Car Hire Excess Insurance A Simple Guide
What Is Car Hire Excess Insurance
Many people hire cars either in their own country or when they are visiting a foreign country but don’t actually realise that they may not be insured fully for the car they have hired. Car hire insurance varies throughout the world and also from company to company.
Are You Insured When You Hire A Car
Yes, when you hire a car from a car rental company, you are covered but this insurance cover is very basic and does not insure you for the things that you may expect! Car hire companies offer a basic insurance policy for their customers and the cars they hire. The car hire insurance they provide usually covers you for accidents which includes either ‘Collision Damage Waiver’ (CDW) and/or for theft ‘Loss Damage Waiver’ (LDW) and a third party liability insurance but does not cover you if your car is damaged or stolen!
This means that if the car is damaged or stolen, the person who has hired the car is liable for the first portion of the loss or damage, which is known as the ‘Excess’. The truth is, the insurance they offer only reduces the actual amount you will pay in the event of a claim and this insurance cover does not always include certain parts of the car should they be damaged. Just like any other car insurance, if you make a claim, you will be required to pay the excess! This may seem strange and a little alarming but it is true and sadly, many people only find this out when a claim has been made but by then it is too late and as a result, it ends up costing them large amounts of money.
How Much Are Excess Fees
All car hire companies’ policies are different and all their car hire excess fees will differ from company to company. These fees are generally listed in the car rental companies ‘Terms & Conditions’ and it is advisable to check these fees before you hire a car.
If the car is damaged or stolen whilst it is in your possession, you may be charged an excess fee! If the car rental company to which you have hired your car from needs to make an insurance claim, then these excess fees are the amount of money you will need to pay them in such an event. If you are not familiar with how this works or simply do not know about these fees, you may receive a big shock when you get charged.
For Example: If the car hire company makes a claim of £3000, you may be asked to pay between £500-£1000 excess fees! Car excess fees can easily be between £500-£2000 and much more on higher value vehicles!
Don’t Be Fooled By Car Excess Charges
The majority of people hire cars from car rental companies and do not bother reading the ‘Terms & Conditions’. They do not safe guard themselves against the unexpected and the large excess fees they may incur. This is because most people want the cheapest deal possible and do not believe that anything will happen to the car whilst it is in their possession. As a result, they opt for the cheapest car rental which can actually become more costly once all the extras have been added. Sadly, accidents do happen and for the sake of a few pounds, they choose not to insurance themselves against receiving these high excess fees.
How To Reduce The Amount Of Money You Pay On Car Hire Excess Fees
It is possible to reduce the amount you pay and you can even reduce it so that you pay nothing. Most car rental companies will offer you the chance to purchase their own additional ‘Car Excess Waiver Insurance’ at the time of booking your car hire or when you collect the car. These additional car hire excess cover insurance insurance policies vary in price and it is your decision as to whether or not you take out this additional car excess insurance. However, as you can imagine, these additional ‘Car Excess Waiver’ insurance policies you buy through the car hire companies do not come cheap and you can easily pay between £3 and £20 per day for them! That is an extra £21-£140 on car excess waiver insurance for 7 days car hire, on top of your initial car hire cost, if you purchase an excess waiver insurance policy from the car hire company themselves! Even more worrying, once you have purchased this additional cover, there can still be some parts of the car that are excluded in the insurance!
Is Car Hire Excess Insurance Compulsory
No, hire car excess insurance is not compulsory and it is totally your decision as to whether or not you take out the additional cover. As we mentioned earlier, purchasing the additional car hire excess insurance from the car hire company when you collect your car will be expensive and this is why so many people choose not to purchase the additional insurance. The decision you need to make is whether or not it is worth your while paying a little extra money on the insurance policy or whether you would be happy paying the excess fees were a claim to be made! I would recommend you have car hire excess insurance but would not recommend purchasing it through a car rental company.
A Simple Solution To Save You Money
Many people go away several times a year either on holiday or business and every time they go away, they hire a car. You may be one of these people and if you are, the following information may interest and benefit you. As we discussed previously, taking out excess waiver insurance with one of the car rental companies will be expense and may not actually insure you for all the parts! If you were buy the excess waiver insurance each time you booked car hire, it would be a large additional expense each year.
For Example: If you went away 3 times in one year and hired a car each time and then bought the additional excess waiver insurance from the car rental company at a cost of between £21- £140, it would cost you between £63-£420. As I am sure you will agree, this is an expensive additional cost each time you hire a car. However, the good news is that you can actually take out your own independent standalone car hire excess insurance at a fraction of the cost, that covers you for a full year.
Standalone Annual Car Hire Excess Insurance
If you think that you may book car hire more than once within any year, you should seriously consider taking out an Annual car hire excess policy. Many insurance companies now offer car hire excess insurance policies and if you are looking at hiring a car when you go on holiday or a business trip, it is certainly advisable to take out the extra cover. Taking out your own independent annual car hire excess insurance policy has many advantages and it can save you a large amount of money in the long run.
The advantage of having your own annual policy is that it costs you much less to take out insurance for one year than it would cost you to purchase it for one week through the car rental company. Annual car hire excess insurance cover costs around £40-£55, were as it can cost you that much or more for just 7 days through a car hire company. Surely it makes sense that if you are going to pay £45-£55 for 7 days cover you may as well pay the same amount of money and purchase an Annual policy and get an extra 51 weeks cover at no extra cost!
Another advantage of buying your own annual car hire excess insurance policy is that you can also have several people on your policy that are insured for the car too.
Tip: Many people go on holiday in groups and if there are several people travelling in your group, it is a good idea to split the cost of the car hire excess insurance between the group. This then means that the cost is minimal and you also have the insurance cover for 12 months. If you go away several times in those months, you are still covered and do not have to pay any more money!
How Does It Work
Car Hire Excess Insurance Comparison
Insurance for car hire is a worthwhile investment and something you should have in place before travel. If you wish to find the best car hire excess insurance deals, the companies listed below all offer great packages to suit your requirements and budgets.
Compare Car Hire Excess Insurance with some of the leading companies on the market.