Why you may need car hire excess insurance

car hire excess insurance

There is one very good reason why you may need car hire excess insurance – and that is the very serious money you might have to shell out if you do not have it.

The cost of not having the necessary cover is a consideration when arranging any type of general insurance, of course, but in the case of your hire car it might prove an especially compelling argument.

Hire car insurance and the excess

The European Consumer Guide to Car Rental, published by the European Car Rental Cociliation Service (ECRCS), issues a reminder that you remain financially responsible for any loss or damage to a vehicle whilst it is hired to you.

Hire car insurance – or a “damage waiver” agreement – may help to relieve you of some of that liability, but any such protection invariably comes with an excess.

With a possible excess of £1,500 (or more, in certain countries and especially if you are hiring a higher end vehicle), are you sure you might be able to do without this form of cover? You might choose to pass up the opportunity of buying it, of course, but that leaves you with the risk of paying a particularly hefty excess charge in the event of loss or damage to the vehicle whilst it is in your possession.

Many customers, therefore, decide to arrange car hire excess insurance.

How does it work?

It is a quite separate, standalone insurance policy which reimburses any excess you may need to pay following loss or damage to your hire car – provide, of course, that you have arranged sufficient cover to meet that excess charge.

It may be arranged simply and easily online, through specialist, independent providers – such as Bettersafe – who are based in the UK and, so, able to arrange your policy before you so much as set out on your travels.

The cost of your premiums are determined by the part of the world in which you intend to hire a car and for the duration of the hire period. Car hire excess insurance may be arranged either for a single trip or by way of an annual policy which keeps any hire car excess safely protected irrespective of the number of times you need to rent a car.

Why not buy it from my car rental company?

You are almost certain to be offered this form of excess insurance by your car hire company and, unless you had the foresight to arrange it before leaving home, might be tempted to take up that offer.

It is widely believed, by the Money Saving Expert for one, that excess insurance from this source is very expensive for the degree of protection offered and it may continue to leave unprotected damage to certain areas of the vehicle – typically, the undercarriage, roof, windows, wheels and tyres.

If there is any suggestion on the part of the car hire company or its agents that such excess insurance is somehow obligatory, it is important to stand your ground and insist that whether or not you choose or need it is entirely your own decision.