If you've ever been in a car accident, you will know you pay the first part of any claim. Hire car excess insurance covers that cost and more...
Many travellers rent cars every year but are often not aware of these charges until they arrive at the rental desk - by which time it's too late to shop around for an alternative. However, a bit of extra work before you travel can save you a surprising amount of money, and get you better levels of cover.
When you hire a car, your rental agreement will usually include cover such as a Collision Damage Waiver (CDW, sometimes referred to as Loss Damage Waiver - LDW) or third party liability insurance*. However, such policies give a false sense of security as, if the vehicle is damaged in an accident or gets stolen, the person renting it is nearly always liable for the first portion of the loss, called the “excess”.
The amount of the excess varies from one rental provider to the other, however it is usually between £500 and £2,000 per vehicle (it can be even more on high-value vehicles). This amount is often far more than the cost of renting the car in the first place.
You can protect yourself against this potential sting by purchasing excess waiver for your rental.
Some companies will try to sell you a waiver when you make your booking, and most will offer it to you again when you collect your car - however these can cost as much as £20 a day from the rental company.
At TravelSupermarket we have had frequent reports of car hire renters being subjected to hard-sell tactics when picking up their car. These are designed to worry the driver into taking out an overpriced and underinsured waiver product. But do not fear! The alternative is to buy a stand-alone excess reimbursement policy before you travel.
You'll be amazed by how much you could save. For example, if you purchase a standalone excess policy via TravelSupermarket it costs from as little as £2.99 per day. A typical one-week policy would cost around £21 for European destinations such as Malaga, or just under £28 for a week's car hire excess insurance for destinations outside of Europe.
For customers taking longer trips, or who rent cars multiple times a year, annual car hire excess policies offer even better value at just £39.99 for European cover or £59.99 for a worldwide policy.
In addition to this, customers who buy an annual policy by February 28, 2015 will also receive two free policy upgrades (vehicle key replacement and vehicle rental cancellation), which usually cost £19.98.
Stand-alone car hire excess policies provide peace of mind for a low daily cost and can cover trips of up to 65 continuous days. What's more, the iCarhireinsurance.com policies also provide protection for the vulnerable parts of the vehicle which are most likely to get damaged such as the wheels, tyres, windscreen, roof and undercarriage - areas that are usually excluded from the rental companies' own policies, even if you buy their extra waivers.
So, opting to buy here in the UK via TravelSupermarket is cheaper and gives you a better product with more peace of mind.
And this cover is available for all destinations in the UK as well as overseas. UK rentals are covered as standard on both European and Worldwide excess policies for UK residents.
*Note: It's mandatory in most locations worldwide for third party liability insurance to be included automatically with car rental. However, be aware that these limits can sometimes be low in locations outside of Europe.
It is also customary for CDW/LDW to be included with car rental throughout Europe, however in some locations this can vary. Always check with your rental company prior to travel to ensure you know what is included with your rental, even if you have used the company before.
Outside of Europe the requirement for rental companies to provide CDW/LDW automatically varies, again check carefully with your rental company to ensure you understand what insurance you have prior to arriving at the desk.