PHOTO: Driving in Italy. (courtesy Auto Europe)
Choosing the right car rental insurance in Italy is an important decision; and for good reason. Who wants to end up with a huge repair bill or be held liable for damage to another vehicle? An unfortunate accident can certainly ruin a vacation, but travelers can hold themselves accountable and protect themselves with the knowledge they need to make an informed purchase. There are plenty of options out there that can help you or your customers drive abroad worry-free and a little insider knowledge can help save you money, as well as headaches.
Here are 3 insider tips on car rental insurance in Italy:
1. Mandatory insurances are usually cheaper when included in a prepaid rate
Everyone knows that, unlike many other European countries, Basic CDW car rental insurance is compulsory in Italy. In other words, you are legally required to have this cover when driving a rental car in Italy, and rental companies will not let their car leave the lot until they are sure you are covered. The best way to cover all your bases is to get basic insurance from the company you rent from, but how can you be sure you’re getting a good deal?
Including CDW insurance and theft insurance in a prepaid car rental rate is almost always much cheaper than pre-booking a basic car rate and opting for insurance at the pick-up counter . Waiting to purchase insurance until you arrive at your destination will expose you to daily charges that can be more than just an all-inclusive prepaid rate. Purchasing insurance in advance will add to your peace of mind and may also allow you to sleep a little more during the flight.
2. Not everything is covered by CDW and theft insurance
Although pre-purchasing an all-inclusive rate with insurance can protect you from the biggest threats to your wallet (the value of the rental car in the event of an accident or theft of the car), be aware that you will always face certain risks. if CDW and theft protection is all you have. For one thing, CDW insurance will generally not cover damage to tires, windshields, or undercarriages due to vandalism or misuse. Minor damage to the exterior of the car can still be deducted from your excess. Also, although theft insurance may cover the cost of the rental car in the event of theft, any personal effects you have inside the car will not be covered.
For personal items and luggage, you will need to take out additional insurance, usually available from your car rental supplier at the time of pick-up (this can rarely be prepaid). In general, it is considered good practice to leave your luggage in your hotel and never unattended in your rental car, just to be on the safe side. Special coverage for windshields, tires and undercarriage can also be purchased at the pickup counter and rental car insurance without deductible is a good security to limit the amount you can be held responsible for.
3. Chances are your credit card coverage won’t include rentals in Italy
If you’re considering using car rental insurance provided by a credit card, be careful. There are almost no processors currently offering cover in Italy and failure to purchase insurance in advance at a prepaid rate will expose you to the higher daily costs imposed for insurance over the counter. To verify credit card car rental insurance information and call your specific card provider to find out exactly what their policies entail, but be aware that credit card coverage in Italy is extremely rare.
Not everyone does their homework before traveling abroad and, especially in the case of car rental insurance in Italy, a little knowledge can go a long way. Learn about all the options available as well as the laws and regulations, and you’ll be well equipped to enjoy a worry-free driving vacation.