SLI (Supplementary Liability Insurance) is a top-up policy which is designed – as the name suggests – to supplement any liability cover that may be provided by your car rental firm. It’s a popular choice, given that rental firms’ liability cover is sometimes insufficient because there’s no third party cover or the level is too low.
Why do I need supplemental liability insurance?
This additional liability cover means that if you are involved in an accident in your hire car, you’re insured against property damage and personal injury. SLI will cover you in the event of a higher claim by increasing third party cover to more comfortable limits.
If the hire company’s policy doesn’t have third party liability cover or the limits are low then you won’t be covered if you cause an accident. That means that you’ll have to pay for any repair and medical bills for anyone involved.
Do I need supplementary liability insurance when I hire a car in Europe?
In Europe third party liability insurance is generally included when you hire a car.
In the US and Canada where third party cover either doesn’t exist or can be as low as just $15,000 US, you can be left hugely exposed if you cause an accident. Picking up supplemental liability insurance means that you can drive away with complete peace of mind.
Can I claim on my supplementary liability insurance if I’m not at fault?
No. This type of cover only pays out when you’re the driver at fault. For example, if a driver backs into you and writes off their car, you won’t be considered to be at fault because it wasn’t your actions that caused the damage. If you reverse into another vehicle and it’s a write off you will be liable for the damage and you’ll need to claim on your supplemental liability insurance.
How do I make a claim?
Contact your insurance provider as soon as possible to make a claim. They’ll talk you through the claims procedure and ask to see any paperwork relating to the claim, for example a police report, details of third party damages and your insurance certificate. Make sure you have access to a hard copy or digital copy of your documents.
Do I have to buy the insurance offered by the rental company?
No you don’t. The level of cover can be insufficient for your needs, leaving you in need of top up or supplemental insurance. As with car hire excess insurance, you’ll be much better off buying before you travel. That way you can compare different policies and get the right level of cover at the right price.
If you’re a frequent traveller, you can take out annual rather than single trip insurance for even greater savings. You’ll arrive at your destination and collect your hire car with the peace of mind of knowing you’re totally covered. Buy at the last minute from your car hire company and you may pay premium rates for less cover.
What are the benefits of a stand-alone supplemental liability insurance policy?
Organise your cover in advance and check that your chosen policy really does offer the level of cover you require. You’ll have a wider choice of policies and insurers to make sure you’re fully covered.
A stand-alone policy can also cost you significantly less than the cover that’s offered by your car rental company. And there’s nothing like having the peace of mind of knowing you’re fully covered before you drive away.