Excesses on car hire insurance policies can be eye wateringly high. If your hire car is stolen or damaged, without excess insurance you could have a bill for thousands of pounds. Most of us compare our home, car or travel insurance and so why not compare car hire excess insurance.
Many car hire companies trade on the fact that by the time you get to the rental desk, you’re desperate to get away, either on holiday or on your business trip. So you aren’t likely to be checking too closely when the excess insurance is added, as one of those extras they love to pile on just when you thought you’d paid for everything. After all, you’ve chosen a rental firm with a great hire rate, so how expensive can some insurance add-on be?
Juicy profits on excess insurance for rental companies
Unfortunately, with some car rental companies, the very fact you got a competitive price on the rental means that they’re looking to get extra profit elsewhere. And excess insurance is a “too boring to listen to” extra added to your bill in a hurry. Leaving you counting the cost once the credit card bill comes in.
So given that it’s vital, it’s really worth thinking about before you’re at the rental desk. If you compare excess insurance prices, as you’ve probably done for the rental, you can bag a much better deal. Your policy could be up to 65% cheaper than the policy the car rental firm would like you to take.
Unfortunately, rather than lose this juicy profit, the rental companies sometimes try to put obstructions in your way in order to persuade you to take their insurance instead. Tactics can include saying that the insurance isn’t valid. Why would it be invalid, given that it isn’t insurance for the car, but only for the excess? The only possible reason could be a clause in their main car insurance saying you couldn’t get excess insurance elsewhere. So ask them to point this clause out to you if they try this excuse.
Compare policies and get the deal that suits you best
Another great benefit of a “standalone” excess policy is that you choose the cover and compare car hire excess insurance. The policy the rental company adds to your hire may be wholly unsuitable for how you’ll be using the car. Similarly, they may give you multi-trip cover you don’t want – or withhold it, when it would be a cheaper option because you travel often. When you’re putting together your own policy, you’re in charge and can choose which countries it should include and what period of time it should cover.
Other things that you can check are that the excess insurance covers you if you have to claim on the main insurance for items such as tyres, windows, the roof and the car’s undercarriage. These are frequently left out of policies, as drivers discover to their dismay when they actually make a claim.
So buying a standalone excess policy before you travel is well worth it in terms of peace of mind alone. If you compare excess insurance prices and choose the best policy before you go, you’re not a sitting duck when you get to the rental desk with tired kids in tow. You can smile calmly and shake your head politely when they try to add on that extremely pricey excess policy.