Data from 2016 shows that approximately one in four people said the car hire insurance claim they put in was due to an incident that wasn’t their fault, and that Saturday 2nd July 2016 was the day our customers were most likely to damage their hire cars.
42% of these ‘not my fault’ claims involved returning to a parked car to find it had been scraped, scratched or damaged in some capacity. This highlights the need to have excess cover in place as it matters not how good a driver you are, simply parking your car at the supermarket on holiday can hit you in the pocket.
Other incidents where is wasn’t the fault of the claimant included colliding with an animal, vandalism or theft, and the hire car having pre-existing damage in the opinion of the hirer; i.e. when the damage was not recorded on the rental company’s check-out sheet but was already there when the vehicle was collected.
Damage which the claimants took responsibility for accounted for 42% of the data and was listed as a general collision or accidental damage. 11% of these were damage to the hire car’s tyres, windscreen or undercarriage.
Many car hirers are unaware that in the event of damage or theft to the hire vehicle they are liable for excess charges up to £2000, and only find out when they collect the car. At this point they are left with the choice of buying the rental companies own excess protection, which can cost up to £22 per day, or go without cover and risk being exposed should the worse happen.
Ernesto Suarez, CEO and founder of iCarhireinsurance.com, said:
If you damage a hire car, the rental company has no interest in whether it was your fault or not, you’ll still be liable for the cost to make-good the damage. Hire car companies decide themselves how much to charge for damage, so even minor damage can often end up costing hundreds.
It pays to protect yourself against hire excess figures with a specialist car hire excess insurance policy, like iCarhireinsurance’s, whilst also saving money at the rental desk, he said.