Car Hire Excess Insurance FAQs

General Car Hire Excess FAQs:

What is car hire excess insurance?

Car hire excess insurance is an addendum to an existing policy which provides you with robust levels of financial coverage in the event of an accident, damage or theft. This excess can also cover areas such as the tyres, the undercarriage, and the windscreen. These are not often included within a standard policy offered by a car hire agency.

Do I need a car hire excess policy?

This is an excellent form of insurance to help prevent out-of-pocket costs resulting from damage or theft. Should this coverage not be present, you could very well find that you are required to pay thousands of pounds in excess. Although this policy may not be as relevant if you plan on renting a vehicle for a single day, longer trips or more frequent requirements will provide you with a peace of mind in knowing that you are financially protected. If the car you are renting is intended to be used when travelling abroad, this type of excess insurance is another prudent and worthwhile choice.

How do I make a claim?

Making a claim may feel like a huge task, but if you are prepared with the documents you need to make a claim, it will make the process much easier. In order to make a claim, you will need a copy of the car hire certificate of insurance, the original vehicle rental agreement, and a receipt (if the two are separate), a copy of both sides of your driving license, and possibly an additional form of identification, copes of any receipts, invoices or statements confirming any amount you have had to pay as a result of the incident that you are claiming for, if the police were involved, a copy of the police report (particularly for any incidents involving theft,) a copy of the car hire company’s accident damage report and a copy of your bank statements showing payment for the damages you are claiming for, if you have paid for any costs.

What documents do I need to take out an excess insurance policy?

Nothing up front. You will be able to take out the excess insurance policy by confirming that you accept the terms of the insurance policy and are able to confirm that your age is between 21 and 85, that all people to be insured under the policy have a full valid driver’s license from their country of residence (or for the country in which they are renting the vehicle), and agree to the terms and conditions of the excess insurance policy. To make a claim you will need to provide proof that you meet the terms of the policy agreement.

What is collision damage waiver?

Otherwise known as CDW, collision damage waiver is an insurance policy that addresses instances of damage or theft while the car is being rented. Many companies offer a CDW plan within their entire insurance package. However, the financial levels covered are normally quite low. This can result in considerable excesses needing to be paid if a vehicle is severely damaged or stolen. Keep in mind that areas such as the roof, the windscreen and the undercarriage may NOT be included in this plan. It also does not take into account (normally) any interior damage suffered. It is always wise to check the specifics of any collision damage waiver plan to better understand what is included.

What is CDW insurance?

As hinted at in the last question, not all collision damage waiver policies provide enough financial protection. This is the primary reason why collision damage insurance is often a wise choice. CDW insurance is a supplemental policy which can be added to an existing plan. The purpose behind this type of insurance is to provide the policyholder with much more robust levels of coverage. As a result, hefty excess fees can be avoided. This is a sensible policy when travelling great distances or when driving in metropolitan areas known for accidents.

Find out more about CDW on our dedicated page

What vehicles are covered by my policy?

One of the most important factors to take into account is that not all vehicles are protected by car hire excess insurance. While the categories tend to vary from provider to provider, some exceptions can include: Any vehicle worth a significant amount of money. Cars that have significant acceleration speeds (such as sports cars). A vehicle that is over a certain age limit (such as 20 years). Variants such as motor homes, motorcycles, off-road vehicles and passenger vans. In the last case here, it is prudent to choose van hire excess insurance if goods or passengers are intended to be transported on a regular basis. To determine if any of these stipulations apply to your situation, it is wise to carefully read the terms and conditions of any car hire excess insurance policy.

Product specific excess insurance FAQs:

Can I cancel my policy at any time?

If you decide that you want to cancel your policy, it is imperative that you contact the policy provider as soon as possible. You may be liable to a cancellation or amendment fee. If your policy has already begun, please refer to the policy documents issued when you received confirmation of your purchase.

Can I get a refund if I cancel my policy?

If you decide to cancel your policy, you may be refunded a proportionate amount of the premium paid, given that you have not made a trip and that you have not made a claim (or intend to make a claim.) This refund will be subject to additional cancellation and administration charges.

What damages are covered in this policy?

