American Express car rental insurance: How does it work?

Get up to $85,000 in coverage.

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Amex is a strong choice for car rental insurance since almost all of its cards come with the feature. This is a refreshing contrast to many other providers that offer the benefit only with select credit cards — or none at all.

Does American Express have car rental insurance?

American Express offers car rental theft and damage insurance with most of its available credit cards in Canada.

You’ll typically find $85,000 in maximum coverage toward the value of the rental vehicle.

It also covers some additional charges, including loss of use and appraisal fees. Policies from some other providers don’t cover loss of use, so it’s a nice inclusion with Amex’s policy.

How long does Amex car rental insurance cover me for?

Amex car rental insurance covers you for 48 days or less after you enter into a rental agreement.

What does Amex car rental insurance not cover?

There are several instances in which Amex car rental insurance might not apply. These include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Using the rental car in violation of the rental agreement.
  • Engaging in illegal activity and driving while intoxicated.
  • Driving certain types of vehicles, such as cargo vans, leased vehicles and limousines.
  • Intentional damage to the car, manufacturing defects, theft or damage as a result of your failure to secure the vehicle and more.

Is Amex car rental insurance primary or secondary?

Amex car rental insurance is secondary, which means you must make a claim with other sources of insurance available before claiming with Amex.

How to use American Express car rental insurance

  1. Before renting a vehicle, read your American Express car rental theft and damage insurance plan.
  2. Pay for your entire rental with a valid Amex payment method and decline the coverage from the car rental agency.
  3. In the event of a theft, accident or act of vandalism, immediately notify law enforcement of the incident.
  4. Call the Amex benefit administrator at 1-800-200-8959.
  5. If necessary, fill out and return the claim form, along with the requested supporting information, within 60 days. Required details may include — but aren’t limited to — an itemized repair bill, photos of vehicle damage, proof of your personal insurance and proof you paid for your rental with an eligible Amex payment method.

How long will it take to receive payment?

If the Amex benefit administrator approves your claim, you’ll receive payment within 90 days after you submit the required information.

Compare American Express credit cards

Not every Amex card comes with car rental insurance. Contact American Express to verify that this perk comes with your card.

