Subject: Re: VISA insurance coverage for tire damage
Hi all,

I've had two incidents involving tire damage on Europcar rentals this year.

In June I woke up on a Sunday morning to a flat tire and after calling Europcar, about an hour later (not an unreasonable amount of time for a Sunday) someone arrived at our hotel parking lot to replace the flat tire with the spare from the trunk. I didn't feel like doing it myself because with my luck I would have dropped the car on my foot. The next day we had the flat repaired (nail) at a garage for, I think, about 20 Euros.

In September, while approaching Grenoble, some people in a car next to us gestured and pointed at one of our tires, which I discovered after pulling off at the next exit was just about flat. Luckily, there was a Speedy (I didn't know the word translated so literally) tire shop at the end of the exit ramp. They showed us that there was sidewall damage and therefore we needed a new tire, for 116 Euros!

The fine-print on the Europcar contract reads "The vehicle is provided to you with five tyres...In the event of damage to one of undertake to replace it immediately at your own expense with a tyre of the same type, brand and wear." This is why it cost me so much for a new tire - unfortunately Europcar has good quality tires on their cars. (I verified both the damage and the tire cost - I don't think I was ripped-off.)

I had forgotten to report this damage to both Visa (who provides my CDW coverage) and AccessAmerica (from whom I always buy travel insurance). I've been pretty much assuming that I'm liable for paying for tire damage, but this recent thread has prompted me to submit a claim. I'll report on my results.

It's too late for the June expense, but I'm going to try to stay hopeful about the 116 Euro September charge.

Has anyone else (other than Frances who, like me, paid for the repairs herself) had any luck getting reimbursed for tire damage?


Al Sonoma, CA, USA