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Sally Wilson

Sally is a key member of the MoneyMaxim editorial team. She is a frequent hire-car user and often goes on holiday with her family. With an interest in getting great value for money, Sally shares her hints and tips for travelling and insurance.

What does Car Hire Excess Insurance cover?

Need an explanation of car hire excess insurance? We can help with all your questions regarding insurance for a car hire.

rental car

There is often a buzz - particularly at this time of year - about car hire excess insurance. It is talked about on television, in the national press, in magazines and, as can be seen below, on the radio with Martin Lewis.

Sometimes it is described as independent excess waiver insurance or just excess insurance but what exactly is it and why might you need it?

The insurance products you must have with any car hire are Collision Damage Waiver (also known as Loss Damage Waiver), theft protection and third party (sometimes known as Supplementary or Additional Liability Insurance).

The Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) covers damage to the bodywork of your hire car. This and also the theft protection both usually come with an excess - the first part of a claim which you are responsible for. These excesses can range from £500 to over £2,000 depending on the hire company, the vehicle and the location you are hiring.

Car hire excess insurance enables you to reclaim any excess you may have had to paid out. So if you are charged for a scratch when you return your rental vehicle, you pay and then claim the money back through your policy.

In some countries, notably the USA and Canada, you can often find that CDW and adequate liability insurance are not included. We can offer policies that will provide the cover you need, if this is the case with your car hire.

By using our vehicle hire insurance comparison service and filling out your details correctly, you can quickly find a policy that fits your requirements. Excess policies are available to cover not just cars but also rented vans, motorhomes and minibuses too.

There are additional benefits to car hire excess insurance

A number of areas are usually excluded from the CDW which can also be covered by a car hire excess insurance. These include:

  • loss of car keys

  • towing and recovery costs

  • damage to the roof or underbody of the car

  • windscreens and glass

  • tyres and wheels

Save money at the car hire desk

When you pick up your car your rental firm may well try to sell you their own excess waiver policy. These can cost around €15-20 a day. There are often separate options for cover for your tyres and glass. This insurance can end up costing you even more than your car hire!

If you purchase a car hire excess policy before you go (which will reimburse you for your excess as well as the cost of any damage to your tyres, wheels, roof, underbody and glass), you can turn down these additional optional insurances. Policies purchased through MoneyMaxim start from as little as £1.80 a day.

It is easy to get a quote with MoneyMaxim

The Moneymaxim Car Hire Excess Insurance comparison service asks just a few simple questions. Choose from an annual or daily policy, and between European or worldwide cover.

By using our comparison service and filling out your details correctly, you can quickly find a policy that fits your requirements. Excess policies are available to cover not just cars but also rented vans, motorhomes and minibuses too.

The claims process is straightforward

As they are reimbursement policies, the car hire company will still require a credit card when you collect your car. This pre-authorisation shows the car hire company that you have the funds to pay should there be any damage.

If you should have an incident, keep hold of any paperwork, police reports or receipts you are given to submit with your claim. Refunds are normally received within 8-10 working days.There are no excesses on these policies so, providing it is a valid claim, you will get all your money back!

We are here to help

There are occasions when your hire may be a little more complicated, or you may need a bit more help and that's where we come in. Our customer service team know all about excess insurance! Call us on 0800 520 0699 or through our webchat service available via the green tab at the bottom of any page on our website.

Martin Lewis explains the benefits of Car Hire Insurance on BBC 5 live.