Excess Insurance- What’s it for?

There will be times when you physically can’t use your own car, for example when you are on a holiday or when your car is in the garage and is being repaired. During those times, you would likely rent a car. Excess Insurance is really important in these circumstances and it will cover you for a whole range of things that could go wrong with the hire car. How will you pay for the damages if something happens to the car you rented—like encountering mechanical trouble, or getting into a collision? This is when excess insurance cover comes in handy.

What is Excess Insurance?

Excess insurance is an optional insurance policy that can protect you against excess charges you may incur in the event that a car you rented gets damaged or worse, stolen. It is also known by other names like car hire excess insurance and excess waiver insurance.

It works like this—  you hire a car with the standard car hire insurance or collision damage/loss damage waiver.  In case of a damage to the car, you’ll have to pay an excess before the car rental firm covers the rest of the damages. This is the amount that you can reimburse if you have car hire excess insurance cover. Suffice to say, without excess cover, you could shell out a lot of money if there’s a substantial damage to the vehicle or it gets stolen.

The amount of the excess would vary from one rental provider to another. But just to give you an idea, its range would be between £500 and £2,000 which is more than the cost of renting the vehicle. The amount can even be higher if you rented a high value car.

What Does it Specifically Cover?

Car hire excess insurance usually covers the following:

  • Charges applied in case vehicle is damaged or stolen
  • Damage to any part of the vehicle like roof, undercarriage, headlights, windows and tyres
  • Lost or stolen keys
  • Towing costs
  • Misfuelling

What Does It Not Cover?

  • Luggage, cash, and other valuables stolen along with the car
  • Mechanical breakdown due to vehicle wear and tear

When Do You Need an Excess Insurance?

While some people would think that an excess insurance is only needed when they are on a holiday, the truth is that there are circumstances when you need to hrie a vehicle. For example, your car might need an extended repair and you have to rent a car to ferry your children. You can’t be sure that nothing will happen to the car you’re renting. This is when you would want to have excess car hire insurance cover.

Why Do I Need Excess Insurance?

You may feel that the standard insurance like collision damange cover that comes with car rental would fully protect you against out-of-pocket expenses. The truth is, said type of cover merely reduces the amount that you would need to pay in case the car you rented gets damaged or stolen.

Is It Worth It?

For most motorists, getting excess insurance cover for hire cars from an insurance firm is very practical. Drivers who have experienced renting a car before would tell you that car rental firms will offer very cheap rates for their vehicles. But they’ll offer other services  like collision damage cover which is usually £15 per day for this cover in order to generate profits.

A more practical option would be to buy excess cover car insurance from specialists. The rates are cheaper, with some going as low as £49 annually.

And for most tourists, getting an excess insurance is very much a necessity. It gives them peace of mind, knowing that they will get covered in case anything unfortunate happens to the car they rented. With this type of insurance, they don’t have to worry about the state of the roads they’re traversing will cause damage to the tires or suspension of the car they’re renting.

What to Consider When Choosing Excess Insurance Provider?

There are some things you need to look for when selecting an insurer that provides insurance excess cover.

One thing you need to look into is the type of cover. There are policies that give you cover only in the country that you are using the hired car. There are also car hire excess insurance cover Europe, meaning you are covered in the event that you will be bringing the rented vehicle to other countries, like Germany if you’re coming from the UK. And then there are policies that provide worldwide coverage, meaning wherever you are in the world you’ll get protection in the event that the car you rented gets damaged or stolen.

Aside from the fees, you’d want to look into whether it offers right to cancellation. The period may vary, although most firms offering hire car excess cover offer 14 days for you to cancel the policy.  This, however, is only offered in polices covering a period of 30 days or more.

Of course, you should know the maximum cover, the number of claims you can make, and how you can make a claim.

You’d also want an excess insurance policy that would let you add more drivers. This is  helpful if you have other members of the family who travel independently at different times. So if your spouse or father hires a car, then you could have them protected if you have a car excess insurance cover.

Where is Best to Buy Excess Insurance?

You can always go online and visit websites of specialist firms that provide car hire excess insurance. Or you can go to websites that offer car hire excess insurance cover comparison, so you can compare features and fees.

How to Buy Excess Insurance?

After comparing features and fees, you should also read the fine print of the policy. Understand what is covered and what’s not covered. To save on costs, you should buy car excess insurance from specialist insurers. It’ usually cheaper than those offered by car rental firms themselves.

Simply put it, buying a car rental excess insurance now can save you a lot of headaches in the future.

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