Is “Enterprise Rent a Car” Insurance a Scam?

I rent cars all the time. I travel and need to get around so I can teach people about how scams work and how to protect themselves. Yesterday I encountered what seems like a scam but is probably just very unethical behavior on the part of Enterprise Rent a Car.

Here is how it played out.

I head to the counter to rent my car. The Enterprise Rent a Car agent asks me, “Robert, would you like to purchase rental insurance for your car today”. I say “No, I have American Express and they take care of my rental car insurance”. Which they do. I’m Platinum on AMEX and AMEX ROCKS. Their card offers physical damage insurance but not liability. Liability insurance is paid via my personal policy.

The Enterprise Rent a Car agent responds “I’m sorry; we don’t have a contract with American Express.”

Her statement “I’m sorry, we don’t have a contract with American Express” more than likely was a statement that was provided to her in sales training by Enterprise Rent a Car to overcome objection.

That statement makes an American Express card holder doubt whether or not their American Express card covers rental car insurance.

So I respond to her again, “Well, I’m pretty sure my AMEX covers me” and she responds again, “Sir, I’m trying to tell you we don’t have a contract with American Express and you will have to go through them for that”. She is now reinforcing her original statement and trying to put further doubt in my mind. Then she says, “Sir, may I suggest to you that you purchase insurance, it is only $21.00 for the day and you will be protected”. This statement further suggests that my AMEX will not cover me.

The language she used was possibly engineered by someone whose motivation was to overcome objection in the insurance sales process. Enterprise Rent a Car agents and all other rental car agents hear the same statement in regards to AMEX every day. However in my experience when Hertz agents hear me say “No, I have American Express and they take care of my rental car insurance”, Hertz agents respond with “OK” and nothing more. Hertz has elected to take the high road and not try to scam me into paying for insurance I do not need.

However Enterprise Rent a Car, instead, pads their bottom line with unethical language meant to confuse the public and get them to pay for insurance they clearly do not need.

Shame on you Enterprise Rent a Car.

Robert Siciliano identity theft and personal security expert discussing scammers and thieves on The Big Idea with Donnie Deutsch.