Thursday 31 October 2013

More Car Hire Excess Insurance Confusion

iCarhireinsurance released a press release yesterday "Car Hire Excess Insurance Confusion" again with typical problems customers find with being confused with car hire and the essential insurances that a renter must takeout.

Back in June 2012 iCarhireinsurance released one entitled "Confusion Over Hire Car Excess Costs Consumers". A year earlier they released one "Confusion over US Car Hire Insurance could cost winter sun seekers to the US dear".

Even to someone who often rents a car the process is "confusing". Yesterday's press release said -

"Only 11% of car hire respondents in a new YouGov survey knew that if their hire car is damaged they could be liable for up to £2000 (e.g. hiring in Faro in October), even if it's not their fault, if they haven't taken out additional excess protection cover.

If a hire car is stolen or damaged in any way the hirer has to pay for the first part of the cost, i.e., up to the excess amount for the repair, unless they take out additional excess protection cover.

The new survey, commissioned by iCarhireinsurance.com, a leading supplier of car hire excess insurance, also revealed that only around one in five people (18%) realised that some excess policies also do not include possible damage to the tyres and windscreen - amongst the most vulnerable parts of a vehicle.

"Excess insurance for car hire is confusing for many travellers," said Ernesto Suarez, CEO and founder of iCarhireinsurance.com. "Our research shows a worrying lack of knowledge. When a small scratch can cost hundreds to fix, it's important to get excess insurance so you're not out of pocket."

Buying excess insurance direct from the car hire company is expensive and the policies offered are generally less comprehensive than buying it in advance from a specialist insurance provider.
iCarhireinsurance.com found that out of three autumn break destinations researched* (i.e., Faro, Tenerife and Nice), Faro was the most expensive place to purchase car hire insurance from the rental desk with a week's excess policy costing up to £199 or £28 a day - this is over nine times the cost of an iCarhireinsurance.com policy at £21 for the week (at £2.99 a day).

Travellers should also be aware that 60% of the rental company excess policies researched do not include damage to the hire car's tyres or windscreen. If additional policies for this cover are available from the rental desk they can add more than £100 to the cost of a week's car hire. 

Many companies do not promote the price of this policy until a customer reaches the rental desk. This level of protection is already included in an iCarhireinsurance.com policy.

*All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total online sample size 2,187 adults, of which 901 have ever hired a car. Fieldwork between 1st May - 2nd May 2013" (Source iCarhireinsurance)

Car hire excess insurance and the reasons to buy it is confusing, however it something people hiring a car have to put up with, but it does make a lt more economic sense to buy it from an independent company like iCarhireinsurance instead of the car rental company. By the way they also offer van hire excess insurance too. Find out more here 

Friday 25 October 2013

iCarhireinsurance remind customers not to holiday without car hire excess insurance

With the October half term holiday starting in the next few hours iCarhireinsurance sent me this reminder yesterday.

If you are hiring a car this winter (or even autumn) don't forget to pick up your award winning car hire excess insurance.

The weather might not feel too wintry as we move towards the end of October, however many will be taking a half term break and hiring a car.  

Youcan take out  their daily cover from as little as £2.99 and great value annual policies from £39.99 so you will never need to pay for expensive cover at the car hire rental desk again.

What about all those people who are staying at home and are off to IKEA or other similar establishments to buy new furniture. Or moving flat or house in the next few days and are hiring a van. iCarhireinsurance also covers van hire. at just £6.99 a day.

You will normally find that buying your vehicle hire excess insurance from an independent company like iCarhireinsurance is a lot better value than from the vehicle hire company.

Find out more here

Wednesday 16 October 2013

Hire Cars Costing Around 100% More Again With Extras at the Car Rental Desk

The Half Term holidays are just around the corner and iCarhireinsurance.com released this press release earlier today.

Five out of seven family-favourite destinations this October half-term will require travellers to pay over 100% again for their car hire once added extras are bought at the rental desk.      

According to research by iCarhireinsurance.com, the leading stand alone provider of car hire excess insurance, the headline price only represents about half of the total cost that is needed by families for a week’s car hire.

iCarhireinsurance.com compared the prices of five rental companies for a week’s hire, 26 Oct to 2 Nov, of a compact family car, e.g., a VW Golf, in the seven popular get-aways of Cyprus, Tenerife, Faro, Nice, Dubrovnik, Milan and Barcelona, together with the costs for added extras including a child’s car seat, an extra driver, excess waiver insurance and a sat nav
In Tenerife, for example a family hiring a VW Golf, or similar, will pay on average £151 for the week’s hire but will pay out £262 at the rental desk when they pick their car up - an extra  174%.  

