by Andrew Jernigan: Expatriate Specialist: Insurance
I spent several years in with Enterprise Rent-a-Car before beginning my travels and work internationally. Having rented cars around the world and worked with those who have I’ve gained experience to share with you. Note, it’s always good to have an international drivers license.
If you are renting, it’s best to get the Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) which releases you from responsibility for damage to the hired car. You can save money by getting this through Allianz or Travelex in advance. It is not covering you for liability so you should go ahead and purchase liability from the car rental company. If you rely on your credit card for that then call before you get the rental and verify what it covers. If you have an American Express card, you can purchase primary coverage by enrolling in their premium rental car protection program. Once you purchase it, you pay a rate of either $19.95 or $24.95 (with a slight discount for California and Washington state residents) each time you rent paying with that card. Note, this option, which also includes some property damage and injury coverage, makes sense for longer-term rentals especially since you pay a fee per rental rather than a daily rate that the rent-a-car company would charge. If it’s a short rental then you could be paying more.
If you don’t have personal car insurance or if you’re renting a car in a country where your personal auto insurance isn’t in effect, then any card that offers secondary coverage becomes the primary cover, so it should (in theory) cover the cost of the damage in its entirety.
Driving into Mexico?
If you are in the USA and traveling into Mexico then you must purchase an additional policy. It’s simple to do so online through our partner. Click here to purchase and learn about MexInsurance.com, a brokerage of Qualitas Compania de Seguros.
Legally Drive in Over 150 Countries
In the UK, you would go to your nearest IDP post office to get this license. In the US I recommend that you use Fastport Passport, an industry leader in expedited passport service, also provides U.S. citizens with expedited services for international driving permits. The International Driving Permit (IDP) is a document that permits travelers to legally drive a motor vehicle while abroad. You can also go to your local auto club to get it in major metropolitan areas. The IDP is not a replacement for your government-issued driver’s license but rather serves as a translation of your driver’s license. It features your photo, full name, driver’s license information and the ten languages of translation. The IDP is used in conjunction with your valid driver’s license. You can email the required documents to Fastport Passport and have your International Driving Permit within 48 hours. Click here to learn more and get started.
Getting Local or International Permanent Auto Insurance
Many times it is best to get the policy from a local provider. If you do choose this try to go through an independent broker who can shop for you to many carriers to find the best cover for the lowest cost. I serve in this capacity in the US market and work to do so in other countries as able.
In Singapore, I recommend going through AsiaDirect (a Hiscox company).
Clements is a provider that I have personally used and helped people in obtaining coverage with their family/individual or fleet plans.
Andrew Jernigan, Expatriate Specialist: Insurance/Benefits
Andrew is a licensed insurance broker in property, casualty, health, accident. life and travel lines and has earned the designation of Global Mobility Specialist. Representing many companies for cross-border insurance you can contact him to get the guidance you need, click here to read more.