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Forums Payment cards American Express Zipcars are covered under Platinum car hire excess insurance but Zipvans are not

  • PeteM 775 posts

    So I have been using Questor for my car hire excess insurance for years, but decided that it’s perhaps unnecessary to be paying for two policies as I also have the Platinum card. And Questor have introduced an additional charge for car clubs this year…!

    Given I use Zipcars regularly, I asked AXA to confirm in writing that Zipcars are covered. They confirmed they are:

    Zipcar-OK-on-Platinum-insurance-1

    I sent a sample confirmation email from Zipcar for a specific trip, alongside the membership contract. I asked if these would satisfy the definition of rental agreement?

    Zipcar-OK-on-Platinum-insurance-2

    The second part of the above email surprised me. I had sent a sample confirmation from a regular VW Transported van I had rented to go to IKEA, which I assumed would be covered. I dug a bit deeper and asked for their definition of “commercial vehicle”:

    Vans-not-OK-on-Platinum-insurance

    I am glad I checked this – were others aware of this?

    Lady London 2,141 posts

    It’s normal for car hire excess insurance to be limited to cars. Questor is one of the few that will sell cover for other types of vehicle than cars, interestingly they cover motorhomes too.

    Beware particularly any insurance included in a financial product such as a Gold card – any vehicle hire or excess insurance on those will definitely be car only. Other categories of cover can also have odd restrictions if bundled with a financial product. So checking small print is essential.

    And it seems other providers also took steps to exclude or charge more for Car Club hires – some who previously might not have had a specific exclusion.

    PeteM 775 posts

    Absolutely, @Lady London, but I think the definition of a “commercial vehicle” would be useful somewhere in their T&Cs? Chatting to a few people who have the card and rely on this excess insurance, they were all of the view they’d be covered in a Zipvan as it’s not “commercial”. I personally pictures a Luton van and above under a “commercial vehicle,” but definitely interested in the views of others.

    Andrew. 512 posts

    Absolutely, @Lady London, but I think the definition of a “commercial vehicle” would be useful somewhere in their T&Cs? Chatting to a few people who have the card and rely on this excess insurance, they were all of the view they’d be covered in a Zipvan as it’s not “commercial”. I personally pictures a Luton van and above under a “commercial vehicle,” but definitely interested in the views of others.

    If you were to buy that van yourself, would the price on the windscreen at the dealer be +VAT? If so, it’s a commercial vehicle.

    Wonder how many people have hired a cheap U-Haul in the states thinking they could rely on this policy.

    PeteM 775 posts

    If you were to buy that van yourself, would the price on the windscreen at the dealer be +VAT? If so, it’s a commercial vehicle.

    Good test, but does the average user of a Platinum card know this? I didn’t 🙂

    Wonder how many people have hired a cheap U-Haul in the states thinking they could rely on this policy.

    Indeed, I was pretty relaxed about driving Zipvans, thinking I’d be covered!

    Lady London 2,141 posts

    Absolutely, @Lady London, but I think the definition of a “commercial vehicle” would be useful somewhere in their T&Cs? Chatting to a few people who have the card and rely on this excess insurance, they were all of the view they’d be covered in a Zipvan as it’s not “commercial”. I personally pictures a Luton van and above under a “commercial vehicle,” but definitely interested in the views of others.

    The clue is in the name “Zipvan” as in van not car. That’s a clue it’s a van not a car 🙂 .

    I agree with you “commercial vehicle” is a slightly trade term and might not translate as a not-car to some drivers, especially anyone whose native language is not English. However for those having anything to do with cars including hiring them, most would know a commercial vehicle probably is a not-car. Really they mean ‘vehicle of a commercial nature’ even if your use of it is private. I honestly don’t think you’d win an argument with an insurer.

    For example another distinction : did you know that on some roads, the speed limit is lower for you if you are in a van-based car model, than if you were in a car-based van model?

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