Please sign in to post.

Auto Insurance while in England, France, Iceland

My family and I are headed to Europe later this week (from the US) and will be renting cars in England, France and Iceland during our time abroad this summer. Despite doing some reading on the subject, I am still debating what to do about auto insurance. My credit card does not offer insurance benefits and my existing auto insurance here in the states does not cover us either. I guess I'm left with the option of picking up the damage waiver coverage which is technically not insurance AND is quite expensive. Cost aside, my fear is that we'll pay the exorbitant rate and still end up owing a significant amount if we were actually in a collision and/or the the car was damaged. Does anyone have experience with this? What did you decide to do? Any insights are appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Posted by
8630 posts

My first thought was it is time to get another credit card……..
Many credit cards will give ‘instant” approval and generate a credit card number that you can begin to use immediately, even if you haven’t received your physical card yet. This may be the simplest way to assure coverage for each rental.

Look at credit cards that have no foreign transaction fees. Travel related cards (hotel or airline). Often have these features. Chase Sapphire, Capital One, are some others.

Posted by
9 posts

This may be too late of a reply as you may be abroad already, but I recently returned from 3 weeks in France plus 2 weeks in and had a rental car in both countries. Despite our credit card (AMEX) providing some coverage, my husband (Insurance litagation attorney) said to purchase the bumper to bumper coverage for everything offered by Europcar. The peace of mind it brought as we traveled narrow two-way roads, hill towns, fast on your tail Italian drivers, etc.... contributed greatly to a worry free trip.

A few years ago my rental car in France was broken into and some luggage was stolen from the trunk. As I had bought all the coverage offered, all I had to do was return the car and get a new one. I had a police report, which I got to get reimbursement from AMEX for what was stolen and to report the crime. But as for the car rental company, no issues at all.

Also, and hopefully you have this, the countries I've visited UK, France and Italy and where I've rented a car all now require an International Drivers License which you must show when you pick up the car. I understand other countries in Europe require this as well. I got mine through AAA and it lasts one year from date of purchase.