In planning for my three week Australian vacation, I was stunned to find out that Australia is one of five countries excluded for rental car insurance coverage benefits on my American Express card. Needless to say, it would have been a very rude awakening to have found that out after I had already rented a car in Australia.
Visa, however, does include Australia in its insurance coverage. According to the Visa site, it appears that any personal Visa card provides this benefit.
A few things to remember for American residents who are considering renting a car when visiting Australia:
- Your personal car insurance does not cover anything in Australia;
- You must decline the collision damage waiver (CDW) and loss damage waiver (LDW) options on your rental car agreement;
- You have to pay for the entire rental with your Visa card. Be careful with any rental using a voucher or a prepaid rental. Even if the voucher was paid for with a Visa card, that card number may not be transferred to the rental car company, and you would not be covered by your Visa card;
- Your Visa card only covers damage to the car, not your liability or damage to anything or anyone else. Check with your personal insurance agent before you leave about how to efficiently cover your liability.
- Rentals covered by your Visa card may only be up to thirty one (31) days in length; and
- Should you get into an accident, the emergency number from Australia to call Visa is (800) 125-440, or if that does not connect, you can call collect back to the USA at (410) 581-9994.