42% of hire car drivers have driven a hire car without fully understanding exactly what insurance they have and what it covers. This is especially concerning as excess liability, the amount drivers might have to pay if the hire car is damaged or stolen, is now over £2,000 in some locations.

Research carried out by Opinium, on behalf of iCarhireinsurance.com, a leading provider of standalone car hire excess insurance, found that there is a lot of confusion around hire car insurance, with three fifths (60%) of drivers saying they have been confused by the amount of jargon car hire companies use to explain their insurance options (e.g. the language, terms used etc.).

A third (31%) of hire car drivers said they are not aware that excess liability can be up to £2,000 and two in five who hired a car in Europe (41%) said the last time they hired a car, they only become aware that they were liable for the excess at the rental desk.

When it comes to excess insurance the confusion continues with two in five (40%) admitting to buying excess insurance without being sure exactly what it covered. Nearly half (44%) mistakenly believe that only excess policies sold by rental companies are valid, when the truth is that many people purchase insurance from independent insurance companies like iCarhireinsurance.com, as they are often 75% cheaper* than the policies sold at the rental desks.

For instance, hiring a car in Faro for a week this summer costs £383 with Budget, but the excess is over £2275 leaving travellers exposed to this amount should they damage the car.

To buy Budget’s full excess waiver cover costs £244 a week, broken down into the super excess waiver policy costing £113, a super theft waiver costing £119 and a tyre and windscreen waiver costing £12. An iCarhireinsurance.com policy covers these elements and the vulnerable parts of the vehicle, i.e., the undercarriage, tyres and windscreen but is only £23.92 a week (£2.99 a day), a saving of £220 (90%).

There is further confusion when it comes to deposits. Over a third (38%) did not know that rental companies can hold excess liability on a credit card, and two fifths of those who hired in Europe (42%) said information they received about the amount of deposit they have to leave on their credit card if they do not purchase the rental company’s excess waiver was confusing.

Ernesto Suarez, Founder and CEO, iCarhireinsurance.com, said, There can be a lot of jargon when it comes to car hire insurance, but it’s important that drivers do their best to find out what cover they have. If they are liable for the excess, a policy from iCarhireinsurance.com could save travellers approximately £150 a week compared to those sold at the rental desk, and includes damage to windows, tyres and undercarriage, and often a lot more. We try to cut through the jargon and give customers peace of mind.

Disclaimer: All prices contained in this article were correct on the original date of publication. Prices may change over time, so for current prices, please get a quote.