Put Down the Nuclear Warhead and Step Away from the Car

As part of my ongoing Christmas travel planning, I’m exploring rental cars.

My credit card has an apparently common feature where they’ll insure any car rented using the card.  I can forgo the rental company’s insurance, theoretically assuming financial responsibility myself, but really falling back on the credit card if I’m in an accident.

I wanted to be sure I fully understood the terms and conditions, so I read the booklet that came with the card thoroughly.  It includes this passage:

Exclusions.  Coverage does not apply to Loss resulting from the following:

  • Any dishonest, fraudulent or criminal act of the Insured.
  • Forgery by the Insured.
  • Loss due to war or confiscation by authorities.
  • Loss due to nuclear reaction or radioactive contamination.

Wow.  That list went downhill really fast.  The bits about fraud and forgery I expected, but then already in the third and fourth items we’ve slipped into war and nuclear reactions!

I admit I’m also struggling to envision what sort of nuclear reaction would damage the car, but would leave the driver intact and liable for the damage.