Damages to your rental vehicle are covered in respect to vandalism, accident and theft, and loss of use of the vehicle. This includes damage to tyres, wheels, headlights, windows, the roof and the car’s undercarriage.

What damages are excluded from this policy?

The majority of damages are included, but damage incurred as a result of wrecklessness or negligence or criminal activity on the part of the insured driver is excluded. For a detailed list of excluded damages, refer to the policy documents provided.

Who is eligible to be insured under this policy?

Car hire excess insurance is available to any resident of the United Kingdom who is between the ages of 21 and 85 on the date of issue of the policy. To be eligible for car hire excess insurance, drivers must hold a full valid driving license, or hold a full internationally recognised and acknowledged driving license in order to drive the rental vehicle.

What is the excess on this policy?

£0. This policy protects you against paying any excess on car hire insurance policy. To that end, there is no excess on this policy.

Do I need to purchase car hire excess insurance before my rental agreement starts?

After your car hire has begun, you cannot retroactively apply a car hire excess policy. It is imperative that you purchase a car hire excess policy before you sign the rental agreement to hire the car.

What is supplement liability insurance (SLI)?

Supplemental liability insurance is another type of policy which protects the driver and the occupants of a vehicle against third-party claims. Please note that this can sometimes be referred to as additional liability insurance (ALI). To put it simply, this plan will financially cover the driver in the event that any claims arise from an accident or damage to a third party. Injuries can also be included within this option. Depending on the provider, SLI insurance may or may not be included within their standard car hire policy. Once again, this type of package can be purchased separately if required.

How is a daily excess policy different to an annual excess policy?

A daily excess policy protects you for ad hoc, one off car hire agreements and covers a specific set of dates, specified in advance, on your policy documents, up to a total of 180 consecutive days. An annual policy covers you for a total of 12 months from the initial issue date of the policy, and will cover you for unlimited car hire contracts for that period – given that each rental period does not exceed 62 consecutive days.

What is the maximum length of time I can take out a car hire excess insurance policy for?

A daily excess policy can be issued to cover you for a maximum of 180 consecutive days, while an annual policy will cover you for a maximum of 30 rental days in a row, but for an unlimited number of rentals within that year.

Can I add additional drivers to my policy?

There is no additional cost for addition drivers, everyone named as a driver on the car hire agreement listed on the rental agreement with the rental company is covered with our excess waiver. The lead driver on car rental document must be listed as the excess policy owner when buying with us.

Does my policy cover vans?

Car hire excess insurance does not include vans – for hire excess insurance on vans, you must take out a separate policy.

Does my policy cover motor homes?

Car hire excess insurance does not include motor homes – for hire excess insurance on motor homes, you must take out a separate policy.

Does my policy cover motorbikes or mopeds?

Car hire excess insurance does not include motorbikes or mopeds – for hire excess insurance on either of these, you must take out a separate policy.

Regional Car Hire Excess FAQs:

Are there any countries I cannot get cover in?

While we offer Worldwide coverage, there are nonetheless a number of countries that you will not be able to get cover in, including rentals in Afghanistan, Belarus, Cuba, Congo, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Liberia, North Korea, Myanmar, Sudan, South Sydan, Syria and Zimbabwe.

Why do policies change for different destinations?

Policies change from one destination to another in order to reflect the laws, by-laws and specific circumstances in different regions. While there are some similarities broadly across Europe, further afield requires changes to the policy in order to protect you and any other named drivers on the policy. Anywhere in the world including USA and Canada (which will include the Caribbean, South and Central America), but excluding any trip in, to, or through Afghanistan, Cuba, Congo, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Liberia, North Korea, Myanmar, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria or Zimbabwe.

What countries am I covered in with a worldwide excess insurance policy?

A worldwide excess insurance policy will protect you and your car hire excess anywhere in the world, excluding any trip that includes Afghanistan, Cuba, Congo, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Liberia, North korea, Myanmar, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, or Zimbabwe. A worldwide excess insurance policy will cover you in the USA and Canada, as well as the Caribbean, South America and Central America.

Am I only insured in the country I rent my vehicle in?

When you purchase European or Worldwide car hire excess insurance, you are covered for the duration of your trip, across countries – so if you are driving your rental car from France to Germany and back again, you will be covered in both countries.