Travel Tip of the Day: Know Thy Insurance Policy

One of the biggest scams in the car rental business today is supplementary insurance.

I just recently rented a car from Budget and they convinced me that even though I KNEW that my insurance policy covered me in a rental car, BC has special rules and my policy likely only covers me in Ontario.  While I have no proof of this, I definitely get the impression -based on the well rehearsed sales pitch of the agent at the Budget counter- that they are motivated by their company to ‘upsell’ the insurance!

I was in a hurry, so I decided to take the coverage ($26 a day by the way), until I could give my  insurance company a call and confirm I am covered.  Since I was renting the car for 10 days, I definitely was motivated to get this sorted.

I deal with Belair insurance (who I am very happy with), and the agent there actually got angry at the idea that the rental company had tried to rip me off, and mentioned that this ‘scam’ was very common.  He quickly emailed me a form that would dispel any debate on whether I was covered or not, and said that BC is no different than any other province or state that my coverage WOULD apply in (there are some exceptions that he noted: Alaska, Hawaii, and anywhere south of the US/Mexico border).

I went back to the rental counter (15 km drive) and expected a battle.  When I mentioned that I was covered by my insurance and wanted the supplementary insurance dropped, the agent immediately went into damage control mode and made the changes to my policy.  Again, no concrete proof, but the reaction of the agent gave me the impression that this happens a lot!!

So hopefully when you next travel, you will take a little bit of time to understand how you are covered by your own policy, and avoid getting ripped off.

Travel Tip of the Day: Bring Along a Mini-jack Audio Cable

These days, even the cheapest of rental cars are coming with auxiliary jacks that allow you to plug in your iPod or other MP3 player directly into your car audio system.  This allows you to play your content during long drives where the local radio stations may not be to your taste, or even provide you a feeling of home when abroad.

For example, I just recently rented a Ford Focus (not a bad little car, apart from the brand name) which has this feature.  What I usually forget to do, is bring a cable that would actually allow me to plug my iPod in!  These cables are really cheap, you shouldn’t pay more than $10.  I have yet to see a rental car that comes with these.
Here is an example:

Mini to Mini Audio Jack

%d bloggers like this: