Car rental insurance is a confusing topic and you will often get confused by terminology and jargon used by car rental companies. In this article we provide an explanation of car rental insurance that will help you understand what different policies include in their cover.
Insurance included in costs
Most car rental companies offer insurance as part of the total cost for the car itself but this should always be checked beforehand as you don’t want to leave yourself without sufficient protection. In most countries in Europe, car rental companies will offer third party cover as standard but some policies will provide more comprehensive protection.
Some insurance companies also offer a collision damage waiver (CDW). This covers you against damage to yourself or the rental car. If you have an accident and do not have CDW you may find yourself with substantial repair costs. You should always check if CDW is included in the basic insurance policy. Most companies will offer to upgrade your car hire insurance policy to include CDW for a fee if it is not provided as standard.
What is covered?
It is always worth checking your insurance policy to clarify what it actually covers you for. You should double check whether you are completely covered against third party claims. Some companies cover you up to a certain fee but not beyond that.
For example are the wheels, roof and windows all covered in the event of a crash or damage to the rental car? Sometimes these parts of the car are excluded from insurance policies and as the repairs costs for these areas can be high, you won’t want to have to pay for them out of your own pocket.
It is also important to check whether the car rental insurance has a premium attached to it and how much this excess will cost. Excess is the first part of the claim that you have to pay.
For example, you may have an excess of £500. If you make a claim for an accident which amounts to £1000, you will have to pay the first £500 of the bill whilst the insurance company will pay the remaining £500.
Understand the insurance policy you are taking out, what is covered in your policy and how much will you have to pay on top of a policy to ensure you are getting the protection you need and at a fair price.