I am going to visit the lovely April for Memorial Day weekend. Ever the conscientious shopper, I've elected to fly into Denver and drive the four hours to go visit April. I'll stay with family Friday evening then drive up on Saturday for a very full two days of fun. On the docket: hiking, baking, disc golf, and meeting her boyfriend. I'm quite excited!
Unfortunately, I've also had to delve into the world of car rentals. This is depressing at best and disastrous at worse. There's lots of jargon -- CDW, LDW, etc -- and lots of finger pointing (apparently, everything is the fault of the renter). My big questions: am I covered by my insurance, and what will my credit card do for me?
Turns out, even when your insurance and credit card say they cover you, it may be difficult to get covered. And then, if something does happen to happen, you will owe them -- big time. But is the risk worth the cost? Getting extra insurance, and especially the "loss of use" insurance (LDW), is really expensive. Where I've been looking, the insurance costs more than the daily cost for the car. And if nothing happens, then your rental company made a lot of money.
My rental for the few days should be around $100, and I'm pretty sure that I'll decline all coverage. Most useful in helping my reach this decision are the Smarter Travel articles. A guy named Ed Perkins has done an awful lot of research, and it turns out that I should be covered if I rent from Alamo, Enterprise, or National with my Visa Signature card. Especially helpful is the series that starts with Beware Gaps in Credit Card Coverage with Rental Cars and ends at the CDW gap. Since I was planning on going with Enterprise (they are fine with me taking the car across state lines, and they have lots of good options), I think I'll be good. Hopefully.
In the meantime, I'll try not to worry. I'm really excited for my trip. I haven't been to Wyoming in years and years, and I've never been to that part of the state. It'll be fun to see family for a little while and great to see April. Now here's to hoping for nice weather.