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Car rental in Germany- what insurance is required?

We are renting a car from Hertz in Frankfurt and doing a driving tour of Southeastern Germany. We have visited various sites (and at least one recommended by Rick Steves) to research car insurance rather than buying through Hertz at their exhorbitant rates. However, many of the sites we see only quotes for collision, not liability. We do not know what is required, but want to be covered in case anything would happen. To add to that, we are renting an automatic sedan- which 'should' be either a BMW or Mercedes. So we do not want to drive with no coverage after hearing horror stories about how the rental car companies in other countries are.

Can anyone suggest specific companies to get rental car insurance in Germany- and, will Hertz accept an outside company insurance?

Posted by
2663 posts

Hi,

The rental car automatically comes with liability insurance. That's why you don't see pricing for it. What you'll need is CDW insurance. We use American Express "Premium Rental Car Protection" which is free to sign up for (if you have an AmEx card) and the cost of the CDW/Theft is $24.99 for up to 42 consecutive days of the car rental. That's $24.99 for the entire rental period, not per day. This AmEx insurance acts as your primary insurance, not secondary. We've rented our cars through Andy Bestor at www.gemut.com for our last 4 trips to Germany (which included driving to Austria and northern Italy), as recently as 3 months ago.

This is a great resource for car rentals:

www.gemut.com/images/stories/report/carrentalspecialreport.pdf

www.gemut.com

Paul

Posted by
11 posts

Hi, Paul,
Thanks for the info, we looked into the AMEX thing, but weren't sure it would have high enough $$$ coverage for the type (luxury) car we were renting. And we specifically picked Hertz because both my husband and I are Hertz #1Gold members. We'll go back and do more research on AMEX.

Posted by
9110 posts

True luxury cars are a whole different deal. Depending on the make/model, credit card insurance won't touch them. All BMWs and MBs are not luxury cars unless you've never had one.

Posted by
11 posts

I went back and researched the AMEX deal, and yes, it does appear that the limits are high enough. But if I read it correctly on the AMEX site, once you sign up for this, every time you rent a car and pay with your AMEX, they will charge you the $24.95? Do you know if it is cancellable at any time? Because I travel for business every week and rent cars every week using my AMEX, and I don't want to get charged the $$ on every one of those rentals here in the US. So, I would like to use it for the Germany trip, but not after that...

Posted by
9110 posts

Don't look at the limits, look at the cars that are excluded from coverage.

You can cancel the AmExp, but before you do think about:

a. Comparing the deductible of the card with the deductible of your own policy.

b. The card being primary so your insurance wouldn't have a rate hike for a mishap.

c. The card expense being reimbursable/deductible as a business expense.

I carry very high deductible for my own cars but use a rental somewhere for roughly six months of the year. Every rental goes on the card.