Name Product Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee Minimum Income Benefits with this card Description
American Express Cobalt Card
19.99%
21.99%
$120
N/A
Earn 5 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent at eligible grocery stores, restaurants, bars, cafés and food delivery services, and earn 2 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent at eligible gas stations, and on transit and travel purchases, and earn 1 Membership Rewards point per $1 spent elsewhere. Terms apply
Earn up to 30,000 Membership Rewards points in your first year.
SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express
19.99%
21.99%
$99
N/A
Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases
Earn 10% cash back on all eligible purchases (up to $400 in cash back) for the first four months of Cardmembership.
American Express Business Edge Card
19.99%
21.99%
$99
N/A
Earn 3 Membership Rewards points for every $1 spent on eligible business essentials including office supplies, electronics, rides, gas, eats and drinks (up to an annual earn of 75,000 Membership Rewards), and earn 1 Membership Reward point for every $1 spent on all other eligible purchases
Earn up to 42,000 Membership Rewards points in your first year. Earn a Welcome Bonus of 30,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend at least $5,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months, and earn 1,000 Membership Rewards points each month (a total of 12,000 annually) when you spend a minimum of $3,000 on eligible purchases
American Express AIR MILES Platinum Credit Card
20.99%
21.99%
$120
N/A
Earn 1 AIR MILE for every $5 spent on eligible food, drink, gas and transit purchases (up to an annual spend of $30,000), and earn 1 AIR MILE for every $10 spent on all other eligible purchases (and after the $30,000 annual spend)
Earn a Welcome Bonus of 2,000 AIR MILES when you spend at least $1,500 in eligible purchases within the first three months.
American Express Gold Rewards Card
N/A
N/A
$150
N/A
Earn 2 Membership Rewards points for every $1 spent on eligible gas station, grocery store, drug store and travel purchases and on eligible hotel and car rental bookings made with American Express Travel, and earn 1 Membership Reward point for every $1 spent on all other eligible purchases
Earn a Welcome Bonus of 25,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend at least $1,500 on eligible purchases within the first three months
Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card
19.99%
21.99%
$120
N/A
Receive 5 Marriott Bonvoy™ points per dollar spent on eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy™ properties and 2 points on all other spend. Terms apply
Receive 50,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy™ points when you charge $1,500 in the first three months of card membership. Terms apply
American Express AIR MILES for Business Card
N/A
N/A
$180
N/A
Earn 1 AIR MILE for every $10 spent at eligible AIR MILES Sponsors and 1 AIR MILE for every $15 spent elsewhere
Earn a Welcome Bonus of 2,000 AIR MILES when you spend at least $5,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months
Business Platinum Card from American Express
N/A
N/A
$499
N/A
Earn 1.25 Membership Rewards points for every $1 spent on eligible purchases
Earn a Welcome Bonus of 50,000 Membership Rewards points when you charge $7,000 in purchases to your Card in your first three months of Cardmembership.
Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card
19.99%
21.99%
$150
N/A
Earn 5 Marriott Bonvoy™ points per dollar spent at participating Marriott Bonvoy™ properties, 3 points on eligible gas, dining and travel and 2 points on all other spend. Terms apply
Receive 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy™ points when you charge $1,500 in the first 3 months of card membership. Terms apply
American Express Business Gold Rewards Card
N/A
N/A
$250
N/A
Earn 2 Membership Rewards points for every $1 spent on eligible purchases at select American Express merchant suppliers in Canada (choose 3 suppliers), and earn 1 Membership Reward point for every $1 spent on eligible purchases elsewhere
Earn a Welcome Bonus of 30,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend at least $5,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months
American Express AIR MILES Gold Business Card
19.99%
21.99%
$0
N/A
Earn 1 AIR MILE for every $15 spent on eligible purchases at AIR MILES Sponsors, and earn 1 AIR MILE for every $20 spent on eligible purchases elsewhere
Earn a Welcome Bonus of 150 AIR MILES when you spend at least $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months
American Express AIR MILES Reserve Credit Card
20.99%
21.99%
$299
N/A
Earn 1 AIR MILE for every $10 spent on purchases at eligible stand-alone grocery stores, gas stations and drugs stores in Canada, as well as eligible AIR MILES partners, and earn 1 AIR MILE for every $15 spent on all other eligible purchases elsewhere
Earn a Welcome Bonus of 2,400 AIR MILES when you spend at least $3,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months.
The Platinum Card from American Express
N/A
N/A
$699
N/A
Earn 3 Membership Rewards points for every $1 spent on eligible dining in Canada, 2 Membership Rewards points for every $1 spent on eligible travel purchases as well as hotel and car rental bookings made with American Express Travel, and earn 1 Membership Reward point for every $1 spent on all other eligible purchases
As a new Platinum Cardmember, earn 25,000 Welcome Bonus Membership Rewards points when you charge $2,000 in purchases to your card in the first three months of Cardmembership.
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Who gets to use American Express car rental insurance?

You’re eligible for American Express car rental insurance if you:

  • Are the primary cardholder or authorized user.
  • Signed the car rental agreement.
  • Have a permanent residence in Canada.
  • You’ve activated your car rental theft and damage insurance.

How to activate Amex Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance

Here’s how activated coverage is defined:

  • You decline the coverage from the rental car company or purchase a partial collision damage waiver.
  • You or an authorized driver is on the rental agreement, and the vehicle comes into your possession.
  • You pay for the entire rental with your Amex card. This includes any deposits you must make when you collect the vehicle.

Bottom line

Amex is an excellent choice for car rental insurance, as most of its currently available cards offer the benefit. Before renting a car and relying on Amex insurance, check the car rental theft and damage insurance policy for any specific exclusions.

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