Do Discover Credit Cards Come With Rental Car Insurance?

Last Updated on October 16, 2020

There are several essential questions to consider when renting a car, truck, or SUV. For instance, you might wonder whether you should pay a little more for a larger vehicle. Do you need GPS? Should you pre-pay for your fuel? Is it a good idea to take automatic toll-paying sensors? With so many decisions and a salesperson trying to talk up all the extras, it can be nerve-wracking, but additional questions should be considered.

One thing you might be wondering about is whether or not your credit card pays for auto insurance. Certain credit cards do cover rental cars, but how about Discover? If you are a Discover cardholder, continue reading below to learn everything about rental car insurance and whether or not your Discover card has this added benefit.discover card insurance

All About Rental Car Insurance

One decision that will significantly impact how much you pay is whether you decide to sign up for the collision and loss damage waiver coverage that the rental company offers. Not only can this cost upwards of $30 a day but opting out can turn into a long process.

You need to think about the fact that you could opt-out and then be in an accident. This could leave you needing to pay thousands of dollars until you can handle the issue between your own insurance company and the rental car provider. You could also end up with a high deductible you need to pay.

However, some people already have access to a solution that they aren’t aware of. Many credit cards offer rental coverage so you can save yourself time while cutting down on anxiety. A collision damage waiver (CDW) isn’t actually insurance, but it has a similar function. Wondering if your Discover card offers this perk? Read on to find out.

Changes to Discover Card Benefits

In 2018, Discover made changes to the benefits offered by its cards. Discover removed several benefits because customers were not using them enough. The primary features of the cards, like redemption options and reward rates, were not changed. However, these benefits are no longer available:

  • Auto Rental Coverage – This coverage used to be available to pay any costs not covered by a card owner’s insurance in a situation where an accident occurs with a rental vehicle.
  • Extended Product Warranty – This was a benefit that extended manufacturer’s warranties for a year.
  • Flight Accident Insurance – The benefit used to cover you if you were paying for a plane ticket using a Discover card.
  • Purchase Protection – This feature covered any new purchases if they became damaged or were stolen.
  • Return Guarantee – The guarantee ensured you could return an item you bought even if the retailer would not allow you to do so.

As you can see, Discover cards no longer come with rental car insurance. If you only have a Discover card, you’ll need to rely on the rental company’s insurance, your own, or a combination of the two. However, several other major credit card companies still offer rental car protection.

Finding Information About Rental Car Insurance

American Express, Mastercard, and Visa all offer some form of rental car coverage under some cards in their networks. However, be aware that the coverage provided by a card can vary based on who it was issued from. Sometimes, cards from the same issuer will even vary in the amount of coverage they offer.

One of the simplest ways to find out if your card offers rental car coverage is to call the phone number on the reverse side of the card and ask the bank or financial institution that provided it. It will also be located in your “guide to benefits,” which you may have in paper form or can find online.

It’s a good idea to know what the card offers and whether that coverage applies in a rental before you rent a vehicle. Ask about what coverage you have, what is included in the coverage, and whether there are any exclusions to be aware of. This is well worth the effort since it might mean you can opt-out of the rental company’s insurance to save cash.

Important Things to Ask Your Card Issuer

While you’re looking through the benefits guide or talking on the phone to a representative, there are several questions you want to keep in mind. Discovering the answers will give you a better idea of what to do when you’re at a rental car counter.

  • Is the coverage secondary or primary? – In most cases, it will be secondary. This means the card issuer will reimburse some costs like the deductible after your auto insurer takes care of the claim itself. Primary coverage lets you pass by the auto insurance provider entirely.
  • Does the coverage apply to rentals? – You likely need to use the card that offers coverage to rent the car to ensure the coverage applies. You may also need to decline the rental car’s coverage. The driver, when the accident happens, should also be listed on the rental agreement.
  • What coverage is provided? – Usually, credit card coverage will be a collision or loss damage waiver, often the same as the most expensive option at the rental counter. Some cards also cover administrative fees and towing expenses. Loss of use may also be provided if the car isn’t available during repairs.
  • How do I file a claim? – Find out what you need to submit if you have to make a claim. This might include an accident report, a repair estimate, the rental agreement, a police report, and photographs. If the claim filing process sounds like it will be complicated, you can instead get coverage from the rental company for less paperwork.

Discover Card Does Not Offer Car Rental Coverage

Unfortunately, while Discover card used to offer rental car coverage, that was changed in 2018. Call Discover’s customer service at 1-800-347-2683 to see what benefits they still offer to cardholders.

If rental coverage is essential because you often travel in rented vehicles, you’ll need to choose a different card issuer who can give you that. Thankfully, the other three major companies all offer cards that cover rental cars.

Remember that even if an issuer offers rental coverage, you may have to choose a specific card to get it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to be sure you’re getting the coverage level you want. There are plenty of options out there, so you’re sure to find a solution that works well for you.

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