Tuesday 23 March 2010

Insurance for Rental Cars

Came across this the other day, some interesting information here if you are thinking of hiring a car.

As a driver, driving your own car there are two main components of insurance that are typically regarded as essential and the same may be true for insurance for rental cars.

In the UK, Third Party cover is a compulsory form of insurance for car rental and by law it has to offer unlimited financial protection. The same is generally true for many parts of Europe too.
If you were to injure someone or damage their property in an accident with the hire car while having such having unlimited cover, then any award for damages against you would be covered by your third party insurance. There are no limits on what could be paid. What this means is that this level of cover is sufficient and you shouldn’t have to buy more.

In the USA and some other rental locations worldwide, you may find that there is no Third Party cover included at all and in these circumstances you may want to consider Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI) to provide you with some insurance against potential claims for damages. It may be worth bearing in mind that without insurance for car rental of this kind you would be personally responsible for paying for any awards against you.

Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) covers damage to the car itself. Basic CDW cover is very often included as part of an all-in package by the car rental companies. (The USA and some other worldwide destinations are again exceptions to this.)

A problem with this is that typically the rental companies’ insurance will put an excess on the CDW and this is the amount that they may expect you to pay towards any repair damage. Excess amounts may vary but values between £500 and £1600 are common.

The other problem with standard CDW supplied by a car rental company is that certain parts of the car (the windscreen and windows, tyres, undercarriage and roof ) are typically excluded from cover. If any of these were damaged you would have to pay for the repair – in addition to any excess charges for dents or scratches to the paint work for example. This can be rather costly!

Naturally, many people may feel that this represents an unacceptable level of risk and expenditure for someone else’s car. Increasing your levels of insurance for car rental with some excess insurance may help keep risks down.

Excess insurance cover or Super CDW as it is sometimes known, is a policy against which you can make a claim should you be charged excess by the car rental company. There are a number of places where you can buy insurance of this type including the car hire company itself, but, you may well find that the policies of some of the Internet based independent insurance providers may be a lot cheaper than those of the car hire companies provide. In addition, their policies may also include those “excluded” parts of the car at no extra cost.

Take a look at some of the web sites and you will find a wide range of products for driving in the UK, Europe, the USA and elsewhere in the world. They can cater for groups of family or friends and if you are a regular renter you may find an annual policy to be of particular interest.
As with all insurance for car rental there are likely to be conditions attached so you may want to have a look at these to reassure yourself that you have the right cover for your needs.

Of course a lot of this will apply if you are hiring a van and on the same subject did you know that www.insurance4vanrental.com has now gone live in association with the www.insurance4carrental.com site?

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