When you rent a car, the last thing you want is to have to pay for the repair or replacement of a vehicle that you don’t own. Since accidents happen, though, it’s important to have the coverage needed to protect not only the rental vehicle but also your personal finances. One way to get this coverage is with Bank of America credit card rental car insurance. Take a look at how it works and what’s covered.
What is Bank of America Credit Card Rental Car Insurance?
No matter what Bank of America credit card you have, it offers rental car insurance as a complimentary benefit. The coverage is called an Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver and is provided by Visa and Mastercard. Although the specifics vary depending on whether you have a Visa or a Mastercard, it will cover your rental against damage or theft up to the value of the car’s cash value.
This insurance is secondary to your other auto insurance. If your insurance covers rental cars and you get into an accident, you’ll need to file a claim with your personal insurer first. Once you show Bank of America what you got for a reimbursement, if it is not enough to cover the damages, you can get more money from your Bank of American credit card rental car insurance to make up the difference. If you do not already have auto insurance, the Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver will be your primary coverage.
How to Use the Bank of America Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
In order to use the Damage Waiver, you need to pay for the entire rental with your Bank of America credit card. It is important to note that you can only use your Bank of America credit car rental car insurance if you decline the extra coverage offered by the rental car agency. Accepting the added coverage from the rental agency will cancel your Bank of America benefits.
You need to refuse the damage waiver offered by the rental agency because when you sign that waiver, it transfers financial responsibility to the rental car company if the car is damaged or stolen. You don’t want the rental agency to have financial responsibility. Instead, you want Bank of America to take financial responsibility.
What Does Bank of America Credit Card Rental Car Insurance Cover?
The exact coverage will differ depending on the credit card you have. The best way to find out what you have for coverage is to look in your card’s benefits guide. In general, here is how the insurance works:
- Coverage period. Visa offers 31 or fewer consecutive rental days, and Mastercard covers up to 15 consecutive days.
- Covered events. Damage or theft of rental cars, towing charges, and loss of use charges.
- Coverage amounts. Visa insurance covers up to the cash value of most types of vehicles. Mastercard covers the cash value of cars up to $50,000 or less.
What Doesn’t Bank of America Credit Card Rental Car Insurance Cover?
It is just as important to know what is not covered under your car rental insurance as it is to understand what is covered. Some of these events and items that are not covered include:
- Damage to another vehicle in an accident
- Personal liability
- Theft or damage due to driving while intoxicated
- General wear and tear of a vehicle
- Damage or theft of personal items
- Damage to the rental due to off-road operation
- Items not installed by the original manufacturer
- Rental periods that exceed or are intended to exceed 31 days for Visa or 15 days for Mastercard
In addition to these items that are not covered, your Bank of America credit card rental car insurance will not cover you while driving in:
- Republic of Ireland
- Northern Ireland
Certain vehicles are also not covered by your Bank of America card. These include:
- Expensive cars
- Exotic cars
- Antique cars
- Cargo vans
- Vehicles with an open cargo bed
- Recreational vehicles
How Do I File A Claim?
If you get into an accident in your rental car, you should call the Bank of America Benefit Administrator at 1-800-348-8472. You’ll need to report the incident whether or not it has been established that you are liable.
It is the renter’s responsibility to let Bank of America know about an accident soon after it happens, but it can be no later than 45 days after the incident. If you don’t report it within this timeframe, the credit card will not pay out any money for damages.
In order to submit a claim, you need to gather some paperwork and information. Make sure you have:
- A copy of the accident report
- A copy of the front and back of your rental agreement. Make sure to get copies of the agreement you signed when you first rented the car and a copy of the agreement you received when you returned it.
- An itemized copy of the repair estimate and a copy of the repair bill
- Two pictures of the damaged vehicle, if available
- A police report
Once you have all this information, you can submit it to the Benefit Administrator. You’ll also need a completed and signed Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver postmarked within 90 days of the date of the theft or accident. You’ll also need a copy of your Bank of America credit card billing statement. If you have personal auto insurance, you’ll need a statement from your insurer showing the costs you are responsible for and any amount the insurer paid toward the claim. A copy of the declaration page is also required to show the amount of your deductible.
Should I Always Choose My Bank of America Credit Card Insurance Over Other Damage Waivers?
It’s important to research your available options before choosing your Bank of America coverage. If you will have more than one driver, contact your credit card to make sure the coverage applies to other drivers. You will also need to make sure your card has a high enough credit limit to cover the entire rental. If you don’t pay for the rental with your Bank of America credit card, the rental benefit doesn’t apply.
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.