Car Hire Excess Insurance - Car Rental Excess Insurance
Protect yourself against paying the excess if you have a scrape in your hire car abroad with car rental excess insurance. Car rental insurance covers your rental car excess payment - which could cost up hundreds of pounds - when you take out a hire car.Selecting the "get a quote" button will direct you to ProtectYourBubble.
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New research* from online global car hire specialists AnyCarHire.com has revealed that nearly a third of UK holidaymakers rent a car when going on holiday.
The study showed that:
- nearly a third (32%) of all holidaymakers, both those going on holidays in the UK and abroad, hire a car;
- overall, 63% prebook their vehicle hire independently of their holiday package;
- males are more likely to book their car hire independently than their female counterparts (67% vs 57%);
- 29% of lady drivers book their car as part of their holiday package compared to just 11% of men;
- one in five male motorists (22%) like to sort their hire vehicle when they arrive at their destination compared to just over one in ten females;
- of those who have hired a car, just over two-thirds of holidaymakers (69%) have never experienced any problems;
- 31% of people reported that the car they collected was damaged.
When asked whether they took out car hire excess insurance, the study highlighted how 75% of holidaymakers do buy the cover – with 50% purchasing it direct from the car hire company and 25% buying it independently online.
A spokesman from AnyCarHire.com says: “It was surprising to see just how many people hire a car when going on holiday, and that a large number of them book independently of their holiday package. There are many ways to save money on your holiday and using an independent car hire facility is just one way to bring the cost of your holiday down.”
*Independent research carried out on behalf of Anycarhire.com by Usurv Sept 2013
If you are planning a first-ever continental excursion by road, you may find the following tips useful.
Research your destination and transit countries
Although the rules of the road are broadly similar across much of Western Europe these days, they are not identical.
Take the time and trouble to look up what is required to stay legal in your destination country and those that you may be transiting en-route. So, if heading to Spain, make sure you also know what is required for legal road travel in France etc.
Drive very conservatively
In many European countries, the driving culture may be rather more aggressive than is the norm in the UK. For example, in France and Spain tailgating, excessive speed and blind bend overtaking, may be seen far more frequently than in Britain.
Do not get sucked into this culture or set out to prove that you are capable of showing the locals that you can drive as aggressively as they can.
You may not know the roads and driving conditions as they do, so drive sensibly, patiently and conservatively.
Take some basic tools and spares
Yes, packing space is typically at a premium on holiday but breakdown services in some countries may be rather slower to arrive than at home. Being stuck for hours on the roadside simply because you do not have a screwdriver and spanner on you, may prove to be irritating to say the least!
Obey the law
There is a relatively common myth that police on the continent may be more tolerant of your minor driving misdemeanours because they will see from your plates that you are a foreigner who does not speak the language.
This is a dangerous misconception. Local police forces may be just as eager to issue you with large on-the-spot fines for traffic violations, as they would any local driver.
Don’t be too ambitious with distances
We may all be inclined to forget that the United Kingdom is a relatively small country by the standards of Spain, France, Germany and Poland etc.
Driving from, for example, the French Channel ports to southern Spain in one go is perfectly possible but it is a huge distance and tired drivers make dangerous drivers.
So, budget for an overnight stay and break your journey.
Triple check your insurance
Not all standard motor vehicle insurance policies may include European driving cover. Some of those that do may restrict it to certain maximum distances or numbers of days overseas. Make sure that your insurance is suitable for the journey you plan and the countries you will visit. And if you are hiring a car, don’t forget to get your hire car excess insured, too.
When you are driving a hire car you may be keen to ensure that your insurance cover frees you from responsibilities for paying for any repairs to the vehicle.
While a typical hire car may be rented to you with elements of insurance cover in place, this may not always insulate you from some financial obligations for repairs and the like. There are a number of reasons for this:
- the collision damage waiver (CDW) which is the hire car equivalent of fully comprehensive cover, may not be quite as full or indeed comprehensive as you may imagine;
- CDW, in common with many forms of insurance, will contain an excess and for many hire agreements this could be as much as £600-£1500. So, if damage repairs are to cost £1000 and there is an £800 excess, then you will have to pay £800. If the excess was £1200, then you would be responsible for all of the repair cost;
- a typical CDW will also exclude certain parts of the car from cover so you could find yourself responsible for the costs of these repairs too. Perhaps unsurprisingly, these parts may include the windscreen and other glass, the tyres and the under body of the car;
- so, if you are unfortunate enough to damage the car while it is in your care, you may be very unhappy to find that there is quite a substantial charge hitting your credit card to cover these repair costs. Particularly when it is for repairs to someone else’s vehicle and when you had no control over the assessment or costing of the work required;
- of course, it is possible to purchase additional top up insurance to cover these types of charges and you’ll typically find that the car rental company will try an sell you some Super CDW. You may also be able to pay an additional charge to reduce your excess;
- another alternative though may be to purchase a car hire excess insurance policy from a specialist online provider, which may also include those excluded parts as standard;
- this is something that you do in advance of your rental so you have plenty of time to shop around to find the most cost-attractive deal. Opportunities to purchase from the car rental company tend to happen at the point when you are picking up the keys, so you are in a take it or leave it situation;
- then if you do damage the car and the rental company recover these costs from your credit card, all you have to do is claim on your excess policy for reimbursement.
