If you damage your rental car, or it is broken into, or stolen, or damaged by a hit-and-run driver, the cost may be covered by collision insurance—if you have it.
Car renters may include some collision coverage in their rates, but the deductible amount (ie, the amount you are still liable to pay, even when covered by the insurance) may be high.
They may want you to pay a Collision Damage Waiver(CDW) fee of €10 to €16/US$12 to US$18 per day to cover any such loss. Car rental companies make a lot of money this way because most cars are returned to them in good condition.
Are You Already Insured?
Don’t pay for extra coverage if you’re already insured. If you have auto insurance at home, ask your insurance agent if you ‘d be covered, and how much, if you rent a car in Turkey.
Keep in mind that cars in Turkey may have higher valuations than you think.
The minivan I drive is not an expensive car in America ($25,000 new), but the same car in Turkey sells for $70,000! And because my minivan is not new, it would not even be covered for the full purchase-price amount, only for the depreciated used-car amount. I would NOT be adequately covered by my own car’s policy if I rented the same minivan in Turkey. I might not even be adequarely covered if I rented a far cheaper car. Talk this over with your insurance agent.
Insuring With Your Credit Card
Among the benefits of some credit cards (especially premium “gold” and “platinum” cards) is some amount of collision coverage.
If you rent a car using your credit card, and later have an accident, the credit card company may pay for the damage, but there may be important limitations.
For example, the credit card company might not pay “loss of use” fees. The car renter may charge you if your car is damaged or stolen, because the renter will not be able to rent the car and earn money until it is recovered or repaired, and may hold you liable for the loss of that revenue. So if the car is not recovered for a month, you’ll pay rental (ie, loss of use) fees for a month, which could be several thousand dollars.
If you plan to use your credit card to cover collision, read the “Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance”section of your credit card agreement carefully, and know what your coverage is. Contact the credit card company if you have questions, and get the answers in writing.
Also keep in mind that credit card collision coverage is usually secondary coverage. That is, it kicks in after all other insurance coverage (such as your own car’s policy) has been utilized and exhausted.
In reality, you’re probably not going to have an accident. But—having an auto accident in a foreign country is a major mess and headache and there’s no way to get around that. By having adequate coverage, you can at least get rid of the headache much sooner.