The Complete Guide to Car Hire, Part Six: Car Hire Insurance
This week sees the final chapter in our serialisation of The Auto Europe Car Rental Roadmap, the online guide to every aspect of hiring a car.They key point to remember about car hire insurance is that it is not the same as car insurance policies for private vehicles. This means it's very important to read the terms & conditions carefully to see what is and what is not covered by the standard car hire insurance policy provided with your vehicle. These are the key factors to watch out for:
Who Provides the Insurance?: When you use a brokerage the insurance is provided by the car hire supplier. However, Auto Europe will provide an overview of the main terms & conditions on your voucher.
How Much is the Excess Payment if you do Need to Make a Claim?: Excess payments can be as high as Â£500 to Â£1,000+ per claim. You can take out special cover designed to refund any excess payment in the event of a claim. If you do decide to take this extra cover, then please be aware that it is almost always significantly cheaper to do so prior to your departure than on arrival in your destination.
Any Factors Which Could Invalidate Your Insurance?: For example a police report is usually required to back up all claims. Damage or collision caused by recklessness or negligence is not usually covered.
What is NOT Covered by Your Policy?: Many consumers are surprised to learn that the majority of car hire suppliers do not cover damage to windows, wheels, tyres, the roof, underside & interior of the vehicle. If this is the case for your rental you can look for a secondary policy to cover these elements. In summary, do at least be aware of any limitations of cover so you can look after the vehicle. NB: this is an area Auto Europe is looking to improve its offering.
Best Rate Guarantee: Auto Europe guarantees to match any like-for-like quote to ensure we offer the best rates and service possible. So, if you happen to find a lower price with comparable service, location, terms & surcharges then we'll beat it! To submit the lower rate to us, please complete the Guaranteed Best Rate form.
To help you a little further, read on for a quick glossary of key car hire insurance terms and what they mean in plain English:
Collision Damage Waiver: Collision damage waiver is included in your car hire price with Auto Europe at the time of booking. It covers accidental damage of your hire car as long as you comply with the car hire contract. Full details of cover are shown in the terms and conditions prior to completion of your booking. Please note that you are liable to pay for the damage up to the excess amount before collision damage waiver insurance kicks in.
Insurance Excess: In the event of an accident or damage to the vehicle, the customer will have to pay a certain amount - called the insurance excess - towards the total repair cost. The excess on the hire varies between local suppliers. Auto Europe booking vouchers clearly state the excess amount you are liable for within the terms & conditions.
Liability Insurance: Liability insurance protects you against claims made by third parties as a result of an accident when you are driving your hire car. This includes property damage and personal injury up to a pre-set level. Full details of cover are shown in the Auto Europe terms and conditions prior to completion of your booking.
Personal Injury Coverage: Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) is generally not included in car rental agreements, although it may be offered it as an additional extra. It covers the authorised driver(s) and passengers for death, disability and medical expenses in the event of an accident.
Refundable Excess: In the event of an insurance claim the customer is liable to pay the insurance excess (see above). It is possible to protect yourself against being liable for this payment by taking out refundable excess cover. If you have refundable excess cover then your excess payment will be refunded to you. Please note this cover is usually invalidated if the police report suggests the damage was due to driver negligence. Full details of cover are shown in the terms and conditions prior to completion of your booking. Auto Europe does offer some vehicles with 'refundable excess insurance' included in the price. These are highlighted in red in the list of potential vehicles to hire shown when you book with Auto Europe.
Theft Protection: A rental agreement may provide insurance cover in the event that the car is stolen. However, if the excess is quite high, the customer will still have to pay for the cost of the vehicle up to that amount.
Vehicle Theft Waiver: Auto Europe's vehicle theft waiver covers you for theft or attempted theft of your hire car only. Full details of cover are shown in the terms and conditions prior to completion of your booking.
We hope you've enjoyed the six short articles in this serialization of The Auto Europe Car Rental Roadmap. Or at least found it useful. If you need any further information or have any questions then let us know in the comments box now. Looking forwards to hearing from you all!