These are some basic ideas, but they may end up saving you money.
You can only be sure that you have found the best of anything, if you have compared a few options to find the one that most closely matches your own particular notion of what constitutes the best. What is best for you may not be the best for someone else.
The same principle holds true if you are looking for the best hire excess insurance.
So why would you need this type of cover?
With car hire cover you may typically find that there are components of insurance cover included in the rental price. For UK rentals this may typically include the legally required unlimited third party cover and possibly a collision damage waiver (CDW).
While the CDW will cover you for some damage to the car and possibly its loss and theft, it may typically also carry a large excess of up to £1600 and perhaps also exclude some parts of the car, like the under body, tyres and glass from cover.
You may wish to take out excess insurance to protect yourself from the financial effects of potential charges for damage to the car being debited to your credit card.
When it comes to hire cars though, it may pay to be a bit forward thinking in terms of excess cover. That’s because, while the rental company may offer you excess insurance, they may only do this at the time you are picking up the keys to the vehicle.
They may be offering you the best cover around and at the best price but if you do not have the opportunity to compare their offering against other policies, then you have no way of knowing for sure.
There are specialist providers of excess hire car cover and you can compare some of their policies online in advance of your rental, to select the option that provides the most appropriate cover for your requirements. You may also find that their prices may be more competitive than those of the hire companies and that their cover includes those parts of the vehicle excluded by a standard CDW.
If you subsequently find that you have damaged the hire car in some way and that the car hire company is holding you responsible for the excess or other charges relating to damage to the excluded parts of the car, then they will still make a charge to your credit card for payment.
A simple claim to your excess policy is all that is necessary for you to then be reimbursed for these charges.
Making sure that you have sufficient insurance cover for your car hire rental could not be easier.
Of course, these days you may typically find that your rental will cover you for certain situations should there be an incident with the hire car. For example:
- for UK rentals, your hire car will come complete with unlimited third party cover as this is required by law. You may wish to bear in mind that this may not be the same in other countries and you should read through your rental terms and conditions carefully and purchase supplemental cover if you feel that this is necessary );
- the CDW or collision damage waiver may typically provide cover for the theft or loss of the vehicle and the costs of repairing damage to it;
- what it may not cover though are any costs for repairs to parts of the car (typically the roof, undercarriage, tyres and glass) which may be excluded from the CDW or those costs arising from the fact that a CDW may carry an excess which could typically be anywhere in the range of £600-£1500;
- you may, therefore, find that your credit card may be hit by some significant charges should the car be damaged while in your care;
- of course, it is perfectly possible to take out additional insurance cover to protect your finances being hit by these kinds of charges;
- your car hire company may offer to sell you top-up cover of this type but if you are keen to get the most appropriate cover at a cost-effective price, then you need to have choice – so the first place to start is by getting a car hire excess insurance quote. There are a number of specialist providers of this type of cover online;
- policies of this type may cover both the excess and those part of the vehicle typically excluded by the CDW;
- another feature of excess policies sourced online is that they may be available on an annual basis and this might be useful to you if you rent cars on a regular or frequent basis;
- an annual policy may be able to provide you with cover for an unlimited number of rentals as well as allowing you to include up to seven additional drivers on your policy at no additional cost;
- externally sourced policies of this type have no impact on how the car hire companies operate and you may still find any charges for repairs etc, are debited to your card;
- what is different is that you are able to claim on your excess policy for a refund of these charges, up to preagreed limits.
So, all things being equal, one thing is clear. Car hire excess insurance may be worth thinking about!
When you rent a vehicle, it is typically quite important to find an insurance policy that is suitable for you. Although the car hire company may insure your vehicle, you may still have to pay for the excess, which may be as much as £2,000 in some cases. It may therefore be important for you to get insurance to cover this potential excess.
