If a hire car is stolen or damaged in any way the hirer has to pay for the first part of the cost, i.e., up to the excess amount for the repair, unless they take out additional excess protection cover.
The new survey, commissioned by iCarhireinsurance.com, a leading supplier of car hire excess insurance, also revealed that only around one in five people (18%) realised that some excess policies also do not include possible damage to the tyres and windscreen – amongst the most vulnerable parts of a vehicle.
“Excess insurance for car hire is confusing for many travellers,” said Ernesto Suarez, CEO and founder of iCarhireinsurance.com. “Our research shows a worrying lack of knowledge. When a small scratch can cost hundreds to fix, it’s important to get excess insurance so you’re not out of pocket.”
Buying excess insurance direct from the car hire company is expensive and the policies offered are generally less comprehensive than buying it in advance from a specialist insurance provider.
iCarhireinsurance.com found that out of three autumn break destinations researched* (i.e., Faro, Tenerife and Nice), Faro was the most expensive place to purchase car hire insurance from the rental desk with a week’s excess policy costing up to £199 or £28 a day - this is over nine times the cost of an iCarhireinsurance.com policy at £21 for the week (at £2.99 a day).
Travellers should also be aware that 60% of the rental company excess policies researched do not include damage to the hire car’s tyres or windscreen. If additional policies for this cover are available from the rental desk they can add more than £100 to the cost of a week’s car hire. Many companies do not promote the price of this policy until a customer reaches the rental desk. This level of protection is already included in an iCarhireinsurance.com policy.