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I realise from the outset that my situation affects a very limited number of people, but I'm still hopeful someone can provide some advice / guidance.

I'm an American expat and have lived in London for the past 5 years, and I'm coming back to the US on holiday next month. I'll be renting a car and I'm concerned about my insurance needs.

Most car rental companies provide the insurance as an 'inclusive rate' when booking from their .co.uk site for people renting cars in America, however the T&C explicitly exclude US citizens renting on a US licences, which I'll be doing.

I am not so much concerned about LDW/CDW as I'm confident that my AMEX card covers that, I'm mostly concerned about liability coverage. Credit cards generally don't provide liability cover for rental cars, and it's covered by existing car insurance. I have travel insurance that provides general liability insurance by again the T&C's exclude coverage when operating a motorised vehicle.

I have a tentative reservation with Dollar, and had to call up to find out what the per day cost of SLI is for Dayton, Ohio ($13.99 per day), and was told that it would become 'primary' as I have no other liability insurance.

So my questions:

- Are there any affordable ways to acquire car rental liability insurance outside of paying for it at the counter?
- Is there an easy way to find out the cost of SLI for the various rental companies that doesn't require a phone call?
- I know everywhere outside of California, the car rental companies are required to provide a minimum amount of liability insurance, what is a typical level of this?


This whole thing has finally encouraged me to get a UK drivers license, simply so I can be covered on the cheap 'inclusive rates' that are offered to non US licensed drivers.

Thanks for any help.

Member Summary


DSJ said:   https://www295.americanexpress.com/premium/car-rental-insurance-...



Thank you for the reply, however looking at the 'View Coverage Details' at the bottom of the page, it states:

•This product does not include liability coverage

How much does a UK DL cost?

You can look into getting non-owner liability insurance. I would check Geico or Travelers. However, the policy is usually for 6 months. So depending on how many days you need to rent a car, it may be cheaper to get it through the rental car company and pay per day.

I have a Travelers non-owners policy. Costs me ~$140/year, in New York. Not a lot of places sell these, I found an agent who was actually familiar with them: http://www.campbellsolberg.com/

Geico won't write a standalone policy for OP's situation.

"If you don't own a car but still need affordable car rental insurance, ask your Geico representative about a non-owner liability policy and/or personal effects coverage available on your homeowners policy or renters insurance policy. "

I called Travelers and Geico and was able to get a quote. I got a quote around around $150/6 months (depending on coverage levels). However, it was cheaper for me just to get the insurance through the rental car company since I rarely rent a car and the breakeven point was around 10/14 days.

I have a 'US Touring Auto Policy' (so called non-owners policy) with USAA for $5 a year. $300/500k Bodily Liability & $100k Property Liability + $5k self medical coverage.

I've had it for 8-9 years and never needed it, but always feel better having it! It ain't much, but I'm comfortable with that. If I wanted more, then it means I have significantly more assets than the $500k coverage, so would have no qualms about the $14 a day.

You may not be eligible, but surely at least one other insurance company has something similar!

Does the Auto Club have a UK arm (bet they do). We were able to use our AAA membership cards in New Zealand and maybe Australia. Believe it was called the Royal (Automobile Association?).

You may be able to join the club in the UK and buy traveler's auto insurance there. We do this when we travel to Mexico (US policies exclude MX). It was affordable, maybe $30 for a month? Can also get local maps and services here if you join the club (or wherever they have branches).

In that sort of situation (residing abroad, not owning a car, and not having homeowner insurance in the US), I have always found that the cheapest and easiest solution for me when occasionally renting a car in the US was just to buy the very expensive daily insurances sold by the car rental companies.


[I believe that I actually started a thread about this topic several years ago to see what advice people here could give me. I think that most people gave me the same "some credit cards will cover it" and "do a non-car-owner adjunct to your homeowner's insurance policy" advice that you have received (but the ideas didn't end up being workable).]


Other thoughts:


1. Some car rental discount codes and/or car rental company membership clubs actually throw in one of the 2 insurances - I used to get that deal often; but I am not sure if these are still so common - that would save me about $18 per day, which was great.

A few years ago, I found that the National customer service phone line was the most helpful in trying to find this type of code for me.


2. Aren't car rental prices cheaper when booking it from overseas? And I think they often include the insurances as a matter of course in the quote because they know that visitors won't have US-based car insurance. Like going to Expedia.co.uk or whatever instead of Expedia.com, and using your UK address and payment method. Worth comparing the different quotes you get, depending on where you act like you are booking it from.


3. Drop in to a high-street travel agent in the UK and ask if they have any ideas about your situation.


4. Check out http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/ and similar UK-based Fatwallet-y sites for ideas of how to save money on US car rental & insurance.


5. Isn't the UK driver's licence about $1000 or something to get? (Or maybe I'm thinking about the driver training course.)


6. Frenchylarue's idea about checking with the Automobile Association (AA) and the Royal Automobile Club (RAC) is a good one.

Using this thread as a motivation, I asked Geico for a quote and they quoted me $298/6 months. So for me, overpriced $14.99/day liability protection at rental car agencies still prevail.

holv said:   Using this thread as a motivation, I asked Geico for a quote and they quoted me $298/6 months. So for me, overpriced $14.99/day liability protection at rental car agencies still prevail.


at one point I had two vehicles insured with Geico for this. - One with full coverage. I guess Geico assumes you are a higher risk.

StartByServingOthers said:   holv said:   Using this thread as a motivation, I asked Geico for a quote and they quoted me $298/6 months. So for me, overpriced $14.99/day liability protection at rental car agencies still prevail.


at one point I had two vehicles insured with Geico for this. - One with full coverage. I guess Geico assumes you are a higher risk.


Probably - i guess the fact that I never owned a car in my life (which would mean that I do not not have a continuous insurance coverage, unless they consider zip car insurance as one) puts me at high risk? (but in all seriousness, who in NYC has a car....)

cestmoi123 said:   I have a Travelers non-owners policy. Costs me ~$140/year, in New York. Not a lot of places sell these, I found an agent who was actually familiar with them: http://www.campbellsolberg.com/

Just to follow up, using this link, I was able to get a quote for $240/12 months. Much more reasonable than Geico and coverage is 500k vs Geico's 25k.

I am just thinking that Geico doesn't know what they are doing - i.e. insuring people without cars.

holv said:   cestmoi123 said:   I have a Travelers non-owners policy. Costs me ~$140/year, in New York. Not a lot of places sell these, I found an agent who was actually familiar with them: http://www.campbellsolberg.com/

Just to follow up, using this link, I was able to get a quote for $240/12 months. Much more reasonable than Geico and coverage is 500k vs Geico's 25k.

I am just thinking that Geico doesn't know what they are doing - i.e. insuring people without cars.


It's a weird little niche market, and many carriers seem to view it as "not going to devote a lot of resources to this, we'll put a high price tag on it, and see if anyone bites."

I think you should check the detail of car rental providing companies over the Internet. Every car is available at different rates according to customer requirements.



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