If travelling for you involves hiring a car on arrival in your destination, you will no doubt have encountered that conversation at the car rental desk that relates to buying insurance to cover the excess on your rental agreement.
Just when you thought all car hire charges had been finalised upfront, the car rental people are asking for more money – and quite a sum too. In some cases, it could easily be another £150 or €175 a week or a £25/€29 a day charge.
The sale of this insurance at the in-resort or airport car rental desk can be pretty aggressive and many travellers will give in to the demand, having heard the rep’s scaremongering with regard to how much even a simple scratch could cost the car hirer.
Yet, go without cover and you could find some truth in that, with many rental car companies using garages charging highly inflated prices for repairs.
How to buy affordable car hire excess insurance
The answer to this money trap is to buy your car hire excess insurance before you touch down, securing your cover through the purchase of a policy that you can buy whilst still at home and which will save you a significant sum.
Europesure Travel Insurance offers all of its customers, across the UK, EU, EEA, Monaco and Gibraltar, the opportunity to purchase car hire excess insurance as an add-on to their annual travel insurance policy. This will cost them €18 on a 17-day-per-trip policy, €31.50 for a 32-day-per-trip-policy, and €55.13 and €96.71 for a 45-day-trip and 90-day-trip policy, respectively. The equivalent sums apply in Pounds. This is opposed to the £25 per day cost of such cover that money experts such as Martin Lewis say is an industry norm at car hire rental desks.
Can an EU or EEA resident buy this car hire excess insurance?
A Europesure car hire excess add-on policy can be purchased by anyone in the countries that Europesure Travel Insurance covers and no matter where you are travelling to. The requirement is just that you are hiring a car and not a camper van, motorbike moped, motor home or other vehicle. Its value should not be more than £50,000 and it should be no more than 10 years old. You need to be aged between 21 and 65 and should drive the hired car on the highway/public roads only.
The policy will ensure that anything you are charged through the general car hire policy rental agreement’s excess requirement is reimbursed (up to £5000/€5000 in Europe and ten times that amount worldwide.) That will take a weight off your mind, no matter how careful a driver you are. The fact is that much rental car damage is done when the car is parked up and often caused by a third party – something over which you have no control.
The policy works on the basis of you paying the amount required by the hire company, up to the excess amount, and then reclaiming that from Europesure.
What else does a Europesure car hire excess insurance policy cover?
If you should lose your keys or incur key damage for any reason, the policy will also cover replacements and locksmith services to try to get you back into the vehicle.
Also, should you not be able to use all or a part of your intended 7+ days car rental, due to being confined to bed for medical reasons, there is curtailment cover through this policy that will deliver a reimbursement. If illness leads to hospitalisation for at least one night, rendering you unable to return the car to its intended return point, the policy will also assist with that.
And we all know how confusing refuelling can be in a foreign country, don’t we, especially if the rental company has not made it crystal clear which fuel you need. Worry not! If you do mis-fuel the vehicle, the policy will cover the cost of a fuel drainage service and flush out. If you need to be towed, for any reason, it will even provide cover for that.
What other benefits are there?
As well as saving you lots of money, this policy will provide some protection that many policies bought from car rental companies do not. Many of their policies exclude cover for tyres and windscreens. The Europesure Travel Insurance policy includes damage to these and make sure you are not left footing the bill for repair or replacement. Again, you would just pay the hire company and then reclaim on your Europesure policy.
As it is an add-on to your travel insurance policy, it also means that your insurances are in one place. Just select the travel insurance you require (single trip or annual multi-trip travel insurance policy), to the level of protection your need (silver, gold or platinum) and for the destination/s to which you will travel. Delete any covers you don’t need and add on any – like car hire excess insurance – that you do. Then, you should be good to go.
Will I face any issues?
Once you have your car hire excess policy packed and ready for your holiday, all you have to do is stand firm at the car rental desk. Selling these policies is lucrative business for car rental companies and they may attempt to tell you that your policy is not valid in their country or will not provide the same benefits. Do not be swayed into buying their policy on top. You will still have to let them swipe your credit card so that they have a deposit on the actual car but you do not have to buy their car hire excess policy.
Just sign the agreement you had already made with them, detailing the costs of which you were already aware, pick up the keys and find your car. You should have the peace of mind of knowing that an accident or damage will not cost you an arm and a leg and simply be able to motor off into the sunset.
Head to www.europesuretravelinsurance.com to select your travel insurance cover and then add on your car hire excess insurance protection.