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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I don’t own a car (I walk to work, she takes the subway). We rent semi-frequently (6+ times a year) and getting outside insurance saves a fortune compared to the rental car company insurance rates. Right now I have insurance through my BMO Mosaik Mastercard, which is $50-100 a year (I forget which level I am currently on) I am happy with that for the most part, but my understanding is that the coverage only covers me as the cardholder.

Avis and many others let spouses share a rental car without paying an additional driver fee, but we can’t both drive without paying to insure my wife as well. Do insurance companies offer coverage for casual drivers that would work for us? Is there a different credit card that would do this if we were both on the account? Am I misunderstanding how the BMO card coverage works?

Any suggestions would be much appreciated!
 

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You can get a secondary card for your wife on your account, and the annual fee for the secondary card is usually much less. Or find a free card with car insurance on it where you can both be cardholders.

The following free cards include free rental car insurance:
MBNA Smart Cash (which is also an awesome card all-round)
Capital One Aspire Cash Platinum Mastercard
MBNA PremierRewards Platinum Plus

If you're both cardholders, you're both covered (at least according to my card company - I called to ask this one time).
 

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With my Visa Elegance, the rental car insurance is in effect as long as the driver at the time of the damage is an authorized driver as stated on the rental agreement and that the full rental costs are paid using the Visa card.

So what I do is make sure the wife's name is on the rental contract (some companies charge an extra, 5-10$/day for an additional driver).

I guess it differs from one credit card company to another.
 

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The card insurance usually only covers collision/damage, not third-party personal liability. This may not be a problem in Canada, as I think most provinces force inclusion of something like $1 million personal liability coverage with the rental, or are no fault, although you'd want to double check with the actual rental. But in the US, the included liability is usually a barebones state minimum like $25,000-$50,000, which is laughable given the litigious sharks swimming around down there if you hit someone. The US rental agencies provide additional coverage, but usually at some horrible per-day cost ($10-$15).

I used to take driving vacations when I didn't own a car, so ran into this problem some. I think it may be possible to buy some sort of specialized non-owner liability coverage yourself, but I could never pin this down, and it would probably only be feasible if you were doing more frequent rentals than my vacations.

There may be similar issues outside North America - I think Australia for instance included sufficient liability with the rental, but you'd want to check in each case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I looked again and the TD Elite has the coverage I am looking for and would cover us both, I sent them an email to clarify. I don't know what if any annual fee applies there though.

I suspect that the Capital One Aspire Cash Platinum Mastercard offers similar benefits without the annual fee. I will have to look into that.

One think I noticed that I had not picked up on before is that none of the cards seem to include 3rd party liability insurance, just coverage for the rental car. I hadn't worried about that before but that might be worth looking into as well. Hmmm.... [Edit: I see NorthernRaven also pointed this out before I posted it!]
 

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One think I noticed that I had not picked up on before is that none of the cards seem to include 3rd party liability insurance, just coverage for the rental car. I hadn't worried about that before but that might be worth looking into as well. Hmmm.... [Edit: I see NorthernRaven also pointed this out before I posted it!]
I believe liability insurance is mandatory in most jurisdictions in Canada & US, so some is included in the rental. But the coverage can be low compared to having your own auto insurance policy. See table at the end of this Hertz web page site for example: http://www.hertz.ca/rentacar/byr/in...tes#Hertz_Liability_Insurance_Supplement_(LIS).

Hertz is of course happy to sell you a $1M supplementary liability insurance coverage.
 
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