There continues to be controversy over whether any U.S. credit cards provide collision damage waiver and theft insurance on cars rented in Ireland. Last week, our free email newsletter, Europe Travel Report, contained the following item:
- CDW/Theft Insurance in Ireland: There's a lot of bad info at web travel forums that says no credit card will cover CDW (collision) and theft insurance in Ireland. Not true. The MasterCard Business Card, MasterCard World Card, and Diner's all cover. However, you must obtain a certification of coverage from MasterCard to show at the rental counter. Call MasterCard at 866-934-1138.
Since then, however, we've received emails from readers who claim to be holders of these cards who say they are not covered. Here is my own experience:
I have had a "Citibank Aadvantage Platinum World Elite Master" for many years. Last week, before I wrote the above item in Europe Travel Report, I phoned MasterCard. My specific question was "Am I covered for CDW/theft in Ireland with this card?" The verbal answer was, yes. I asked for a "Letter of Coverage" which I received within 24 hours via email. I also received a document which set out the terms and conditions of that coverage. The “Letter of Coverage” specifically referenced my name, address, policy number, and MasterCard's carrier, Chubb Group. It also contained this text:
- The policy is a group policy that covers Citibank, N.A. cardmembers for loss damage waiver if the entire cost of the car rental is charged to the insured person's Citibank, N.A. (Aadvantage Platinum World Elite Master) card, and if the insured person declines any Damage Waiver insurance offered by the rental agency. Insurance is payable on an excess basis over and above any amount due from any other valid or collectible insurance or any other form of reimbursement payable by those responsible for the loss.
- Coverage applies Worldwide including the Republic of Ireland. (Editor's emphasis)
- Coverage is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy.
Here is the terms and conditions document:
Worldwide Auto Rental Insurance Coverage
As an eligible Insured* you are automatically eligible to receive reimbursement for amounts paid for repair of Damage or Loss** to a Rented Automobile***, and for which the Insured is responsible, when the loss occurs Worldwide. This coverage applies provided the entire rental fee has been charged or debited to your covered Account; and, provided you have rejected, at the time of rental, any waiver of liability for Damage or Loss available from the rental company.
***Insured means Cardmembers of the Policyholder. Cardmember means any authorized primary or additional card user who has been issued a card by the Policyholder.
***Damage or Loss means direct and accidental Loss to a Rented Automobile.
***Rented Automobile means a four-wheeled private passenger type motor vehicle or a mini-van manufactured and designed to transport a maximum of seven passengers and used exclusively to carry
passengers. A Rented Automobile must be designed for travel on public roads and rented from a licensed rental company. Off-road, antique or limited edition vehicles are excluded, as are trucks, recreational vehicles, campers, pick-up trucks and mini-buses.
This Damage or Loss reimbursement is provided to you, as an Insured, automatically when the entire cost of the motor vehicle rental is charged or debited to your covered Account. It is not necessary for you to notify the Insurance Company or Plan Administrator at the time the rental fee is charged or debited to your covered Account.
This coverage is provided at no additional cost to eligible Insureds under the master policy issued to Citigroup Inc., by Federal Insurance Company (the Company).
Amount of Insurance:
The Company's liability will be for a maximum reimbursement of $50,000. From the amount of reimbursement due the Insured, the amount of any valid and collectible insurance will be deducted. In no event will the Company be liable beyond the amounts actually paid by the Insured.
Coverage does not apply to loss resulting from:
• Any dishonest, fraudulent or criminal act of the Insured;
• Forgery by the Insured;
• Loss due to war or confiscation by authorities;
• Loss due to radioactive contamination;
• The Insured being intoxicated, as defined in the applicable State Motor Vehicle Code, or under the influence of any narcotic unless prescribed by a physician;
• Intentional damage to the Rented Automobile by the Insured;
• Damage which is due and confined to wear and tear, freezing, mechanical or electrical breakdown or failure, unless such damage results from a theft covered by the plan;
• Tire damage, unless damaged by fire, malicious mischief or vandalism, or stolen or unless the loss be coincident with a covered loss;
• Use of the Rented Automobile to carry passengers and property for hire;
• Use of the Rented Automobile in tests, races or contests;
• Use of the Rented Automobile by a person other than the one authorized to operate the Rented Automobile by the terms of the Rental Agreement;
• The Rented Automobile being operated or located in any territory prohibited by the terms of the Rental Agreement;
• Loss of use of the Rented Automobile.
