Car Rental Insurance - The need to knows! April 06 2016, 0 Comments
So you're traveling overseas and you've decided the best way to get around is to rent a vehicle. You've read up on licensing requirements and found a reputable rental company with booking availability. But what about insurance? What happens if the worst happens? Are you fully covered by the rental company? Will your travel insurance cover you? Or do you need to make separate arrangements?
These questions are unfortunately not the easiest to answer and naturally, they change depending on where you're planning to go. Having said that, there are some common things that you do need to know when it comes to car rental insurance.
- Do I need car rental insurance to rent a car overseas?
Many car hire companies make their profit by selling add-ons. They will offer a form of basic rental insurance with their rental packages which will often only cover a major crash, a write off or theft and no minor damage e.g. smashed widows. It will leave you with a hefty excess usually between $750 - $1500. They will then try to sell you a CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) Insurance that covers this excess but can be very expensive. It is very important that you read the details of these policies thoroughly.
- Can I get my own insurance?
Yes you can and you should. There are many independent insurance companies that have blanket policies covering a range of eventualities and are available for short or long term periods. They're also much cheaper than rental companies, are much clearer to understand and have been known to be more trustworthy. These policies will often cover minor damage such as windows, undercarriage, scratches and dents etc.. and cover the rental companies excess. They have a reputation for quick and easy customer service and are known for taking the question marks out of car rental insurance.
- Does the CWD insurance cover all excess?
Not necessarily. For most international rentals, the collision damage waiver insurance does not completely cover the rental vehicle. Depending on the location and the size of the vehicle, there will also be a deductible (non-waivable excess) that you would have to pay should there be damage caused to the car.
- Does my travel insurance or credit card cover car rental insurance?
It can do, contact your insurance company or credit card supplier to see if this is something that they offer prior to making arrangements. If they do of course, check all the details and what elements will be covered in the event of an accident or what costs you may be liable for.
To summarize, rental car companies can and will try to sell you insurance policies. They will also apply mandatory policies and if you're not careful, these can often become very costly, very quickly. The best route to take is to ensure you are independently covered before renting and remain clear on your liabilities should the worst happen. Otherwise - Enjoy your trip and stay safe on the road!