If you are planning to hire a car on holiday or have already arranged your rental, then it may be in your interests to pay particular attention to the details of the insurance cover for the hire car.
You may be inclined to think that if there is insurance included as part of the hire car package, then that’s all there is to it and that you are adequately covered.
The fact is though that the insurance offered by many rental companies may be only part of the story and you may find that in the event the vehicle was damaged or stolen, you would still be responsible for at least some of the repair or replacement costs. Reading through the terms and conditions of your cover is vital if you are to understand the extent to which you may be liable for costs.
That’s because the Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) with which the car rental company relieves you of financial responsibility for the car during the rental typically has an excess which could be as much as £1600.
In the event of an incident the car hire company would simply just debit the required amount from your credit card. You would typically have no involvement in the estimation of the damage to be repaired or who would be carrying out the work.
There is a form of rental hire insurance cover which you could buy to protect yourselves against these costs.
The rental company may even try to sell some to you and they may typically refer to this cover as Super CDW. Their sales pitch may typically only come when you are picking up your keys, at which point you won’t really have much choice. There is no competition and their premiums may reflect this.
On the other hand you could buy rental car excess cover from an independent third party specialist provider. You do this in advance of your rental. Then if there is an excess charge made on your credit card, you simply make a claim on this insurance policy for reimbursement.
Another feature of CDW cover to take note of is that it may typically exclude the tyres, windscreen and undercarriage of the rental vehicle from cover so that any damage to these areas would be your responsibility.
You may find though that with an independently sourced excess policy any costs for these areas would also be covered.
This could provide you with significant peace of mind that you were not going to be landed with a repair bill for someone else’s car.