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Frequently Asked Questions - Car Hire Insurance

Q. Why buy from iCarhireinsurance ?
A. Anyone that hires vehicles either in the UK or abroad would benefit from our service.

Many people don’t realise that most hire car insurance policies in the UK, Ireland, Europe, Africa, New Zealand, Australia and most of the Middle and Far East, have large car hire excess payment requirements, often over £500, and can be as high as £1500. The costs involved with insuring a car against these excess payments are expensive, at least £9 a day from most car rental companies, and often fail to cover the parts of the car most likely to get damaged, such as the windows, tyres and roof.

iCarhireinsurance protects customers from these excess insurance payments at a price significantly lower than that offered by the car rental companies. With iCarhireinsurance you pay from just £2.99 a day*1, compared with the average £9 daily rate that the rental companies charge for car hire excess insurance, and we DO cover you for damage to the tyres, windows, roof and undercarriage.

Customers visiting the USA, Canada, the Caribbean, Central and South America can also save money with iCarhireinsurance as full CDW/LDW with no excess or deductible can be bought separately from the rental agreement, and the cover is accepted at all car rental locations worldwide. By taking our Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) before travelling, customers can save on the expensive cover offered at the car rental desk.
*1. Subject to a minimum booking requirement of 3 days.
Q. How does iCarhireinsurance work ?
A. Once you have saved money by buying our cover, decline the Excess cover offered at the car rental company’s desk. With ‘Excess Europe’ and ‘Excess Worldwide’ charges for any damage to the vehicle will be made to your credit card by the car rental company, and you can then claim the money back through these car hire excess policies.
With ‘USA & Canada’ (CDW/LDW) and ‘Worldwide Plus’ you can also decline the "Deductible", "CDW", "LDW" and "Super-CDW" policies that you are offered at the rental desk*. If there is damage to the vehicle, they are unlikely to charge your credit card unless the amount is small. It is more likely that the car rental company will take direct contact with our claims management company.

However, the renter must submit a claim form so that the claims management company is fully aware of the circumstances in which the damage was sustained.

*Note: iCarhireinsurance.com policies DO NOT replace any third party liability insurances (SLI/ALI etc) that are offered at the rental desk, or which may be provided as standard with your rental vehicle. Your iCarhireinsurance.com policy does not protect you against 3rd party property or injury claims and should not be relied upon to do so.
Q. What Insurance do I need when Hiring a car?
A. It depends on where you are. When hiring a car in the UK, Ireland, Europe, Africa, New Zealand, Australia and most of the Middle and Far East, all rental agreements generally include CDW (Collision Damage Waiver), Theft and Third Party Liability. This means that the car you’re driving is insured, however there is almost always an Excess (also referred to as Super CDW, Non Waiver or Deductible) which you have to pay in the event of theft or damage to the rental vehicle, and this can range from £500 - £1500+. Rental car desks will offer you Excess insurance to protect you against this excess, but this costs on average between £10 and £20 a day, and it doesn’t cover you for damage to the tyres, windows, roof or undercarriage.

iCarhireinsurance protects customers from these excess payments at a price much lower than the car rental excess insurance. With iCarhireinsurance you pay from just £2.99 a day*1 for Excess car hire insurance, compared with the average £9 daily rate that the rental companies charge, and we DO cover you for damage to the tyres, windows, roof and undercarriage.

When hiring a car in the USA, Canada, the Caribbean, Central and South America, you are required to have CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) / LDW (Loss Damage Waiver) - covering damage, theft and loss of use of the rental vehicle. Rental companies may insist on your buying a policy from them unless you can prove that you already have a suitable alternative policy in place (such as a stand alone policy from iCarhireinsurance.com). Purchasing this cover directly from the rental desks usually costs between £10 and £25 per day, depending on the location, the type of car and the rental company. The iCarhireinsurance.com USA and Canada policy is just £5.99 per day, or £79.99 for an annual policy and the Worldwide plus which also offers full CDW/LDW and zero excess is £89.99 per year.

