One of the biggests complaints when travellers have booked a car rental is the extra insurance costs presented to them at the rental agency.
These are termed “Excess Insurance Payment” and “Collision Damage Waiver”.
Many customers are totally unaware that there usually is an “Excess Premium” that can sometimes cost more than the price of the rental car!
When you first book your car hire the rental company in their agreement with you will normally include cover for Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and Theft Protection. This is a basic insurance cover. This means the rental company will partially cover damages incurred in the event of an accident or theft. It is not a full comprehensive insurance cover. Also it is just for the car, therefore does not include loss of keys, or windscreen damage. Also if tyres are damaged or the undercarriage is damaged this is not included in this insurance cover.
So then, if you are unfortunate to have an accident causing damage to the vehicle, or you become the victim of car theft and it is stolen, you will have an “Excess” premium to pay.
Theft Protection Insurance covers for costs associated to the theft or attempted theft of the rental vehicle. However it does not cover the loss of personal possessions that were in the vehicle at the time of the theft.
So that explains what basic cover is included in the price when you hire the car. You will still be liable for the Excess Premium is an accident occurs and damage is the result.
The “Excess” premium is payable if the car is damaged due to an accident, or the car is stolen or the keys are lost. Please be aware that some car rental companies also charge for clutch failure during the rental period.
The amount of the “Excess” varies depending on what car you decide to hire and each company has it’s own excess amount. It is always best to check what “excess” amount is to be charged before you make your reservation. Please note: This amount will be held by the car rental company on your credit card in case such an event should happen.
There is a way to free up your credit card and avoid the rental company putting an excess hold on your card. Basically the hire car company will offer you their Excess Insurance Policy and you need to pay for this when collecting your car. However, this can be very expensive, sometimes costing as much as £30.00 per day!
There is a cheaper option. This is Damage Refund Insurance. When making your booking through this website you can choose this option and it will reduce your excess liability to € 0.00 and you will receive a full refund for any Excess paid.
However, this will not stop the rental company taking the excess amount as security on your credit card. Even if you show them the documentation as proof you have this extra insurance. They will usually still try and get you to buy their insurance to cover the excess. However this is not necassary. When you return the vehicle undamgaged they will unblock the hold they put on your credit card.
If you return the vehicle damaged or it is stolen, the car rental company will deduct the cost of any damage from the deposit they are holding on your credit card.
You will then need to re-claim this amount from the Damage Refund Insurance company. Therefore, it is important that you obtain an estimate or invoice from the car rental company for the cost of the repair to submit with your claim to the insurance company.
For further information on the details of the Damage Refund Insurance policy we offer click on the Terms & Conditions and “Insurance Explained” also the “IPID document” before purchasing the insurance policy.