what your credit card covers and makes the high APR seem a smidge less hellish.

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Maybe you’re like me, and you didn’t know. Now you do. As you were.

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About the author

Ryan Felton

Senior Reporter, Jalopnik/Special Projects Desk

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