Sometimes additional liability protection called Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI) - covering Third Parties; i.e. other vehicles and individuals, may be required. This is often in states or countries where the statutory levels of liability insurance that must be provided with the rental vehicle are considered insufficient to protect you in the event of a serious claim. iCarhireinsurance.com does not offer Supplemental Liability Insurance and you should check directly with your rental company if you are unsure of the level of third party liability cover that you already have as part of your rental agreement.
*1. Subject to a minimum booking requirement of 3 days.
Q. How many trips does the annual policy cover you for ?
A. You can take unlimited trips during the year, and you are also covered for hire car usage in the UK. Unlike other policies which limit each rental period to just 31 days, our car hire insurance policies allow you to travel for up to 65 continuous days.
Q. My credit card has travel insurance including Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) ?
A. It depends. Read the policy carefully to check what you are covered for as there may be limitations. For example there is likely to still be Excess required which means you will still be liable for this Excess payment if the vehicle is stolen, or if there is any damage to the vehicle. So you’d still benefit from having car hire excess insurance from iCarhireinsurance.
Q. Are all named drivers covered on the policy?
A. When you take one of our Car Hire Excess Insurance policies, USA and Canada CDW/LDW policies or Worldwide Plus CDW/LDW policies, you are automatically covered for any car that you rent in the territory for which you have bought cover as long as you are the main driver on the car rental agreement. If you are not the main driver of the vehicle, you are not covered by the policy automatically.

If more than one person plans to drive your rental vehicle, make sure that they are named as additional drivers on the rental agreement. Provided that any additional drivers are named on the rental agreement then they will also be protected against any excess charges assocaited with loss or damage when they were responsible for the vehicle. Our policies provide cover automatically for up to 9 named drivers, provided that they are all named on the rental agreement.

If you are a member of Car Rental Company Premium Programs, such as the Emerald Club from Hertz, it is most likely that you do not need to name your spouse/partner as a named driver as they are automatically covered. If you fall into this category of customer, please note you will have to prove your membership of such programme and its terms and conditions to the insurance company if you are to claim on the policy where the additional driver was responsible for the damage to the car. This will prove that you did not have to name the additional driver on the rental car agreement and the insurance policy would still be valid
Q. Are there any age restrictions on your policies?
A. Policy holders must be aged between 21 and 85.
Q. Are there any location restrictions on your policies?
A. With our policies you are covered for the region for which the policy was purchased and unlike many other policies, you are also covered even if theft or damage occurs within 150km of your home provided you are a resident of the EEA.
Q. Can I upgrade my policy?
A. You can upgrade your policy at any time prior to the date the cover begins. If you wish to upgrade your policy please contact Customer Services on +44 (0) 203 302 2296.
Q. How do I make a claim?
A. Please click on this link to take you through to our Claims Notification Process
Q. What are the main restrictions on your policies?
A.
  • Policy holders must be aged between 21 and 85
  • Rentals under Annual cover must not be longer than 65 continuous days
  • Not valid for the rental of vehicles where the value of the vehicle exceeds £100,000 or vehicles which are more than 20 years old, or the rental of ‘antique, expensive or exotic’ vehicles not considered to be conventional and usual.
  • Not valid for the rental of vehicles not licensed for road use, and other vehicles types, including but not limited to trailers or caravans, camper vans, commercial vehicles, trucks, motorcycles, mopeds, motorbikes, off-road vehicles, recreational vehicles, motor homes, passenger vans and vehicles with more than 9 seats.
  • Not valid for use of any Rental Vehicle in racing competitions, rallying, trials, rallies or speed testing, or when driven on a motor sport circuit.
Q. What methods of payment does iCarhireinsurance accept?
A. We accept all major credit and debit cards. Car rental companies insist that principal and additional drivers possess a valid credit card at the time of signing the rental agreement. Please note that many car rental companies will not accept debit or cheque cards for the deposit. Absence of a valid credit card may result in the car rental refusing to rent the vehicle, or the requirement of a large cash deposit.
Q. What is the difference between Excess, CDW, Non-Waiver and Deductible?
A. These are effectively all the same thing, but different car rental companies use different terminology. In effect excess is an agreed amount, which the driver has to pay in the event of a claim, even when they have cover.
Q. In which countries is excess charged?
A. Most countries unfortunately charge excess, making iCarhireinsurance essential for rental car drivers. UK, Ireland, Europe, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia all charge excess. It is also charged in parts of the Middle and Far East, the Caribbean and South America. It is sometimes charged in Canada and the USA.
Q. Can the rental company charge money on my card equal to the Excess?
A. It depends on the rental car company. Each one has their own policy and procedures on Excess payments. Some companies take an imprint of your credit card, whilst others block a sum equal to the Excess on the credit card.
Q. Are windows, tyres, the roof and the undercarriage of the rental vehicle covered?
A. Yes, and these are of course the parts of the vehicle most likely to get damaged, so iCarhireinsurance is essential for the rental car driver. With iCarhireinsurance you are covered for damage to the windows, tyres, roof and undercarriage unlike many of the policies offered by car rental companies, which often exclude these vulnerable areas of the rental vehicle.
Q. Is this insurance suitable for fly-drive programmes?
A. Most Fly Drive programmes tend to include the insurance in the package price and as they make their money from these add-ons, are therefore unlikely to accept alternative insurance. Please check their policy.
Q. Are lost keys covered by iCarhireinsurance policies?
A. Car Rental Companies charge between £100 and £150 if you lose the keys to the rental car. Cover for lost keys is £9.99 when added to an annual policy and £4.99 with a daily policy.
Q. Do I need Personal Accident Insurance (PAI)?
A. Check your travel insurance to see if your PAI is adequate and covers you while using a hire car. This is sold at hire car desks for around £3.99 a day. iCarhireinsurance can provide it to you for only £4.99 single trip and £9.99 for annual policies.
Q. Do I need Car Club Excess Protection?
A. If you are a UK Resident and an existing member of a local car club e.g. car2go, Zipcar, City Car Club, etc. The iCarhireinsurance Car Club Excess insurance policy will cover your excess on any car club agreement. This policy will provide excess protection if the car is stolen or there is any damage to the rental car, even if it is not your fault. The policy offers up to £6,000 Sum Insured cover with a single incident of £6,000. It is a must have if you want to avoid excess charges from your car club which are typically £500 to £1,000 per claim.

