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AMERICAN EXPRESS TO CONTINUE PROVIDING CAR RENTAL LOSS & DAMAGE INSURANCE FOR RENTALS AT ALL U.S. AGENCIES

 NEW YORK, July 26 /PRNewswire/ -- American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc. (TRS) today announced that it will continue to provide Cardmembers with Car Rental Loss & Damage Insurance (CRLDI) at all car rental agencies in the U.S. which accept the American Express Card. In June, TRS announced that CRLDI would apply to rentals only from 15 agencies in the U.S. The change had been scheduled to go into effect Aug. 1.
 Cardmembers will be notified about the full continuation of CRLDI coverage beginning in the late July, through a billing statement message. Car rental agencies will receive direct communications from TRS over the next few weeks.
 The other changes to the program which were announced in June remain in place. Effective Aug. 1, coverage in the U.S. will increase from a maximum of 15 to 31 consecutive days. In addition, certain four-wheel drive sport/utility vehicles which were previously excluded from CRLDI will now be covered, except when they are used off-road.
 Outside the U.S., CRLDI will continue to provide coverage for 31 consecutive days at all rental establishments which accept the Card, except in Italy and New Zealand, where coverage is no longer available.
 When changes to CRLDI were announced in June, many car rental industry executives expressed concern that agencies not included in the program would be at a competitive disadvantage.
 Larry Sharnak, vice president-Cardmember Services, American Express TRS said, "Over the past month, we have talked with many individual agencies, as well as with the American Car Rental Association and the Car Rental Coalition. Our decision to continue providing CRLDI for rentals at all agencies which welcome the Card reflects valuable input and guidance from the industry. This will enable us to meet the needs of thousands of agencies which welcome the Card, improve the overall level of service we provide to Cardmembers, and significantly reduce the cost of providing and administering CRLDI."
 American Express will recover a portion of CRLDI costs from those agencies where, based on a formula related to industry norms, losses are disproportionately high.
 Phil Shailer, senior vice president of Alamo Rent-A-Car and president of the American Car Rental Association said, "To its credit, Amex was very responsive, and agreed to re-evaluate its position. Amex's decision brings all car rental companies back into the program, with the opportunity to remain there in the future so long as loss claims do not exceed certain prescribed parameters."
 M. Michael LaPlaca, general counsel of the Car Rental Coalition said, "American Express has taken positive action to meet the needs of smaller, independent agencies."
 Robert L. Sorensen, president, Ace Rent-A-Car System added, "American Express has responded in a very positive manner to our complaints, and engineered a comprehensive plan that seems to solve all of the problems in their previous CRLDI policy."
 CRLDI is provided to all U.S. Personal Card, Gold Card, Platinum(R) Card, Optima(SM) Card and Corporate Card for Small Business members as a benefit of membership at no additional charge. In the U.S., CRLDI provides "excess" coverage for loss or damage to rental cars due to collision, theft or vandalism which is not covered by the rental company, personal auto coverage, other sources of insurance or reimbursement plans. Outside the United States, coverage is primary. To activate the coverage, Cardmembers simply rent and pay for the rental with the American Express Card, and decline the collision waiver or similar option offered by the car rental company.
 CRLDI is underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Express TRS. American Express TRS, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Express Company (NYSE: AXP), is a family of travel, financial and communications businesses.
 -0- 7/26/93
 /CONTACT: Bill Moss of American Express Travel Related Services Company, 212-640-2897/
 (AXP)


CO: American Express ST: New York IN: LEI SU:

LG-SH -- NY023 -- 5611 07/26/93 10:33 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 26, 1993
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