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As credit cards provide free insurance, car-rental rates rise

Travelers heading for the sun or the slopes this winter will probably notice a jump in the price of getting away from it all. The culprits this time are not the airlines but the leading U.S. car-rental agencies, which are imposing their first significant price increases in several years. Last week Hertz increased its rates as much as 5%, and Avis said it plans to do likewise within the year. Other rental agencies are expected to follow the industry leaders before long.

The car-rental companies are responding in part to a loss of revenue from one of their most expensive options:...

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