If you buy an Annual Car Club Excess insurance policy from us, you don't need to buy the additional cover offered by your car club. You can buy a Car Club excess policy on its own for just £49.99, or if you also use hire cars in the UK and abroad you can combine this with an Annual European Car hire Excess policy for just £59.98.

For more details, please visit the iCarhireinsurance car club page
Q. How much does it cost?
A. Wherever you’re driving, our policies are fantastic value. They start from just £2.99 a day, and £37.99 a year, a significant saving on the cover available at car rental desks

European Excess from £2.99 a day*1, and £37.99 for our annual policy
Excess Worldwide from £3.99 a day*1 and £59.99 a year
USA and Canada from £5.99 a day*1 and £79.99 a year and
Worldwide Plus £89.99 for an annual policy
Carclub Excess protection can be bought for just £49.99 for an annual policy.
*1. Subject to a minimum booking requirement of 3 days.
Q. Why should I buy from iCarhireinsurance.com and not from a Car rental desk ?
A. The policies offered by iCarhireinsurance.com are more comprehensive than those offered at the rental desk and are as much as 67% cheaper!! Excess protection for European carhire usually cost around £10 per day at the rental desk, but the European Daily excess protection from iCarhireinsurance is just £2.99 a day.

What's more, the rental company policies often only provide protection for damage, not for theft and also frequently exclude protection for some of the most vulnerable parts of the vehicle such as roof, undercarriage, tyres and windscreen - all of which are protected by your iCarhireinsurance policy. For longer trips or frequent hirecar users, we also provide annual policies which offer exceptional value, with Annual European carhire excess from just £37.99
Q. What happens if I have to make changes to my policy or cancel it shortly after I have purchased?
A. If you want to make any changes or cancel your policy, please call us on +44 (0) 203 538 0611. There is an administration fee of £10 plus tax for any cancellation or amendment that you ask us to make. If your policy has incepted (commenced) or you are in the cooling off period, please refer to our Policy Wording and Key Facts documents issued with your purchase confirmation email. Our Administration Fees are expressed in the Certificate of Insurance and Confirmation Email you receive shortly after purchase. As we do not retain any personal credit card details from our customers, you will have to call in to our customer service telephone +44 (0) 203 538 0611 (open Mon-Fri 09:30-16:30) and provide us with your credit card details (Credit Card Type, Credit Card and Expiration Date).
Q. I am an annual policyholder. What happens at renewal?
A. For all Annual policy holders, during the check-out process, we offer an Auto-Renewal service to ensure you have continuous cover under your policy. If you have opted to be included in this scheme, we will automatically renew your policy when it runs out, unless you tell us not to. Every year we will email you to the email address we have on your existing policy 21 days before the expiry date of your policy, and tell you about any changes to the premium or the policy terms and conditions. If you decide that you do not want to auto-renew your policy, there will be a link on the email sent giving you the ability to suspend your auto-renewal, or you can call us on +44 (0) 203 538 0611 or if calling from abroad + (44) 20 3170 7348 We will take the renewal premium from your credit card or debit card on the policy start date of your renewed policy. Please note that all Annual policies issued under this insurance are not automatically renewed. You will receive a renewal notification from us in electronic format to the email address entered in the original booking. At this time, you will be able to update any relevant personal information and renew your policy.
Q. What happens if my excess on the car rental is higher than your single incident limit of £6,000?
