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Scratched Rental Car in Italy Allianz Travel

Hi everyone. Traveling with a few friends. Rented a car in Orvieto from a small mom n pop type rental. Not looking to hear all the mistakes my friend made….looking for advice to move forward.

She signed a one page rental agreement in Italian. Has a small email trail that says the price (400 euros) and “includes insurance”.

She backed into something and has a quarter sized very noticeable ding/scratch. She is returning the car in a few days. She has Allianz Insurance “ AllTrips Premier Plan” which has rental car coverage.

What are the next moves? Is the rental company going to demand cash? Will they be charging her credit card an exorbitant amount ? Will Allianz cover this (it seems like Allianz will but it says she needs to “file a report” with the rental car company)? How would she file a report? They barely seemed to have a real rental agreement….

P.S. I know about CDW and that in Italy it’s included in price and you can’t decline it. I also know it says you’re on the hook for a huge deductible.

Thanks for all advice.

Posted by
15485 posts

Usually the deductible is 1,000€ for which you are responsible unless you purchased a zero deductible insurance from the agency. I don’t know what the damage cost could be, I doubt it will be 1000€ if it’s just a scratch or small dent. Assuming let’s say it’s 500€, they will probably charge your card. It is best to get all the documentation from the agency so that later you can file a claim with Allianz. The local rental agency will not deal with Allianz. You first pay the local agency, then you submit all of the documentation to Allianz to get reimbursed. Allianz is a good company, one of the best in the world, if you are covered for that type of damage through them you shouldn’t have problems getting reimbursed. You just have to deal with the paperwork.

Posted by
7649 posts

The local rental company will need to provide an estimate of the repair cost. They may not actually get the damage repaired (we’ve twice gotten rentals in Italy that had existing damage, which the rental company acknowledged and put on the paperwork when we picked up the car, but apparently wasn’t in any hurry to get it fixed), but they still need to tell you the amount it would take to restore the vehicle. Make sure it’s legible.

I once drove into a curb in Italy, and blew out a tire. The rental company sent a tow truck with a replacement wheel and tire, which I paid on the spot, and the driver gave me a scribbled handwritten receipt (the descriptions turned out to be not actually legible), and when it was submitted for insurance reimbursement, it was determined to be insufficient for supporting the claim. It wasn’t a huge amount, and I didn’t pursue getting better documentation for successful reimbursement. A bigger amount might have warranted more time and energy to do so.

In Norway last fall, we put a few scratches in the paint on the front bumper. They were just scratches, no dents, but Hertz Norway fixed the damage within 2 weeks of us returning the car, to the tune of $800. They were really good about e-mailing us a detailed repair report, in both Norwegian Kroner and the US Dollars that they charged to our VISA card. We also needed the rental booking documentation. Our insurance (provided by the same VISA) promptly credited us for the full amount. They also wanted photos of the damage, as well as photos (if available) of the area on the car before the damage occurred. It was all done via e-mail. A huge corporation like Hertz was able to provide what our insurer wanted. A mom and pop company may not be prepared to automatically do the same, so make sure you establish with them that you can and will be able to reach them again and again if more insurance claim documentation will be needed for you to submit a complete claim. More information will be better than less information.

Taking “before” photos of the rental car when first picking it up, as well as “after” photos when turning it back in, has become our standard practice now, as protection and proof.

Posted by
865 posts

Why not wait and see how the rental firm reacts when the car is returned - your friend may have purchased no deductible coverage, and you can just walk away. Or you may have a bill to contend with. You could research what Allianz will require if she does need to file a claim.

Posted by
7721 posts

It would be prudent to contact Allianz and find out what documentation they need. (Photos?, Estimate from the rental agency?, A copy of the rental agreement and any other T&Cs, a Police Report?). Once you are all back home, documents may be very difficult or impossible to get, leaving you on the hook.

P.S. I know about CDW and that in Italy it’s included in price and you can’t decline it.

This is not entirely correct. The liability portion of CDW commonly sold in other areas is included, damage to other property, vehicles, and people. Any CDW included for the rental car would be very high deductible.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you everyone. It ended up being 400 euros which is upsetting but NOT going to ruin the trip. To
Whoever said make sure it’s legible, I read your post too late. When he wrote up the damage report and my friend gave it to me it is in fact hardly legible. I will still send to Allianz with the email trail, pictures, receipt, credit card statement, and the NOT legible write up of the damage. You can just make out the word “Danno” (damage) and 400 euros. Hopefully that will suffice if I also show the picture of the damage that we emailed to the rental. Certainly will try when the trip is over. If anyone has anything else we could include to send to Allianz, please chime in.

The lesson for me is we could have hired a private driver for what it ended up costing and we would have enjoyed it more….

Appreciate everyone’s previous response.

Posted by
15485 posts

Another way would have been to rent a car with full NO DEDUCTIBLE insurance coverage.

I usually do so when I rent through AutoEurope. Also when I’ve rented directly with the rental company (Avis-Budget) I also paid extra for the no deductible insurance.

A private driver works well if you need a car only for a half day or a one day excursion. But generally they charge about 50€ per hour plus extra expenses, therefore if you need it for multiple occasions it adds up. For example a 4 hour tour with a private driver in the Chianti can be easily 250-300€, for 2 people. You can rent an economy car for a few days for that amount. I’m paying $1000 for a 20 day rental of a compact SUV this month.

Posted by
11507 posts

For just 400euro, it seems the damage was little more than a scratched ( 'dinged' ) bumper cover.

Paint time for a bumper cover is ~3.5 hrs at probably ~$65-70 per hour. Add the paint materials $150-$200 ( auto paint is expensive) and a 400 euro total is not unexpected. Hopefully the insurance people are knowledgeable and realize there will not be a lot to see and know that the amount is legitimate.