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Visa car rental insurance coverage in New Zealand

Geneseo, New York
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Visa car rental insurance coverage in New Zealand

I've been told by a New Zealand car rental broker that Visa collision(liability in NZ) insurance coverage isn't valid there. NZ is not listed by Visa as a country where they don't cover, like Israel. This doesn't make sense. If I decline the rental company's collision insurance(CDW), Visa should cover vehicle damage like they do in most other countries. Does anyone have experience with this?

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New Zealand
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California
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1. Re: Visa car rental insurance coverage in New Zealand

Have you contacted Visa card services? They would have a definitive answer. I checked this webpage from their site:

…visa.com/personal/cards/benefits/bft_dmg_wa…

About halfway down the page is what you are referring to:

"What is not covered?"

"....Theft or damage from rental transactions which originated in Israel, Jamaica, the Republic of Ireland, or Northern Ireland."

Let us know what the Visa rep says.

Wellington, New...
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2. Re: Visa car rental insurance coverage in New Zealand

Check the terms and conditions of your Credit Card insurance as it applies to you in your home country. They are not all the same. Depending upon who the underwriter is determines what is or is not covered. You should be able to access the T & C's through your credit card provider's website or direct from the Credit Card provider. From my understanding Visa and Mastercard are just conduit's and are not directly involved with the insurance company. For example if one rings the Insurance hotline in NZ for NZ issued cards you have to go through a number of options to find your particular card info. In some instances you are correct but in others the advice given is that you decline the CDW cover in order to get the CC cover. Nothing is simple.

When I am hiring a car I find that dealing with CRedit Card insurance is too much of a hassle so I get Travel insurance which I pay for. If not hiring a car I use the free CRedit Card policy.

I have a second issue that you need to consider and that is why are you using a broker for car rentals and not dealing direct with car rental company. My rationale is that should you have an accident and the car rental company takes the full excess (which you claim back through your insurance company) the broker becomes party to the hire contract and dealings with the car rental company are done through the broker. Comments here on TA indicate that in such circumstances the hirer ( you) ends up going through a lot of grief before anything is settled if it gets settled at all. The car rental company is in most cases blamed but they are only following through with their contract partner who is a ticket clipper or the broker.

Birmingham, Alabama
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3. Re: Visa car rental insurance coverage in New Zealand

My AmEx doesn't cover it. I would call your card issuer. We purchased a trip insurance policy from travelex for less than $100. It doesn't cover pretrip cancellation (hence it's less expensive than some) but covers rental car insurance and trip interruption, + medical. It's through travelex (their "max" policy). Found it by comparing plans on squaremouth.com.

I travel all the time and am not an insurance person but figured it might be worth it since we'll be driving on the left side of the road.

4. Re: Visa car rental insurance coverage in New Zealand

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Removed on: 11 June 2015, 16:05
Geneseo, New York
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5. Re: Visa car rental insurance coverage in New Zealand

Thanks for your input, guys. I've been using Visa collision coverage on rentals overseas for years and am very familiar with the terms & conditions. Since New Zealand is not a country Visa excludes from coverage, I should be able to decline the rental company's CDW, like elsewhere, and Visa then would cover any damage. A helpful and savvy broker I'm communicating with says otherwise though. I'm working with him because I'm also considering a buyback vehicle and his company does them. They also arrange/broker rentals and his rate quotes are lower than any direct quotes from rental companies.

The website is: new-zealand-rental-cars.com/New-Zealand-rent… cars-htm

Here's what he said -

Hi Steven

You Visa insurance will not be accepted by any NZ rental company. The basic insurance package is built in and is not rejectable. What it might cover - check with your card issuer - is the excess of $1500. The reason no company accepts credit card insurance is as a result of a court case where Hertz sued Amex for $25,000 as a result of a crash. Amex's defence, upheld by the court, was that they were not liable because they were not a party to the hire agreement.

Regards

David Morris

Has anyone here been able to use their Visa collision coverage in New Zealand by declining the CDW?

Edited: 12 November 2012, 19:16
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New Zealand
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Geneseo, New York
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6. Re: Visa car rental insurance coverage in New Zealand

Thanks for your input, guys. I've been using Visa collision coverage on rentals overseas for years and am very familiar with the terms & conditions. Since New Zealand is not a country Visa excludes from coverage, I should be able to decline the rental company's CDW, like elsewhere, and Visa then would cover any damage. A helpful and savvy broker I'm communicating with says otherwise though. I'm working with him because I'm also considering a buyback vehicle and his company does them. They also arrange/broker rentals and his rate quotes are lower than any direct quotes from rental companies.

The website is: new-zealand-rental-cars.com/New-Zealand-rent… cars-htm

Here's what he said -

Hi Steven

You Visa insurance will not be accepted by any NZ rental company. The basic insurance package is built in and is not rejectable. What it might cover - check with your card issuer - is the excess of $1500. The reason no company accepts credit card insurance is as a result of a court case where Hertz sued Amex for $25,000 as a result of a crash. Amex's defence, upheld by the court, was that they were not liable because they were not a party to the hire agreement.

Regards

David Morris

Has anyone here been able to use their Visa collision coverage in New Zealand by declining the CDW?

Edited: 12 November 2012, 19:20
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7. Re: Visa car rental insurance coverage in New Zealand

"What it might cover - check with your card issuer - is the excess of $1500."

This is what I thought you were referring to in your original post. Any expenses beyond that initial $1500 would be covered in the standard car rental agreement in New Zealand. The excess, what we in the states refer to as deductible, is only covered if you accept additional coverage.

Here is what it states in TA:

"In New Zealand, by law, Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and theft protection are included in all rates. The CDW deductible (responsibility of the client) ranges from U.S.$1200 to U.S.$2390, depending on the supplier and vehicle type. Theft protection deductible also ranges from U.S.$1570 to U.S.$2390. You will be offered the opportunity to reduce the excess (CDW) to something more managable, usually in the vicinity of NZ$200 or zero with some of the better companies, for a daily charge. However, you may not need this coverage, as Visa automatically provides coverage for the full amount of this deductable, provided that the driver of the vehicle at the time of the incident is authorized by the rental company and provided also that the rental company's reduced CDW deductible coverage was waived."

I found the information here:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g255104-c2516/New-Zea…

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8. Re: Visa car rental insurance coverage in New Zealand

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Removed on: 10 June 2015, 22:35
Geneseo, New York
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9. Re: Visa car rental insurance coverage in New Zealand

Thanks again. This clarifies things. I'm going to need a car for 14 weeks so the associated costs will add up. Cheers!

10. Re: Visa car rental insurance coverage in New Zealand

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Removed on: 23 May 2015, 13:49