Misrepresentation and Fraud:
Coverage of the Insured will be void if, at any time, the Insured has concealed or misrepresented any material fact or circumstance concerning this coverage or the subject thereof or the interest of the Insured herein, or in case of any fraud or false swearing by the Insured relating thereto.
Coverage for an Insured will be void if, whether before or after a loss, the Policyholder or its subscribing organization(s) has concealed or misrepresented any material fact or circumstance concerning this coverage or the subject thereof or the interest of the Insured therein, or in case of any fraud or false swearing by the Policyholder or its subscribing organization(s) relating hereto.
The Insured must send the Company written notice of a claim, including the Insured's name and policy number, within 45 days after a covered loss occurs. If notice cannot be given within that time, it must be given as soon as reasonably possible. The Insured must submit the following to the Insurance Company:
• A copy of the statement showing the automobile rental transaction;
• A copy of the automobile rental agreement;
• A copy of the police report;
• A copy of the initial claim report submitted to the automobile rental company;
• A copy of the paid claim presented by the automobile rental company for the damage or loss for which the Insured is responsible;
• Proof of submission of the loss to and the results of any settlement or denial by the applicable insurance carrier(s); and
• If no other insurance is applicable, a notarized statement from the Insured to that effect.
For Insureds Who Are New York State Residents:
To the extent that this plan provides insurance against damage to a rented motor vehicle, the following terms and conditions apply:
1. The period of insurance coverage will not exceed thirty-one (31) consecutive days, or forty-five (45) consecutive days if the Insured is an employee of an organization which has provided the card to the Insured for business use;
2. The insurance provided by this plan will be excess over any other valid and collectible insurance covering the rented motor vehicle. However, the insurance provided under this plan may be primary if specifically provided for under the terms of this plan and
if the following criteria is met:
a. The motor vehicle is rented for use outside the United States, its territories and possessions; or
b. The Insured is an employee of an organization which has provided the card to the Insured for business use; and
c. The motor vehicle is rented without a driver.
How to File a Claim:
Call the Claims Service Center for a Claim form at 1-866-491-1031, Mon-Fri, 6am-5pm CT, or download a Claim form from Chubb's website at (www.chubb.com), click on Report a Loss, & select "Accident & Health Claims."
Under "Step 1" select the "Loss Damage/Collision Damage Waiver Claim Form", print out the claim form, and follow the instructions under "Step 2."
Mail or Fax Completed Claim Form:
• Address: Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, Claims Service Center, 600 Independence Parkway, P.O. Box 4700, Chesapeake, VA 23327-4700.
• Fax Number: 1-800-300-2538
General Coverage Questions Contact: (THIS IS US)
Telephone: 1-866-934-1138, Mon-Fri, 7am-7pm, CT.
General Claim Questions Contact:
Chubb Group of Insurance Companies Claim Service Center, Telephone: 1-866-491-1031, Mon-Fri, 6am-5pm CT.
As a handy reference guide, please read this document and keep it in a safe place with your other insurance documents.
This Summary of Coverage is not a contract of Insurance but is simply an informative statement to eligible Insureds of the principal provisions of the insurance while in effect. Complete provisions pertaining to this plan of insurance are contained in the master policy on file with Citigroup, Inc., herein referred to as the Policyholder. If a statement in this Summary of Coverage and any provision in the policy differ, the policy # 9906-87-82 will govern.
Plan Underwritten by Federal Insurance Company, a member of the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies 15 Mountain View Road, P.O. Box 1615, Warren, New Jersey 07061-1651.