I am planning to rent a car from Oryx while traveling in Croatia. Any recommendations on whether it's better to buy the company insurance, use your credit card, or buy through Travel Guard (as recommended in Rick Steves' book)? Thanks, MT
In 30 years of traveling to Europe, and renting cars virtually every time, we have had 3 occasions to use our insurance. Twice, we relied on the insurance provided by the cc company. You might be able to find my detailed account of the most recent experience, on this forum in the (I think) Italy section. Those two, one Amex and one Chase, were handled smoothly and with dispatch. The third was with the Amex Premium Car Rental Insurance. Again, handled in a timely fashion, with no hassle.
I am very careful, when relying on the cc to check all the details by calling and talking to an agent. Terms vary from company to company and can change. It's very important to get the exact details on what you will need to do, if you have an incident. It's also important to clarify what might be excluded. For example, some insurance excludes damage to windows. Our first incident was a broken windshield from a rock kicked up by passing vehicle. Amex paid, but I have seen the windows exclusion in some policies.
I have never looked at Travel Guard, so can't comment on the cost. The cc coverage is gratis, and the Amex Premium costs $18 - 25 for a period of up to 42 days.
When we rent cars in Europe, we like to know we can walk away from any damage, whether chipped paint or a crushed door, without worry. We take the Super Coverage offered by the agency, and I usually stick with Hertz. We rented from MACK in Croatia as recommended by Frommer's, and even with their full coverage, we had to argue when we turned in the car. Nicks and scratches that were "nothing" at time-of-rental were examined in detail and alleged to be our fault at time-of-return, AND they put a credit card hold of Euro 1,000 on the credit card in case of damage. I have never had a problem with Hertz, FWIW. I also heartily recommend www.Gemut.com. They have given us fantastic rates and service, and if you have a problem during the rental, they are there for you, 24x7, in English. :-)