Below is text of a letter sent to Capital One Visa credit cardholders that request certification of their Visa card's Collision Damage Waiver and Theft coverage. Since the coverage is provided by Visa, and not the bank, one can assume that the terms of the coverage as outlined in the letter are the same for all Visa cardholders, regardless of the issuing bank.

The letter speaks for itself, and clearly explains the credit card's insurance coverage, but we draw the attention of Italy renters to two phrases:

  • “The Loss/Damage Waiver offered by the rental agency must be declined by the cardholder in any state or country except where prohibited by law.” In Italy the purchase of theft insurance is required by law, but not CDW (collision damage waiver). However, all Italy rental companies require the purchase of CDW. As a practical matter it is impossible to decline CDW when renting a car in Italy.
  • “It does not duplicate insurance provided by or purchased through the car rental company; it will not pay for losses reimbursed by the cardholder’s own insurer, employer, employer’s insurance or any other valid insurance. However it will reimburse the cardholder for the outstanding deductible portion or other charges not covered by the cardholder’s primary insurance policy.” LDW/CDW purchased in Italy carry a high deductible, from 200 to 1500 euros, depending on the company and vehicle. This text in the letter seems to indicate that even if you are required to purchase LDW/CDW Visa will cover the deductible.

To Whom it may concern:

This letter is to verify that (name of cardholder) and any drivers authorized on the car rental agreement, when using CAPITAL ONE FINANCIAL CORP card number ending in (last four digits of credit card), are eligible for coverage under the Visa USA Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver Benefit.

The Visa Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver Benefit will reimburse the cardholder for physical damage to, or theft of, a rental car up to the actual cash value of the vehicle as it was originally manufactured if the following conditions are met:

  1. The rental period may not exceed nor intend to exceed fifteen (15) consecutive days within the cardholder’s domiciled country and thirty-one (31) consecutive days outside the domiciled country.
  2. The Loss/Damage Waiver offered by the rental agency must be declined by the cardholder in any state or country except where prohibited by law.
  3. The entire rental transaction must be secured and charged to the eligible card.
  4. Anyone driving other than the person whose name is embossed on the card must be listed as an authorized driver on the rental contract.
  5. The damage or theft must have taken place while the vehicle is under the cardholder’s care and control.

Within the cardholder’s country of residence the coverage is on a “secondary” basis. It does not duplicate insurance provided by or purchased through the car rental company; it will not pay for losses reimbursed by the cardholder’s own insurer, employer, employer’s insurance or any other valid insurance. However it will reimburse the cardholder for the outstanding deductible portion or other charges not covered by the cardholder’s primary insurance policy. Outside the cardholder’s domiciled country or if the cardholder does not have primary insurance, coverage is primary where available.

This coverage is effective in countries other than the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Jamaica and Israel. The coverage specifically excludes expensive, exotic, antique automobiles; certain vans; trucks; motorcycles, mopeds and motorbikes; limousines; and recreational vehicles.

All claims must be reported immediately following the loss, but in no event later than 45 days following the date of loss. Please note that other terms and conditions may apply.

If you have any questions regarding the Auto Rental Insurance benefit, please call the benefit administrator at 1-800-253-5664, or call collect at 410-581-9994, 24 hours a day.

Book your rental car in Europe with Gemütlichkeit's travel department and get the best rates, personalized, knowledgeable service and our unique at-the-rental-counter safety net that ensures our customers get what they are promised. We book with all the major companies in more than 35 countries. If you have questions about rentals in Europe, or simply prefer to deal in-person, phone us at 800-521-6722.