This is paying £53 for a child’s car seat, £54 for an extra driver costing, £56 for a sat nav and car hire excess insurance, to protect them against the first part of any insurance claim (which can be up to £1500), costing £99 for the week, making  a grand total of £262.

“Car hire companies are making their profit on charging an initial low fee for car hire and making up their profit margins at the rental desk,” said Ernesto Suarez, founder and CEO of iCarhireinsurance.com.  “Take your own sat nav, your own child’s seat, don’t pay for an extra driver but above all don’t pay for car hire excess insurance at the rental desk.  There is no need to buy anything when you pick up your hire car.”

Car hire insurance is the biggest single outlay at the rental desk, and families could be paying up to £310 for a week’s cover in Milan with Europcar, £240 with Budget in Dubrovnik and around £200 in Faro also with Europcar.  

When an iCarhireinsurance.com daily cover is only £2.99 (from £39.99 for an annual policy), this is a hefty price to pay.  An iCarhireinsurance policy also protects vulnerable parts of the vehicle, including the tyres and windscreen, which are frequently excluded from rental desk companies’ policies. 

 In Nice, for instance, Europcar charges £129.67 for an additional excess policy for tyres and windscreen, while Sixt charges a more reasonable £30.19 – these are on top of their standard excess policies. 

How the destinations compared overall:
Barcelona and Milan are the most expensive place for hidden extras (i.e., a child seat, an extra driver, a sat nav and car hire excess insurance) and families can expect to pay over 185% on top of the original cost on arrival

Barcelona, Milan, Faro, Tenerife and Nice all require families to pay over 100% more again for these extras

Dubrovnik and Cyprus are the most reasonable places for families to pay for those added extras, but families can still expect to pay an additional 90% more

In full the destinations charged on average the below prices:
- Barcelona:  The average price to rent a car was £168, while the cost of the extras of car hire excess insurance (at £114), an extra driver (at £57), a child’s car seat (at £66) and a sat nav (at £74), totals £311. Therefore a consumer is paying an additional 185% more!  

- Faro: The average price to rent a car was £240, while the cost of the extras of car hire excess insurance (at £121), an extra driver (at £32), a child’s car seat (at £57) and a sat nav (at £58), totals £268. Therefore a consumer is paying an additional 112% more!  

- Dubrovnik: The average price to rent a car was £314, while the cost of the extras of car hire excess insurance (at £128), an extra driver (at £26), a child’s car seat (at £44) and a sat nav (at £80), totals £278. Therefore a consumer is paying an additional 89% more!  

- Tenerife: The average price to rent a car was £151, while the cost of the extras of car hire excess insurance (at £99), an extra driver (at £54), a child’s car seat (at £53) and a sat nav (at £56), totals £262. Therefore a consumer is paying an additional 174% more!

- Milan: The average price to rent a car was £217, while the cost of the extras of car hire excess insurance (at £168), an extra driver (at £48), a child’s car seat (at £94) and a sat nav (at £94), totals £404. Therefore a consumer is paying an additional 186% more!  

- Cyprus : The average price to rent a car was £179, while the cost of the extras of car hire excess insurance (at £59), an extra driver (at £24), a child’s car seat (at £29) and a sat nav (at £53), totals £165. Therefore a consumer is paying an additional 92% more! 

- Nice: The average price to rent a car was £194, while the cost of the extras of car hire excess insurance (at £72), an extra driver (at £37), a child’s car seat (at £37) and a sat nav (at £72), totals £218. Therefore a consumer is paying an additional 112% more! ( source iCarhireinsurance 16-10-13)

To find out more visit their website here - they also provide van hire excess insurance as well

Tuesday 15 October 2013

Questor Insurance comments on research which reveals travellers’ most common car hire concerns.

Vehicle hire and travel insurance specialist Questor Insurance highlights research which reveals travellers’ most common car hire concerns, and their motivations for hiring a car on their annual holidays.

With recent figures revealing that soaring temperatures in the UK have meant that a fifth of holidaymakers will be heading to foreign shores this month for the first time this year* autumn could prove to be a busy season for British hiring a car abroad.

A survey of 5,300 people** offered insight into holidaymakers’ key concerns when hiring a car for their overseas trip, with almost two-thirds (64%) of those surveyed arguing that they were worried about extra charges, while just over half (51%) believed that they would be charged for extra services or products by rental companies.

Some of these concerns are founded as a Mail Online investigation conducted earlier in the year revealed that drivers hiring a car on holiday could be hit with more than £500 in car hire extras***.

This included charges attached to anything from hiring a sat nav and putting a child car seat in place to paying for extra insurance.

