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Andrew leads our Operational Team and is our expert when it comes to all the ins and outs of car hire excess insurance.
New research from The Post Office® reveals that 63% of motorists driving a hire car in Europe do not take out any form of excess waiver insurance at all. As vulnerable items like tyres, windscreen and the underside of the rental car are either excluded from hire company's waiver policies or are an even more expensive extra, 79% of hirers do without full cover.
According to the Post Office® Car Rental Report, drivers without excess insurance could be liable for up to £1,186 if they have an accident or the hire car was stolen.
The Post Office, found a wide variety in typical excesses charged between countries, ranging from the cheapest, Turkey at £400, Spain around £550, France £777, Italy £842 up to the most expensive, Ireland at £1,186.
It should be noted these excesses were averages from prices obtained from Avis, Hertz and Europcar so higher excesses are certainly out there.
The Post Office also showed that the cost of car hire could double when paying at the desk for car hire excess insurance. They found basic car rental in the Costa Del Sol could cost as little as £124, but adding Excess Waiver Insurance and cover for tyres, undercarriage and windows added £152 to the bill. In fact, the Post Office Travel Money team calculated the average cost of a weeks Excess Waiver Insurance in Europe to be £101.70.
Post Office Travel Money's Andrew Brown said: "Car hire costs can go through the roof when extras are added so it is understandable that many motorists go for the cheapest rate offered when booking online. It can also be very difficult to find out the cost of Excess Waiver Insurance before travel and it is only when collecting the car that what seemed a cheap deal becomes a very expensive one.
"However, the consequence of not paying for the extra insurance could be a much higher bill if you have an accident or if another driver hits your car and leaves without giving his details. There is an easy solution to this because you can buy an insurance policy before leaving home for a fraction of the cost of EWI.”
There is strong competition between car hire excess insurance companies and the best way to see the differences between policies is to see them on the same page on the MoneyMaxim car hire excess insurance comparison service. A week's car hire insurance can cost from as little as £12.95 covering excesses up to £3,000. Annual multi-trip policies are available from £37.80.
Don't forget though, that insurance isn't all about the lowest price, there are no less than 11 Annual policies covering Europe on our site costing between £37.80 and £45.00. All cover the basics: excess including damage to tyres, undercarriage and windows but also offer a variety of additional features such as misfuelling, lost key, towing, baggage, personal injury, extended rental cover etcetera. Using the car hire excess insurance comparison service on MoneyMaxim you can easily find the best insurance for your needs and friendly telephone support is available if you need assistance.