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Car hire excess insurance

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Learn how to save money on your car insurance with our special guide...

What is car hire excess insurance?

If you are involved in a car accident and have to make a claim on your insurance, you have to pay towards the cost of the claim. The amount you pay is known as your policy ‘excess’ – and the insurance you get with your hire car is no different.

The problem with car hire excess is that most people just tick the box to include it when they arrange for their hire vehicle, not realising that it could add as much as £20 per day to the total cost of the hire car.

As car hire excess amounts can be anywhere from £200 to £2,000 if you make a claim, it is definitely worth having the extra cover to make sure you’re not left with a hefty excess bill.

However, you don’t have to pay the sometimes exorbitant amounts quoted by the rental company. There are lots of specialist car hire excess insurance companies offering cover for as little as £2 per day – start comparing quotes and find the best deal for you now:

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Save money on your next car insurance policy by only comparing policies suited to your needs.

Annual and single trip car hire excess insurance

Car hire excess insurance is a lot like travel insurance, in that you can choose to buy a policy to protect you for just a single trip or an annual policy to provide cover all year round.

Whether to get annual or single car hire excess insurance will depend on how often you hire a vehicle. If you only plan to hire a car once or maybe twice a year while on holiday or on a break, then it will work out cheaper if you arrange a single policy each time.

If you regularly hire cars or plan to hire a car for a long period of time (e.g. a month or six weeks) then you will probably find it more cost effective to get an annual – or ‘multi-trip’ policy.

You can also find specialist policies to cover you for UK and Europe travel, and separate worldwide car hire excess insurance.

As always, make sure you do your research and compare policies from a range of suppliers before choosing the right policy for you. Let Bobatoo help you find the best deal.

Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)

In many countries, car rental insurance products include what is called a Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and Supplementary Liability Insurance (SLI) as standard.

However, in some countries – particularly the United States of America and Canada – car rentals may require CDW and SLI on top.

A CDW is not insurance as such, it as actually an agreement that the rental company will waive the cost of damage to the hire car if it is damaged in a collision. You are still responsible to pay your excess, but the rest of the cost for repairs is waived.

It is worth noting that some parts of a car are often not included in the Collision Damage Waiver. These include the tyres, wheels, roof, undercarriage and windscreen.

Supplementary Liability Insurance (SLI)

Supplementary Liability Insurance (SLI) provides cover to hire cars for any claims made by third parties – either for damage to their car or if any personal injury is caused, even if it was not your fault.

In the UK and Europe, along with Australia, New Zealand and Africa, SLI is usually included as part of the minimum insurance that you have to sign up for with the hire company.

However, you may find that in North America and parts of South and Central America only very limited or no third party liability insurance is included. This can leave you financially exposed if you are involved in a serious accident that leads to third party damage or injury.

You don’t have to buy this extra cover from the rental company though, as you will more than likely find CDW/SLI cover much cheaper elsewhere.

Why you need car hire excess insurance

Depending on the particular rental company and what car you choose to hire, the policy excess you have to take on when arranging the hire could be anywhere from £200 to £2,000.

Car hire excess insurance will usually be offered as an extra product when you arrange your car hire, and as it tends to be quite expensive many people choose not to buy it – leaving them at risk of having to pay the excess amount if they are involved in an accident.

Arranging your own car hire excess insurance can cost as little as £2 per day, so for a seven-day holiday you can protect against paying the excess for as little £15 in total – a small price to pay for peace of mind while you enjoy your break.


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