invertalon
Topic Author
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:29 pm

AMEX Premium Car Insurance in Germany

Wed May 22, 2019 1:36 pm

Hello Everyone,

Will be departing on our first international trip in just over a week to Germany. We are flying into Frankfurt and have a car rented for the two weeks we will be there. I have the premium insurance option added on my AMEX for primary coverage.

My question for those who travel often… My rental is through Hertz. When I pick up the car, I decline their insurance but do I need proof of anything or just tell them I have the primary coverage on my AMEX? I am having trouble locating documentation on my AMEX account aside from that I am enrolled in this optional premium coverage. But no card or paperwork I can print out that I can find. I think they may have sent some documentation long ago when enrolled, but I have to try and locate it. But is it even worth my time to find?

Will the rental car company require some form of paperwork or is it so common (I assume) that they don’t give any fuss like here in the US?

Appreciate the help!
 
wingman
Posts: 3720
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 4:25 am

Re: AMEX Premium Car Insurance in Germany

Wed May 22, 2019 2:04 pm

google the topic topic and check trip advisor or other travel forums. In the us it’s a scam. Your card and your regular insurance will generally suffice, especially a top line card like Amex. But overseas things can get hinky. I took the insurance from Sixt on my last big rental in Croatia, mostly in case we detoured into Bosnia. We didn’t realky but there was one 10 click stretch on the coast where there was no choice. But in Germany you should be fine, unless Weirdling pulls you over. If your a Yank you can expect a dry cavity search.
 
invertalon
Topic Author
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:29 pm

Re: AMEX Premium Car Insurance in Germany

Wed May 22, 2019 2:14 pm

I did google the topic a few times, but I didn't find a clear answer on documentation required. As far as the insurance goes, it seems to be perfectly fine to use as primary coverage overseas and won't be any issue. I figured since people here likely travel very often to/from Europe somebody could offer sound advice.

Here in the US, I agree, I just decline and use my personal insurance which covers it.
 
wingman
Posts: 3720
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 4:25 am

Re: AMEX Premium Car Insurance in Germany

Wed May 22, 2019 3:05 pm

CYA and ask Amex direct via chat room service and take a screenshot.
 
anrec80
Posts: 1983
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:50 am

Re: AMEX Premium Car Insurance in Germany

Wed May 22, 2019 3:54 pm

wingman wrote:
google the topic topic and check trip advisor or other travel forums. In the us it’s a scam. Your card and your regular insurance will generally suffice, especially a top line card like Amex. But overseas things can get hinky. I took the insurance from Sixt on my last big rental in Croatia, mostly in case we detoured into Bosnia. We didn’t realky but there was one 10 click stretch on the coast where there was no choice. But in Germany you should be fine, unless Weirdling pulls you over. If your a Yank you can expect a dry cavity search.


I would be very weary about Amex - I do not really like this company. They are too good at marketing. Many people think once with them, you all good. But even Amex Platinum product isn’t the best for insurances.

Your American car insurer is unlikely to cover you in Europe. Be sure to clarify with Amex - do they require other insurance? If you hit someone - will they pay? How much is the limit? Is it enough to not bankrupt you? What documentation do you need on the scene of the accident, if one were to happen? Make sure you are clear and concise on this.
 
anrec80
Posts: 1983
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:50 am

Re: AMEX Premium Car Insurance in Germany

Wed May 22, 2019 3:58 pm

invertalon wrote:
I did google the topic a few times, but I didn't find a clear answer on documentation required. As far as the insurance goes, it seems to be perfectly fine to use as primary coverage overseas and won't be any issue. I figured since people here likely travel very often to/from Europe somebody could offer sound advice.

Here in the US, I agree, I just decline and use my personal insurance which covers it.


When it comes to insurances - “seems to” doesn’t work. When you have to say this, you probably haven’t done your job completely. It’s too often wishful thinking, and a recipe for getting yourself into trouble. Read all fine print, call, ask questions, and re-ask the most important ones with multiple CSRs.
 
anrec80
Posts: 1983
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:50 am

Re: AMEX Premium Car Insurance in Germany

Wed May 22, 2019 4:11 pm

And last but not least - I believe this Alex option does not provide you with liability coverage. I’d figure out and maybe even buy the liability coverage separately. This is the most important.
 
invertalon
Topic Author
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:29 pm

Re: AMEX Premium Car Insurance in Germany

Wed May 22, 2019 4:25 pm

Thanks for the feedback everyone. I do so liability coverage is not included through AMEX... So I will contact and see if any add-on coverage available beyond the coverage already and such.
 
invertalon
Topic Author
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:29 pm

Re: AMEX Premium Car Insurance in Germany

Wed May 22, 2019 5:37 pm

Well I found according to law in Europe, liability coverage has to be included with car rentals... So if that is the case, having my comprehensive coverage through AMEX should suffice:

$100K of primary coverage for damage/theft
$100K of accidental death
$15K secondary medical per person
$5K secondary property damage

On the Hertz rental, it notes:

"Basic insurance includes unlimited coverage on bodily injury to persons other than the driver and property damage to anything other than the Hertz vehicle."

