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Andrew Daniel

Andrew leads our Operational Team and is our expert when it comes to all the ins and outs of car hire excess insurance.

Big Bill for Damage to Underside of Hire Car

Everyone knows about the heavy excesses on hire cars, but did you know your bill could be higher than that? So how and how to protect yourself?

When you rent a car there's always an excess if you damage it, but in some cases the hire company will charge you far more than that as Telegraph reader Tori Tomlin from Newcastle discovered recently.

The car came with Collision Damage Waiver insurance with an excess of €865. However, when Tori was unable to avoid a rock that fell into the road and hit it damaging the underside of the car there was no cover at all. This left Tori picking up a bill for over €2250.

This is a common exclusion to CDW insurance along with tyres, windscreens and windows. Most of the additional insurance policies sold by hire firms and all the policies on the MoneyMaxim car hire excess insurance comparison service cover these items as well as the CDW excess. But it does show that you may need to cover more than just the CDW excess on your hire car.

Unfortunately Tori had declined the additional insurance offered by the hire company for £50 for two weeks and has been left with the bill.

As the Telegraph's consumer champion Gill Charlton pointed out, there is no need to pay that much for two weeks cover and suggested that an annual policy from Insurance4carhire providing £5000 cover (£4000 max per claim) for European rentals could be bought for just £50.

Better news is that Insurance4carhire have reduced their rates and you can now buy the same policy for £45.99. Even better, buy through MoneyMaxim car hire insurance comparison and that policy costs just £38.00 and you can compare cover and features of all the market leading insurers in one place.