When you step off your flight and head for the car hire desk in the airport, you probably want to pick up the keys and go as quickly as you can. But often, there are lots of extra decisions to be made before you can get your vehicle.
Additionally, when you hire a car online, you usually won’t know exactly what you’re getting. Many car hire companies are vague about the specific cars they have available.
This raises a question. If you choose to buy car hire excess insurance from a separate company, can you be sure that your insurance will cover the vehicle you’re assigned on arrival?
Understanding Car Hire Excess Terms
Car hire excess insurance is designed to be a very flexible product. Insurance companies know that car hire companies have a vast range of vehicles available, from budget superminis through to luxury 4x4s.
The good news is that your car hire excess insurance policy should be applicable to any car you hire, with a couple of important stipulations:
You’ll need to ensure that your policy dates cover the entire length of your hire period; the easiest way to cover multiple trips is to buy an annual policy
You’ll need a policy that covers you for the locations you intend to drive through; for example, to drive to mainland Europe and back, you’d need a policy that covers you in Europe.
Of course, you also need valid documentation according to the requirements of the country or countries you’re visiting. If and when the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, these requirements could change, so it’s worth checking with your car hire company before you leave.
What Won’t be Covered?
In general, commercial vehicles won’t be covered under a car hire excess insurance policy. If you need space to transport items when you drive, you might want to consider a large SUV rather than a small van to ensure that your policy is valid.
You should also check the small print of your hire terms to ensure that you don’t exceed any restrictions, such as the maximum mileage allowed.
Finally, some car hire excess policies will cover the cost of breakdowns, but you need to deal with your car hire company in the first instance; your car hire excess policy isn’t a traditional breakdown policy like you’d have at home. If you do end up stranded, and your car hire company charges you for repairs or recovery, your car hire excess insurance may cover the costs that they pass on.
Different policies have different terms and excess requirements.
Why Risk It?
You can buy car hire excess insurance from your car hire company each time you rent a vehicle.
However, this is almost always an expensive endeavour.
Car hire companies tend to charge much more than specialist car hire excess insurance providers.
Whether you need excess insurance for a one-off trip, or you’d like to cover every car that you hire over the course of a year, it’s worth buying your car hire excess insurance separately from the car hire itself. Contact Row.co.uk today to find out more about our excess insurance policies.
*The information in this blog is designed to provide helpful information on the subjects discussed. Please seek a professional for expert advice as we can not be held responsible for any damages or negative consequences upon following this information.