"TPLI is automatically included in your rental rate. It: Meets all legal requirements for third party liability. Protects you and any authorised driver against claims from any other person (including your passengers) for death, personal injury or damage to property caused by your use of the vehicle during your rental."


I'm not insurance savvy, but i'd say that this protection would suffice in this case without additional insurances included?
 
ei146
Posts: 224
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:54 pm

Re: AMEX Premium Car Insurance in Germany

Wed May 22, 2019 8:05 pm

Don't know if this helps:
In Germany you cannot register a car if you don't show prove that you have liability coverage. Rental car companies are no exception.
Problem is the coverage required by law is much to low in many cases. Just imagine you cause an accident and as result someone becomes disabled, unable to work for his income and requires medical care for the rest of his life. So a typical insurance contract has a coverage of 10 Million € or so.
On the other hand I consider the amount rental car companies ask for additional insurance a rip-off. So my regular car insurance covers rental cars as well.
There is also a number of brokers offering packages of rental car and insurances for much better prices.

Be careful driving here. Or as the US Department of State says:
Driver error is a leading cause of accidents involving U.S. citizen motorists in Germany.
 
invertalon
Topic Author
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:29 pm

Re: AMEX Premium Car Insurance in Germany

Thu May 23, 2019 12:13 am

From what I have found, liability coverage by law in Germany is "unlimited" at 0 deductible. At least, that is what my rental agreement says... So it's confusing, to say the least.

Hertz offers for like $150 or so, liability for the entire term, so if I don't have a solid answer by then I'll just pay for it. Plan to call Hertz direct and find out.
 
offloaded
Posts: 943
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 1:56 pm

Re: AMEX Premium Car Insurance in Germany

Thu May 23, 2019 11:18 am

If you decline Hertz's own excess insurance then they will hold a deposit on your credit card probably anywhere from €1200 - €3000 depending on the vehicle. If you damage the vehicle, they will assess the damage at their own generally ludicrous rate and charge your card accordingly. After that, it's up to you to claim it back from Amex. Hertz want to sell you THEIR insurance. The people behind the counter earn commission on it if they do. If you buy theirs, then no problem, if it gets dented or scratched, nothing to pay. Be warned. If you don't, take the time to check the car thoroughly and I mean thoroughly. When you bring it back, get it checked and SIGNED OFF as undamaged. Don't dump it and go. 20 years in the travel business and the product I hate selling the most is car rental. The amount of people I know who have been scammed is dazzling. It's easiest to be scammed if you have to drop the car off before the rental station opens.
To no one will we sell, or deny, or delay, right or justice - Magna Carta, 1215
 
ei146
Posts: 224
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:54 pm

Re: AMEX Premium Car Insurance in Germany

Thu May 23, 2019 1:15 pm

Yep, happened to me once years ago in the USA with Alamo at DFW. It was not even the car I rented they said I had damaged. And as it was a business trip with a company card no problem for me. The lawyers of our officce in Dallas really enjoyed ripping them apart. Plus we changed our preferred rental car provider and did let them know why. But since that time I make sure to check for damage before I take the car and when I return it and make sure to have it signed off.
 
invertalon
Topic Author
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:29 pm

Re: AMEX Premium Car Insurance in Germany

Thu May 23, 2019 1:43 pm

Absolutely I will be doing a very thorough inspection on the vehicle and taking a lot of pictures of everything. I do car detailing as a side hobby, so I have a keen eye on the paint quality and other very minor damage. Will document it all, for sure. I have my tricks to photograph the most minor of dings/dents or swirl marks if severe. Let them try to say I caused any damage and I’ll be covered!

And yes, I understand they make commission on insurance and very familiar with the scare-tactics used when I go to pick up your car. One reason I almost always use Alamo within the US, as they have really nice kiosks that allow me to avoid talking to anyone and I can decline everything without someone trying to sell me on it! Not new to the rental car game as I travel often within the US, just not familiar with the practices outside of the US as it’s our first int’l trip.

I did call AMEX and confirmed my coverages with them and they sent me documentation that I can use as proof of primary insurance. Liability, again, from my research shows that in Germany it’s required by law and you do not need to pay extra for it. Still digging into some final details, but I think for the most part I’ll be fine as-is with the liability coverage included in the base rental and my collission/theft coverage provided by AMEX.
 
steveinbc
Posts: 262
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2015 4:30 pm

Re: AMEX Premium Car Insurance in Germany

Thu May 23, 2019 2:54 pm

I use AMEX in Europe, including Germany, and decline all coverages without showing any paperwork or evidence of terms & conditions. All you need to do is to call AMEX and get them to send you a PDF of your coverages for car rental for your peace of mind. As another poster wrote, the car rental agencies don't care because they will directly bill your CC best of luck.
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