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If you travel a lot, you must be in the habit of renting a car. A rental agency may offer you an additional insurance coverage which you make haste to buy. But do you really need these extra expenses if you've taken a credit card with you? If you have a Visa, MasterCard, or American Express, you can be assured of being covered in case you get in an accident while driving a rental.

But maybe not. Banks and card companies recommend you compare different policies before making application. Policies vary in who is insured, the level of insurance and in what vehicle, when and where it requires coverage. With inadequate credit card rental car insurance, you may incur unforeseen costs. So, do find what coverage your card offers and what is required of you to qualify for it.

If, in unfortunate event, you get in an accident, your basic auto insurance policy will cover most of the damage or loss. But credit card insurance is needed in case your primary protection does not cover something or doesn't cover the deductible. You might save hundreds of dollars if you are eligible to this kind of benefit. The two basic requirements for you to qualify are: the rental vehicle is paid in full with the bank card that offers this type of travel protection; you should refuse from the agency's collision waiver. Also, you should be the primary renter of the vehicle unless an additional authorized driver is insured.

If you own a Visa credit card, be certain that a rental car insurance benefit is free to you regardless of whether it is a Gold or Platinum, consumer, business card or student card type. The best deals offer coverage up to the actual cash value of the auto as it was made.

MasterCard holders need a good or excellent rating to get the insurance benefit to kick in. The rental car loss and damage insurance plan is only guaranteed to those who we approved for Gold, Platinum, World and World Elite offers. MasterCard protection provides coverages of no more than $50,000 if the auto is rented no more than once a month.

All American Express products offer basic rental car insurance. A more exclusive feature is the availability of coverage for luxury cars and exotic sports vehicles.

All three payment networks provide similar basic car rental insurance plans which include charges of repair/replacement of a damaged/stolen vehicle and sometimes the charges of towing the auto to the nearest repair services. If you are currently shopping for a card and mean to apply for it, see details of each plan. The details change at any time and almost always differ from company to company.