Commenting Questor Insurance CEO Andrew Lawrence, said: “Heading away on holiday can already present a large expense for both individuals and families, from the cost of hiring a villa to the cost of keeping the little ones entertained while you’re away.

“If you are planning to hire a car as part of your trip, taking out car hire excess insurance in advance, means that you can feel safe in the knowledge that the excess charges in your insurance are met to a pre-specified limit.

“In addition, you may stand to make savings on the cost of your excess insurance, as buying from a third party provider in advance rather than from the car hire company when picking up the rental vehicle is generally considered to be cheaper.”

The research also revealed that despite some concerns, travellers also felt that there were numerous advantages to hiring a car on holiday, with 73% arguing that it gave them more freedom on holiday.

Don't forget the half term holidays are not far away so Buy your Car Hire Excess Insurance from Questor Insurance today.
Questor Insurance’s ‘Be Holiday Savvy’ campaign is running from June to October and will provide travellers with a wealth of handy hints and tips to make the process of planning and executing their foreign holiday that much smoother.

Sources - Questor Insurance &


Sunday 13 October 2013

Spanish car-hire firms charge euro deposits to sterling bank accounts - according to The Independent's column

I came across this yesterday in Paul Gosling's "Question of Cash" featured in The Independent. As I too have experienced similar situations in Cyprus, Ireland and France (but not Spain thought it should be featured. 

Mostly in my car hire renting experiences the car hire company has simply "swiped" my credit card details and hen has the right to make deductions as the case maybe. Unfortunately it appears that some car hire companies actually deduct the amount from the customer's credit card, thus cutting down their spending ability, but also adding to car hire company's cash flow. This is not always fair. If you have a deduction in your own currency e.g,. a Belgian hiring a car in Spain then you won't suffer in transaction currency charges. different matter if you are British or Swiss for example with a Euro transaction or vica versa.

Q. I read with interest Questions of Cash 24 August, where you reported on a car-hire company in Spain that charged the reader's sterling bank account for a euro deposit. This lost the reader more than £40 through currency charges by the time the deposit was refunded.

You reported the reader's bank as saying that the car-hire company had failed to follow the "usual practice" of obtaining authorisation for the deposit, reserving the funds but not processing a payment unless the car was damaged during the hire.

I had the same experience in August with the same car-hire company. I was told very clearly on booking through an online intermediary that the car-hire company would require a security deposit to be held in reserve, but that no money would be taken from my account if the car was returned undamaged.

Yet my sterling account was debited and when the deposit was returned, the amount was £10.64 less. It is clear that your other reader's experience was not a one-off. WB, by email.

Q. I also read the letter about problems with a Spanish car-hire deposit with interest. I suffered the same experience in July when I travelled to Alicante and hired a car.
As a result, I lost £34.78. I booked with a different car-hire company that I have used on many occasions. I have never before had to pay a deposit – each time a payment was authorised, but not processed HB, by email.

A. After our reader contacted us in August about his experience with Marbesol, the reader's bank, the Co-operative, repaid the loss of £41.01 in full. We were unable to obtain a response from Marbesol, despite repeated attempts. It would be nice to think the publicity we gave to this problem caused a change of approach by car-hire companies in Spain.

What we can say is that in both cases the problems were resolved without our intervention. Both companies repaid the losses in full when the failures were pointed out to them by the readers WB and HB before we had a chance to be involved. However, this is an occurrence that needs to be watched out for and we caution readers accordingly. Source The Independent Question of Cash 13-10-13

Saturday 12 October 2013

Renewal Notice from Insurance4carhire

Just received an email from insurance4carhire.com saying that my annual policy is about to expire.

They tell me that "our Policies give you peace of mind by covering the excess on damage and theft, as well as damage to windows, tyres, the undercarriage and the roof for any one rental vehicle. We have also negotiated a number of cover enhancements. The Annual Excess Policy now covers: 