Here are a few tips for finding the most suitable cover when you hire a car:
1. it may not turn out to be the most convenient option to simply wait until you hire your car before you purchase your vehicle rental insurance. Although the rental company may offer you an insurance policy at the point of sale, it may well not be the most competitive on the market, and you may find a more suitable option by purchasing it beforehand;
2. when choosing your cover, you may want to consider getting an annual policy if you are planning on making lots of trips in a hire car. There are also policies where you may be able to pay by the day;
3. if you find a policy that you like the look of, it may be a good idea to find out exactly how much excess you are covered for. Some insurance policies may provide a greater amount of cover than others;
4. also check which parts of the vehicle are insured when you choose your policy. Some policies may not provide cover for the roof, undercarriage, windscreen and other areas, whereas some may provide cover for everything;
5. another factor you may want to look into is where the cover is valid. Some insurance policies may only provide cover for Europe, whereas others may provide worldwide cover, so this is going to depend upon where you are going on your holiday;
6. it may also be important to consider who is covered on the insurance policy. If there is more than one driver named on the agreement with the car hire company, you may want to ensure that everyone is covered on the policy before purchasing it.
These are all areas that you may want to consider looking into when you decide to purchase insurance for your car hire trip. An excess may end up being very expensive if you do not have insurance, so finding the most suitable policy for your needs is always a good idea.
Whether you drive a hire car only occasionally or do so fairly regularly throughout the year, vehicle rental insurance may still prove something of an obscure subject.
If you are especially unlucky, moreover, the costliness of some parts of the hire car insurance agreement may only become apparent when some accident, loss or damage befalls the rented vehicle – you thought you had adequate insurance, so how might you still be left with a hefty bill?
- the most probable explanation for this unfortunate consequence is likely to be the excess or deductable incorporated into your standard vehicle rental insurance agreement;
- if you are a British driver, of course, you are likely to be aware of the way in which an excess works;
- it is the first part of any successful insurance claim which remains a cost for you to bear – if the repair bill is less that the amount of excess, you may have to pay the whole cost of the repairs, and if it is more than the excess, you may have to pay over the whole of that excess;
- there may be occasions when you have welcomed the incorporation of an excess since it helps to keep down the cost of the insurance premiums;
- the potential problem with many standard vehicle rental insurance agreements, however, is the sheer amount of the typical excess – anything from £500 to £1,600, depending on the country in which you are hiring the vehicle and the type of car you are going to be driving.
A further area of potential confusion may be the different terms in use in some parts of the world. In North America, for example, the standard rental agreement typically includes insurance described as a collision damage waiver (or simply CDW). This, too, is likely to have an excess, but is called a “deductable” and is based on similar principles – the amount for which you remain personally liable in the event of loss or damage to the rented vehicle. Whether it is called an excess or a deductable, however, this is something which may leave you with a substantial liability in the event of an accident.
Help is at hand
- help is at hand in the form of further insurance to indemnify you against those risks otherwise excluded from the standard car rental insurance agreement, whether you are hiring in North America or anywhere else in the world;
- this takes the form of insurance to cover the excess or deductable itself;
- it is readily available from UK-based, specialist car hire excess insurance providers, many of whom maintain an online presence where it is possible to arrange cover through just a few clicks of the button;
- furthermore, this type of top-up vehicle rental insurance is available on either a single- or multiple trip basis, affording you cover throughout the year, wherever in the world you may be planning to travel and rent a car.
If you are planning to rent a car for your next holiday or if you regularly hire a car whenever you may be abroad, the motoring costs may be something to which you may wish to pay particular attention.
One such consideration is car hire excess insurance.
What is it?
Excess insurance is just as the term suggests – cover against the potential risk of your having to pay the first part of any bill for loss or damage to your hire car. If that damage is less than the amount of the excess, you may be liable for payment of the whole repair bill; if the loss or damage is greater than the amount of the excess, you may nevertheless remain personally responsible for payment of the whole of the excess.
Where car rental insurance in North America typically falls under the description of a collision damage waiver (CDW), what is effectively the “excess”, is instead known as a deductable – to all intents and purposes, “excess” and “deductable” amount to the same.
When assessing the cost of such cover, you might ask yourself about the cost of not buying such supplementary cover.
That cost might not be the amount of the excess alone:
- standard car rental insurance agreements, for example, typically exclude certain areas of the vehicle (such as the roof, underside, windows and tyres) from loss or damage;
- although a basic level of third party cover may be included (to meet the minimum local legal requirements, for example), it may not be sufficient to meet every kind of third party claim – many of which may assume very significant proportions.
