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This type of cover insures cancellation costs of a car hire booking taken out after the insurance policy has started. If a policy offers this cover it will be detailed within the results displayed on the MoneyMaxim car hire excess insurance comparison service.
The use of this type of policy has however fallen as customers who are concerned about cancellation tend to book with a company who allows cancellation free of charge, rather than paying for an insurance premium to cover the risk.
Car rental agreements taken out directly with car rental companies such as Hertz, Avis and National differ in their cancellation policies. For example Hertz allow free cancellation and amendments up to 48 hours before departure (any upgrades will incur a charge). National give full refunds up to 3 days before departure, reduced refunds up to 24 hours before pick up and no refunds after that.
Some brokers such as Auto Europe, Cardelmar and Rental Cars also allow you to cancel or amend your booking right up to 48 hours before the pick up time.
A popular feature of the MoneyMaxim car hire comparison service is the 'Free Cancellation' filter which, when ticked, highlights these deals.
Other companies though offer agreements without cancellation rights. They rely on the fact that due to unforeseen circumstances car hirers have to cancel their booking, and in these cases the rental broker retains any prepayment. This in turn means they can use this to subsidise their headline rates, giving them a slightly more competitive price on comparison services..
If the hire costs are sizeable enough to make it painful to lose, cancellation insurance would be sensible to consider. Your travel insurance policy may also offer such cover in a number of circumstances.
This content was last reviewed on 31/10/2018