  • All drivers between the ages of 21 and 85, so there is no need to purchase a separate policy.
  • Towing costs relating to damage or mechanical breakdown.
  • The costs incurred as a result of misfueling up to a maximum of £500 per incident and up to a maximum of £2,000 in any one period of insurance (unlike many of our competitors).
  • Includes in-Country Rentals - this means there is no longer a 150kms restriction from where you live. Particularly useful if you are a member of a car club.
  • Just Text HELP Emergency assistance
    If you have an emergency abroad, text "HELP" and the country you are in to Call UMA and you will get a call back from a multilingual assistant who will advise you, and if necessary speak the local language for you. This service operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You should receive the call back within five minutes of your text being received. You just pay your standard network rate and/or your network provider's roaming charge for the text message and call back. This service can be used for any of the following:
    • Emergency assistance abroad (police, ambulance, fire, hospitals) with language interpretation
    • Victims of crime abroad (assistance dealing with police etc) with language interpretation
    • Assistance dealing with lost/stolen passports or credit cards
    • Any car hire related emergency
    We have increased the amount we will reimburse you for the excess or repair costs up to a maximum of £4,000 (double our previous cover) any one incident and up to a maximum of £5,000 (this was previously £3,000) during any one period of insurance.
    We will not reimburse your excess or any financial loss or expense in the following circumstances:
  • If your country of residence is outside the European Economic Area (EEA).
  • For losses caused by accidental damage to the interior or contents of the Rental Vehicle.
  • If the Rental Vehicle is a motor home, camper van, trailer or caravan, commercial vehicle or truck, motorcycle, moped, motorbike, off-road vehicle, recreational vehicle, passenger van or other vehicle with more than 9 seats.
  • Where damage is the result of driving whilst on an un-made up road.
Letting your policy lapse could leave you exposed to costly insurance premiums and hidden excess charges whenever you rent a car. But if you renew your policy , you'll stay protected - which could save you thousands if a car you rent is damaged or stolen." (Source 12-10-13 insurance4carhire)

If you are buying the UK and Europe Multi-trip annual car hire excess insurance from insurance4carhire you will see it costs £39.99, however you can save some money if you buy through a dedicated link on the jml Insurance / insurance4carrrental / jml holiday home sites it only costs £38.00 for the year. Instead of going to the jml sites you can short cut the process here  

Wednesday 9 October 2013

Drivers are at risk of falling foul of overseas laws

The autumn edition of Living Spain magazine arrived today and it includes in the Latest News an item saying that British motorists are at risk of breaking any number of motoring laws when they are driving outside the country.  

According to a survey carried out by colinappleyard.com  that many drivers are unaware of speed limits, as well as other vital regulations such as mandatory safety equipment.

New powers mean that police in other countries can enforce on the spot fines to motorists instead of transferring the offence in question back to the UK.

The Colin Appleyard survey included the following statistics:

  •  98 per cent didn't know that the law in France and Spain states that there is a spare set of light bulbs in the car.
  • 95 per cent of drivers did not know it is illegal to drive in France with a satnav that shows the location of speed cameras. (There are more and more speed cameras being installed in France, not quite the number as back in Britain, however many new ones no longer have roadside warning signs)
  • 94 per cent of drivers did not know that you have to carry a breathalyser in France.( however try and buy one there, well that is a different matter - See Riviera Reporter Forum .  It appears they are hard to get hold of unless you are buying them on a cross channel ferry or an outlet like Halfords in Britain)
  • 82 per cent of drivers did not know local speed limit, or were unable to convert them into miles per hour. ( Surely most cars for the UK market still have speeds shown in mph and km/h? It is harder for a driver from mainland Europe or the Republic of Ireland visiting Northern Ireland or other parts of Britain as those cars will only have a speedo in km/h)
  • 35 per cent of drivers were unaware that headlights convertors are required by law in countries that drive on the right hand side in Europe. 
  •  18 per cent did not know that reflective jackets are required in many European countries in case of a roadside breakdown - What is more in some countries you have to have one for each passenger and the jacket must be carried in the main part of the car with a warning jacket, not in the boot.
  • 6 per cent were unaware that a GB sticker or a Europlate registration is compulsory. If all the UK registration number plates were identical having the Euro flag on them as they do in so many other European countries, people would not have to buy unsightly stick on GB signs for their vehicles.
  • 1 per cent  of those surveyed did not know to drive on the right in mainland continental Europe. (sounds rather scary!) and 20 per cent said they had accidentally driven on the wrong side of the road. 
Commenting on the results of their survey, Robin Appleyard  said " As most drivers heading for the continent make landfall in France, it's a shame that there's so much confusion over the local driving laws there. While you probably won't be fined for not having a breathalyser, the fine for having a speed camera enabled satnav can be an eye-watering €1,500. Drive safely and study local driving laws before you go" (Source Living Spain October 2013)

At the insurance4carrental.com website we have set up guides for driving in some 38 countries worldwide including the UK. 

So if you are thinking of driving (including hiring a vehicle) then it is well worth finding out information in advance as Robin Appleyard suggests and one source are the Driving Guides at the insurance4carrental site here.   

Special Offers from Holiday Autos Car Rental

holiday autos have some special offers. These include  Free Additional Drivers and Unlimited Mileage widely available, you can head off on an epic road trip and, our Inclusive GPS and No Excess Rates will help to ensure you make it back OK from your trip they say in the flyer I got by email earlier.

