Ross McLaughlin and Sandra Hermiston, CTV Vancouver
Collision damage is often covered when you use your credit card to rent a vehicle. But if you use it for car share services like Evo and Car2Go you could run into roadblocks trying to file a claim.
Eric Escobar thought he was covered when he had a fender bender driving his Evo car out of a parking garage.
The bill to repair the damages was $808, well below Evo’s $1000 deductible. And because Escobar used his Scotiabank Momentum Visa card to pay for the car share, he thought he wouldn’t have any issues.
The agreement on the Visa card clearly states, “rental vehicles which are part of a car sharing program are eligible for collision loss damage.”
So Escobar filed a claim to recover his deductible. He was denied, not just once, but again when he appealed the decision. The reason? He didn’t decline the collision damage waiver with Evo.
Normally when you rent a vehicle you’re given the option to decline their insurance by signing the collision damage waiver, but with car share you’re not given that opportunity.
“You go and use services like Evo thinking that you’re covered and then suddenly you realize they find a technical reason to not pay for the claim when a claim is filed,” Escobar said.
In B.C. you can’t opt out of collision coverage provided by car share companies. Because of that, Escobar’s credit card agreement had another clause that should have covered him. It states, in those cases, collision loss insurance will cover any deductible that may apply.
“I actually pointed that out in my appeal and they still denied it,” Escobar explained.
McLaughlin on Your Side reached out to Scotiabank who admitted someone made a mistake.
In a statement to CTV News Scotiabank said: “When you do not have the option available to decline the rental agency’s plan, our plans will cover theft, loss and damage up to the limit of the deductible. That has been our practice to date, and we’ll ensure to re-communicate that and clarify this point with the claims examiner.”
“That’s fantastic news thank you,” said Escobar, “And I hope this applies to other credit cards and people go back and look at their credit cards to make sure that they’re covered.”
CTV News also reached out to the insurance company that underwrites the coverage for Escobar’s Visa card. It told us it has corrected its internal review process to ensure this situation doesn’t happen again.