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Before you pick up your hire car! - this is certainly the most important factor when it comes to independent car hire excess insurance. Unfortunately, your insurance will not be valid if you purchase it after you have picked up, or are in legal possession of, your hire car.
Buying early also allows you time to amend the policy if it is not correct
Buy at least the day before you travel to get the widest choice - you can purchase a policy right up until you pick up the car, but to get the widest range of policies available, we recommend running a quote at least 24 hrs before you leave home. Some companies will not allow you to purchase on the day of hire, and some will not allow their policies to be purchased when you are abroad. Unlike travel insurance, there is no real benefit to booking far in advance, apart from the peace of mind in knowing it is one item ticked off your to-do list!
Annual Car Hire Excess Policies - these policies are a great idea if you have a long holiday or multiple trips planned. Generally speaking, if your number of car hire days is for more than 16/17 days then they are normally better value than a single trip policy, and there are policies which can cover trips up to a maximum of 62 days. To make the most of this cover, make sure to start the policy on the first day of your first trip, as then you will get a full year's cover from that day forward..
US/Canada trips - book the car hire first - because the type of insurance you need for car hire in US/Canada can vary, it is generally better to look for your car hire first to simplify things and so you know what you'll need.
If you book through a UK or European car hire website, generally the main insurances of CDW (collision damage waiver), SLI (supplementary liability insurance) and theft protection will be included. So, in this instance, you may wish to just purchase a straightforward excess insurance policy which may also provide cover for the glass, mirrors and undercarriage of the car for example.
If you book through a site in the Americas, either when you are there or if you have a car included in your fly-drive package, the situation is slightly different. You will frequently find that the main insurances are not included in your car hire, or include levels which you may think are insufficient (with regards to SLI cover). So then you could tailor your car hire excess quote to include CDW and SLI insurance too. For more information about car hire excess insurance and US/Canada please click here
US/Canada trips - book at least 24hrs in advance - if you are already Stateside you will be on a different timezone so, to allow for time difference issues, we would recommend allowing 24hrs before your car hire is due to begin to purchase your car hire excess insurance.
Run a quote for your car hire excess insurance by clicking here
If you have any queries do call a member of the MoneyMaxim car hire insurance team.
This content was last reviewed on 26/06/2020