Where to buy it
The question of your insurance cost does not need to be left until the very last moment when you arrive at your car rental company’s check-out desk.
Indeed, you may enjoy not only the time to consider exactly what type of cover you need but may also pay considerably less for that cover if you arrange it through an online specialist provider.
Such a provider may be able to arrange the cover most appropriate for the level of excess that is likely to be applied and to offer additional elements of protection that you may need. For protection against potentially very expensive third party claims in North America, for example, you may look to such specialist providers to arrange Supplementary Liability Insurance that might raise your level of cover to as much as $1 million for any one claim.
When counting your car excess insurance cost, therefore, you may find that a UK-based online specialist provider is capable of offering appropriate and cost-effective terms.
If you are lucky enough to be taking a driving holiday on the West Coast USA, you might wish to think about some of the following sights:
• Los Angeles, California – yes, it may seem a little obvious but attractions such as Universal Studios and the huge Disney site, continue to be some of the world’s great entertainment opportunities and typically entertain people of all ages and levels of sophistication;
• Route 101 Los Angeles to San Francisco, California. You may wonder why a road is being recommended as somewhere to see but the drive between Los Angeles and San Francisco on this coastal road offers breathtaking scenery and charming little towns to explore such as Carmel. For maximum effect, try it in an open top convertible;
• Sausalito, California. Not a huge drive across the bay from San Francisco but a different world with its charming old town culture, upmarket residences and some of the best fish and oriental cuisine restaurants around;
• Reno, Nevada. A few hours drive north east of San Francisco brings you to the state line and Reno. A smaller and more homely version of Las Vegas, it retains a certain Wild West feeling in parts and you can watch huge freight trains trundling through the very centre of town;
• Monument Valley, Utah. If you have ever wondered whether the scenery in those old John Wayne westerns is real or fake, try a drive through this valley and be amazed at the unique rock formations;
• Navajo lands, California/Arizona. The Navajo native American people have extensive lands in the western states and a significant degree of local self-government. You can stop at some of the arts centres and pick up some beautiful handmade jewellery and artefacts;
• The Grand Canyon, Arizona. Nothing more can be said about this incomparable natural wonder but what you may wish to try is parking up in one of the small local towns and taking a flight along it – superb;
• Death valley, California. One of the hottest places on earth but also staggeringly beautiful, particularly if you are driving across it later in the evening when the sun is setting. There are small towns and desert oases where accommodation can be obtained overnight but be careful to treat the country with respect and to behave responsibly, as it can be dangerous if you fail to do so;
• San Francisco, California. Everything that can be written about this fabulous city has probably already been written but that does not make it any the less magic and you must see it.
• your car hire company offices. True, not a great tourist spot but important, as it may be the start and finish of your holiday. Pay particular attention to US insurance norms, as they may be considerably different those you are familiar with in Europe. You may wish to consider purchasing excess car insurance before you depart for the US.
When you are thinking about car rental, of course, you are also likely to be thinking about the cost of the appropriate vehicle insurance – how might you get affordable cover for your car hire excess?
- probably one of the most common ways, for example, of reducing your insurance bill – whatever the indemnity you might be striving to achieve – is through accepting an excess;
- the excess on any insurance policy represents that part of the risk which is essentially uninsured;
- it means that you pay the first part of any repair bill, up to the amount of the excess you have accepted;
- depending on the type of car you are renting and the part of the world in which you may be planning your trip, this might be as much as several hundred to well over a thousand pounds;
- the theory, of course, is that the higher amount of excess – the risk of loss or damage shared by you – the lower the premium for the risk taken by the insurer,
- the problem with this theory, though, is that you may end up shouldering the substantial risk represented by any amount you may need to pay in the event of an accident;
- the quest for cost effective insurance may sometimes be thwarted, therefore, by the need to buy further “top-up” insurance to cover all – or a proportion of – the excess;
- such cover may often by bought from the car rental company, although you may consider that the rates charged for this peace of mind are themselves quite expensive;
- a sometimes often more cost-effective solution is to purchase standalone excess insurance from an independent specialist provider;
- not only might this extend the scope of your hire car insurance to include parts of the vehicle otherwise excluded from the rental company’s cover (such as the underside, roof, windows and tyres), but may also be purchased as a multiple trip option, giving you excess protection throughout the year, for an unlimited number of car rental periods.
In this way, with even a high level of excess safely protected, you might realise your quest for affordable cover.