On hitting cows, and credit card rental coverage

So as you may know, I hit a cow back in May, on a remote back road in Arizona. Not exactly the plan du jour. Now comes the fallout, the dealing with credit card companies, rental car companies, and my auto insurance too.

I hit a cow. Big deal. It was big, bovine, and rather unhappy, but we were ok and so was the cow. The car, however, was not so happy. But the Sheriff’s deputy in Mohave County, Arizona was very helpful, we got on our way (the car was driveable), and Hertz were reasonably friendly about the situation. I called American Express immediately, as well as Hertz, and we had a nice little chat about getting the claims process in motion. All seemed to be well.

Fast forward a few weeks, I’m back in MA, it’s raining and I’m far away from the Best Coast. I’m also wondering what this unmarked check for $500 is when, a day or two later, a “final settlement letter” comes from AMEX. They’ve decided that, because I have auto insurance too, they’ll be super friendly and nice and only give me $500 towards the $2554.26 worth of damage. After all, I have auto insurance and why should they pay more than the deductible? I mean, this isn’t Europe (where trading standards would force them to more adequately disclose this fact), and I should be happy to take the $500 and call my auto insurance.

So I called my auto insurer just now and started the whole process again. Meanwhile I’m left wondering whether I should just have paid the out of pocket expense, vowed never to use the credit card coverage again, oh, and perhaps reminded readers of the following:

Credit card rental coverage only covers your deductible

There. Now, hopefully at least a few of you will suddenly wonder whether you’ve been misled and reconsider taking out the rental insurance next time they offer – do you really want your premium to get hit like a flying cow?


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