Insurance for a car hire In the USA and a few other countries, the price you pay for the hire car will typically include little if any insurance. It may be offered for sale as an optional extra by the rental company or alternatively, purchased from an online specialist provider of rental car excess insurance. The latter option can sometimes turn out cheaper.
In many other countries including the UK and much of Europe, the rental car’s hire price should include some components of insurance.
‘In the price’ insurance for a car hire
Typically car rental insurance covers two forms of risk through two types of insurance:
• third party liability – to financially cover claims from other parties that have suffered personal injury or damage to their property;
• collision damage waiver (CDW) – to offer financial protection against claims from the car hire company arising from any damage the hire car may have sustained while you have it on hire.
In some countries, the ‘in the price’ insurance may only include third party liability. In others it may also provide a basic form of CDW.
Limitations of ‘in the price’ insurance
It may be advisable to check the insurance for car hire that is part of the rental cost as:
• the rental company’s policy may contain a large excess of between £500 and £1600 – that amount could be charged to your credit card following an accident as your contribution to the insurance claim costs;
• the CDW may exclude several important areas of the vehicle from its cover notably the wheels, tyres, windows, roof and undercarriage.
If you find these to be the case, you may decide that you are not entirely comfortable with the large financial risk presented. If so, you may wish to consider additional insurance to cover these ‘gaps’.
Additional insurance protection
The car hire company may offer you something they call ‘top-up cover’ or possibly ‘Super-CDW’. This is essentially additional insurance, which means they will reduce or remove the excess. It is also possible that they will remove the ‘exclusions’ and cover all areas of the vehicle.
An alternative source for this protection is the specialist providers of rental car insurance that you can find on the Internet. They offer a product typically called ‘excess insurance’ which will pay you back any sums you need to pay the rental company for excess or damage to excluded areas following an accident.
The policies provided by the specialists are typically cheaper that the ‘top-up’ insurance offered by the rental companies and they may also offer superior cover.
Finding out more
Web sites of the specialist providers of insurance for a car hire typically contain full details of their products. Looking at one of their sites may be time well spent as it may be able to save you money. Pay a visit to www.insurance4carrental.com to see insurance companies advertising car hire excess insurance, motorhome hire excess insurance and van hire excess insurance.