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I had just touched down from a long flight to Los Angeles and the last thing I wanted to do was stay in an airport trying to decide what car rental plan I should go with. Unfortunately, I had no choice and this was the first time I was in this situation. Thanks to the world-wide web, I had already pre-selected and paid for my rental car (or so I thought). When I finally get to the rental counter, I tell the lady at the counter my information, expecting to get the keys quickly and be on my way. What happened next threw me into the fluster that had me questioning my very own reasoning of deciding to rent a car in the first place. I verbally confirm the price with the service desk employee and she replies with, “it all depends on which insurance package you choose”.

Insurance package? I quickly reply with “I thought everything was all included in the first overpriced plan I purchased before I got off the plane”.  She replies, “Sir, it is illegal in the state of California to drive without the proper insurance”. This really frustrated me and I had no clue of what to do next. I had full coverage on my personal car, but no clue what I needed for a rental. After several minutes of frustration, I decided to buy the highest priced plan of rental insurance. This ended up costing over half the price of the rental plan itself.

I finally receive my rental and I leave feeling like I was just punched in the money tummy. Later I meet up with my friends and tell them about the car rental fiasco, to only hear them reply with laughter. I ask them “why is my misfortune so amusing to you”? The next thing my buddy said left me speechless. He waits for my angry facial expression to subside and then proceeds to tell me I didn’t have to buy an insurance plan for my rental at all. I reply with the pale white face of disgust with “what are you talking about”? After a long discussion, I find out that most full coverage insurance plans will cover the rental car as well. I called the next day to cancel the remainder of my double insured rental and actually received some of my money back. If only I would have known this from the beginning, I would have been able to save even more. Let my story be a lesson to check with your insurance provider before you get punched in the money tummy with non-required fees.

 

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