What is Car Hire Excess Insurance?
In Europe car hire generally comes with full insurance but is subject to an excess typically of £1000 or even more. In the case of damage to the hire vehicle or any third party, the rental customer will be required to pay costs up to the excess limit, and the car hire company's insurance will cover the remainder.
It is this excess that is covered by the standard ReduceMyExcess policy.
In the US the situation is more complex as typically the rental company only covers third party claims (through supplementary liability insurance), leaving the entire value of the vehicle uninsured. ReduceMyExcess can cover this (max $US 50k) if the CDW option is selected.
Our car hire excess insurance also offers additional cover levels, some of which may not be covered by the car hires excess waiver.
For more information, why not check out our blog? We’ve written all about this in our What is Car Hire Excess Insurance? blog post.
What types of cover are available?
We offer two main types of cover, single trip, or annual. Our single trip policy (as its name suggests), is best for people planning a single trip away. Our annual cover is more suited to people who are going away more than once a year. On top of this, our annual policy automatically covers up to 4 immediate family members who live with you, as long as they’re named drivers on the rental agreement.
Our policies also cover different time frames. Our single trip cover can be used for shorter trips up to a maximum of 31 days. Our annual policies are split between covering trips up to 31 and 62 days long; so even for those once-in-a-lifetime, incredible, round-the-world trips, you’ll be relieved to know one policy is all you’ll need.
Geographically, our cover is split up into three sections. UK and Europe, Worldwide and Worldwide+. Our UK and Europe cover extends to Europe only, our worldwide cover includes the rest of the world but not US and Canada, and our Worldwide+ does include USA and Canada.
What is Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)?
Collision Damage Waiver (CDW to the acronyms lovers out there) offers you a level of protection when hiring a car. It is usually, but not always provided by car rental companies in Europe. Without this protection, if damage to your rental vehicle exceeds the excess, you would be responsible for paying the full amount. In other words, you may have to pay the entire cost of the vehicle, so always check whether it's included.
If you’re visiting the US or Canada (and some other countries outside of Europe), you’ll find most rental companies won’t include CDW, and will ask you if you wish to purchase this from them. The rental market in these territories is a bit different and many people choose to get their cover from 3rd party suppliers such as credit-card companies. You can always contact the rental company before you book to ask their specific CDW requirements.
Read more about CDW here: our blog