St. Maarten is a lovely little island in the Caribbean. Althought it's only 37 square miles, you may need a rental car to truly experience the uniqueness of this paradise on earth! here are five things to remember when renting a car in St. Maarten:
1. Before you book your rental car, be sure to check with your local insurance provider to find out if they will cover you in st marten. Call your homeowner’s insurance company, your rental car insurance provider, your credit card company etc. Be sure to tell them your st marten travel dates, and ask questions about deductibles, extra drivers, and get a copy of what is covered and what is not covered. Surprisingly, some of them will provide coverage in St. Maarten, maybe for CDW, or Liability, or both. It is very rare that you provider will cover liability only.
2. If you are fully covered, that’s great. Proceed to reserve your st martin rental car, and decline all insurance coverages. This could mean saying ‘no’ quite a few times. They will ask you about insurance when booking the car, and again when you receive an email confirmation, and again at the rental desk, but be strong, you got this! Note that in the event of rental car damages, the Car Rental Agency will bill you for the repairs, and then you have to file a claim with your insurance company for reimbursement.
3. You may be covered for CDW only. Be sure to confirm the amount of days for which you are covered. Some insurance providers provide st marten rental car coverage for up to thirty days at a time. If you’re staying in st marten for more than thirty days, this may mean that you have to turn in the rental car after about 29 days, and rent again the next day. So if you have only CDW coverage, then we highly recommend that to purchase the liability coverage locally. This is usually fairly inexpensive, and can cost anywhere between $5, to $10 per day. If you are renting for two weeks or more, then ask for a discount on the insurance costs.
4. This is where things get interesting. What if I have no coverage at all? Don’t worry, there is still hope. Many online brokers such as Right Cars, or Mex Rent a Car will allow you to book a rental car online with insurance coverage included at little to no extra cost! How can they afford to do that? Well it’s actually the law in the EU that companies cannot rent a car to someone without basic CDW insurance coverage. But I’m an American, or Canadian, how does this apply to me? It’s simple: anyone can book a rental car on an EU based website regardless of where you are from. Simply search for a website which sells rental cars with insurance included. There are many websites offering rental cars with CDW coverage included. Simply choose the one with the lowest deductible. Then, read your reservation carefully, and whatever is not covered in your booking, can be purchased at the desk. Ask locally if they offer any coverage to reduce the deductible to $0. Leisure Car Rental in St. Maarten has a comprehensive $0 deductible insurance policy. This works well if you prefer not to worry about where to park? What if someone steals the car? Etc. If something happens, simply report it, and walk away. No car rental damage bills on your credit card. No claims to file etc.
5. Final tips: Be sure to register all extra drivers. Do not smoke, or litter excessively in the rental car. Many companies will charge extra for this. Try to avoid fines, and unnecessary expenses. Check the rental car thoroughly on pick up, and return. Do not leave any valuable items in the rental car. If anything happens to the rental car, regardless of fault, and regardless of what type of insurance you have, be sure to call the police first, then call the rental car company.
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