To visit the holiday autos website follow this link today 

holiday autos is the world's largest and leading leisure car hire broker. Launched in 1987 they  revolutionised the car rental industry - the first broker to offer fully-inclusive pre-paid car hire

Monday 7 October 2013

Having Insurance for the rental car you are hiring makes a lot of sense

As a consumer you need be truly satisfied with your car hire experience. This typically involves making sure that you’ve found the right vehicle for your needs and of course at a good price. Making sure that the car you have selected also includes the right sort of insurance is also be imperative to ensure that you avoid a potential large outlay following an accident.

So how could such a situation arise given that you think you have sufficient insurance?

The problem could occur because of the way some car hire rentals are described as ‘including insurance in the price’ when they’re advertised. That is perfectly correct as a statement but it may lull you into a full sense of security because in reality you may not be ‘fully covered’ – and there is a difference.
The insurance for the vehicle that is provided by the car hire  company typically provides a degree of protection in the shape of:
  • third party cover that aims to meet the costs of any awards against you for damage you have caused to a third party – either to their person or their property;
  • CDW (collision damage waiver) – which will offer financial cover for the costs of any damage done to the hire care while under contract to you (or its theft).
Although this sounds fine, the car rental company’s policies may contain two potentially very important points of note:
  • typically they will carry an excess of anywhere between £500-£1600 plus
  • they may also exclude a number of significant areas of the vehicle from cover and that means you’ll have to pay for any damage to them – typically including the wheels; tyres, roof, undercarriage and windows.
So, following an accident, the car rental company may place some charges against your credit card even if you have their insurance as well.

The good news is that it is possible to reduce the risks of finding such costs facing you after an accident.

This can be done typically through one of two routes.

The first is to purchase ‘top-up’ or ‘Super-CDW’ insurance from the car hire company – they will typically offer this to you as part of the car booking and perhaps again when you pick the car up. For an extra cost, this insurance may remove or at least reduce the excess and possibly also provide cover for the ‘exclusions’.

The second route is to purchase what’s called ‘excess insurance’ from an online provider of insurance for hire cars. These specialists offer policies that will allow you to claim back from them any excess or costs you’ve had to pay to the rental company. They can be cheaper than the similar protection offered by the rental companies themselves.

You can out more information on the excess insurance for hire cars and how you could potentially save money by visiting the specialist provider website like the following examples of these insurance companies include: Essential Travel, iCarhireinsurance, Carehireexcess, Worlwideinsure, Insurance4carhire, Questor Insurance and Protectyourbubble

Such policies may also have the advantage of being available on an annual basis meaning they would cover any car hired by you during the period. Some companies also offer Family policies as well as cover for Motorhome and Campervan hire excess, Van hire excess, Minibus hire excess and Car club hire excess insurance. 

Wednesday 2 October 2013

Worldwideinsure van hire excess insurance is now being promoted on line with jml Insurance

insurance4carrental.com is pleased to announce that Worldwideinsure.com van hire excess insurance and motorhome / campervan hire excess insurance has been added to the list of van hire vehicle rental excess insurance advertisers bringing the total providers to four.

The van hire insurance promotional site insurance4carrental.com is now promoting an affitional Worldwideinsure.com insurance product. Since November 2010 it has been advertising their car hire excess insurance and motorhome hire excess products and then their travel insurance products.

This means there is an even greater choice of van hire excess insurance providers. The first company to join the site was Towergate's Insuremyvanhire.com which was followed by iCarhireinsurance's product and the Questor Insurance Services product.

By buying van hire excess insurance from an independent company means for the hirer they will normally save a lot of money as van hire companies like car hire companies tend to charge a lot more for this essential product. 

Worldwideinsure.com are offering Van Hire excess Insurance with a daily rate costing from £4.90 a day.

It is available to UK residents and Covers van hire on a private basis (non-commercial use) anywhere within the UK

Philip Suter of jml Insurance marketing said "There are numerous van renters throughout the UK who are hire vans everyday. With the number of people in rented accommodation these days, there are lots of people moving or collecting furniture and DIY materials from retailers"

Worldwide Travel Insurance Services Ltd are an independent, family-run travel insurance specialist set up in 1993, providing quality cover at competitive prices. They offer a wide range of insurance policies suitable for all types of traveller and can insure many pre-existing medical conditions. Their car hire excess daily rates are currently from £1.85 per day and Annual rates from £37.80. They also have USA/ Canada policies at £6 per day or £125 for the year. Motor home hire / campervan hire cost £7.00 a day

For more information visit their specialist page Here