I am so sorry for you. Not a good way to end a vacation. I did notice that there was much more of a security present at the parking lots at the Divi Phoenix when we were there in January. The person we rented from told us that there is a real problem in Aruba and the police are not interested. He said car are usually taken from the smaller hotels and that a car w/GPS was stripped in a parking lot, so the GPS was not a effective.
Tom you are correct, my credit card has coverage in Aruba but with conditions, rental period can't be over 30 days, vehicle can not be considered a primary off road vehicle and will not cover accidents or damage if they happen on dirt roads or off roading. Most rental companies are now requiring you use the wheel lock and are avoiding rentals to people who are staying at private residences and certain spots on the island. I always heard stories of car break-ins but recently heard stories of vehicles being stripped of batteries, air condition units, etc while being parked. Hopefully the rental companies will start installing alarms on all vehicles.
Thanks, Weimarana for the link to the previous rental car theft. If only we had read this before coming to Aruba!
The police did visit us and wrote a report detailing the make and model, etc of the car, and it is now in the Island computer system, so they are on the alert. However most people we have talked with say that the car will likely be found in the bush, stripped for its parts.
We used Visa to pay for the rental, as we have done before in Europe and N. America, assuming that coverage was valid here in Aruba as well. Not so!
Try and talk to the mangement of Sea Breeze apartments and ask if there insurance could assist. Most hotels, apartment buildings have liability insurance for on and off property issues. Maybe at the least they could assist with an attorney or refer an attorney to assist which I would seriously consider as the rental company will try and collect as much as possible. Many rental companies will convince you to sign an open charge slip prior to leaving and tell you they will help you out the best they can and next thing you know you have a 500.00 charge for a damaged rim or missing hub cap. Do not leave any credit card open prior to leaving and hope everything works out.
Most Amex cards-blue, gold, silver, plat, black- have a clause that states that if you purchase the rental car with the card that they extend coverage for you. Give them a call if you have any questions about it.
Also I'd get in contact with the owners of the place your staying. They should have some sort of liablility. I would demand their help since this isnt the first time its happened there. I'm sure they dont want their place to have such a bad name.
I spoke with Amex just now... Aruba is not excluded on collission and theft. It covers up to 50,000 and on cars. It does not cover pick up trucks, full size vans, or suvs. A police report must be filed and they have to obtain a copy of it. The renter of the car has the be the primary holder of the card. You can list someone as a secondary driver on your account that is not a card holder.
Check with whatever credit card company you rented your car with. They might be able to help you out!
Having rented numerous times I am surprised that this is happening....I agree with Andrea that is sounds "fishy"...wonder if someone is taking advantage of the tourists by using the personal info provided. I am not sure if it is legal (in Aruba) to deny the car rental agency knowing where you are staying....the funny thing is that it has happened to Amigo several times already....wonder how much trouble the other car agencies are having...
Lucky for us we always rent the cheapest junkiest 4x4 we can find....don't have to worry about it being stolen...no one would want it...and also don't have to worry about going off road as you could never tell that either....LOL !!!
But being totally serious..I checked with my credit card compay to see if I am covered in Aruba, but never asked about a stolen vehicle....will have to do that today...
I'm sorry to read of your misfortune. As an insurance agent, I can confirm that your domestic personal auto policy will not extend to a loss like this outside of the policy territory.
On the credit card question, just make sure you are seeing this territory restriction in writing and not just taking someone's word for it. Banks have different agreements for different cards. We specifically took out one of the AA World MasterCards because of their territorial definition. You can get the agreement PDF online in most cases. Most of the time the people on the phone are not capable of giving you a straight answer, from my experience.
Sad stories like this make me never want to rent a car again without paying the true cost of the rental: The daily rate including the loss damage waiver. Even if your personal auto policy did extend to a temporary substitute or if your credit card responded, it's still not worth the hassle.