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Thursday, 20 March 2014 00:00

Is Excess Insurance A Necessity For Driving In Europe?

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Research conducted by has revealed that in some cases holidaymakers were paying double for their car hire when accounting for additional payments made at the rental desk, such as excess insurance. According to the research, a standard family rental car for a week in Corfu cost £322, but with extras such as excess insurance and a child's seat on top, some were paying up to £318 extra.

To most these are large sums of money and, as a consequence, many holidaymakers are starting to question whether excess insurance is absolutely necessary.


What is excess insurance?

When you hire a car in Europe, most companies will include a basic level of insurance in your rental package. This will normally include basic third party liability insurance and a collision and loss damage waiver (CDW and LDW) that will protect you should the rental car become damaged or stolen. However, in that scenario you will still be liable to pay an excess (the amount you pay before the insurance company covers the rest).

This is where excess insurance comes in. If car hire excess insurance (often referred to as excess waiver insurance or Super CDW) is purchased then the hirer can protect themselves against such charges. However if excess insurance is not purchased by a hire car customer they could be liable for up to £2,000 regardless of whether they were at fault or not.

Is excess insurance compulsory from a legal perspective?

The short answer is no. To legally drive in Europe, all you will need is Third Party Liability Insurance, which is normally included in the price of the rental. But this will not protect you in the event of your hire car being involved in a theft or accident.

Excess insurance providers are giving hire car customers the ultimate peace of mind!

By using the fear of having to pay a huge excess fee in the event of an accident, many customers have reported car hire companies using pressure selling tactics in an attempt to get customers to pay for excess insurance at the rental desk. As a result many renters are often bamboozled into purchasing additional cover which may people consider to be over priced, especially when compared to the prices offered by iCarhireinsurance.’s research found that tourists choosing to buy their excess cover from car rental desks can face paying up to £178 for 7 days’ worth of car rental insurance, a whopping £138 more than an Annual policy cost from iCarhireinsurance.

Furthermore, an iCarhireinsurance policy covers damages to vulnerable areas such as tyres, roof, windscreen and undercarriage, areas which many rental companies’ standard policies exclude. It is of no surprise then to see companies like Which? are recommending customers to purchase such insurance from specialist insurers before travelling, rather than from the rental desks.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 05 August 2014 09:15
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Excess EuropeExess Europe
Full Excess Protection
Excess WorldwideExess Europe
Full Excess Protection
Worldwide PlusExess Europe
Excess, CDW/LDW


All prices within this section were correct at time of publication.