A. For those who are purchasing our Excess Europe or Excess Worldwide policies, in the event your car rental vehicle carries a very high excess e.g. greater than our policy single incident limit of £6,000, we will only cover you up to the amount specified on your policy schedule and you may have to pay the difference. This is a typical occurrence in countries like Australia and New Zealand where we see customers write us on excess levels they have been exposed to while driving in those countries. You may also encounter this situation if you are hiring a higher group or luxury vehicle where the excess levels tend to be higher. Please refer to our policy documents if you have any questions about vehicle types and usage.

Frequently Asked Questions - Van Hire Insurance

Q. What types of Vans are covered by the Daily Van Hire Excess Insurance Policy?
A. Our Daily Van Hire Excess Insurance is designed to be used with all Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs) which can be driven on a standard car driver’s licence (category B in the UK). LCVs are typically under 3,500 KG in Maximum Allowable Weight (MAW) and do not require a specialist drivers licence. Vehicles which require a higher driver licence category or an additional test such as a Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC), or Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) licence are not covered by this policy. For more information on vehicle classifications and drivers licence categories, please visit direct.gov.uk. Our Daily Van Hire Excess insurance is predominantly for use with goods vehicles, not passenger vehicles so minibuses or other vehicles designed for carrying more than 9 people including the driver are not covered by this policy. For more information, please see the more detailed explanation given to the FAQ “Are minibuses covered by the Daily Van Hire Excess Insurance?”
Q. Are minibuses covered by the Daily Van Hire Excess Insurance?
A. The Van Hire Excess Insurance policy will provide insurance for vans designed to carry up to 9 people including the driver. If a minibus has more than 9 seats it will not be covered by this policy. Please note, this restriction is based on the vehicle type not the amount of occupants in the vehicle at the time that damage is sustained; a vehicle that is designed to carry more than 9 people would not be covered under this policy even if there were less than 9 people in the vehicle at the time that damage occurred. This policy is not designed to provide protection for drivers who are charging a fare for transporting passengers, and this activity is specifically excluded from the policy as it is designed predominantly for casual private use.
Q. Does the Van Hire Excess Policy cover pick-up trucks, flat-bed vans and drop-side vans & crew-cabs?
A. The Van Hire Excess Insurance policy will cover flat bed vans, drop sided vans, pick-up trucks and crew-cabs, provided always that the MAW (Maximum Allowable Weight) of the vehicle remains under 3.5 tonnes (3,500 kg). For more information on vehicle classifications, please see the more detailed answer to the FAQ “What types of van are covered by the Daily Van Hire Excess Insurance Policy?”
Q. Does the Van Hire Excess Policy cover vans with a tail lift?
A. Vans with tail lifts are covered by the Daily Van Hire Excess Insurance Policy provided that the MAW (maximum Allowable Weight) of the vehicle does not excess 3.5 tonnes (3,500 kg). For more information on vehicle classification, please see the more detailed answer to the FAQ “What types of van are covered by the Daily Van Hire Excess Insurance Policy?”
Q. Can I buy an annual Van Hire Excess Insurance Policy?
A. Our research shows that vans are mostly hired for short periods of time so we have designed our policy to suit the needs of the vast majority of daily van hirers and do not currently offer an Annual policy. Our daily policies have been designed to be very competitively priced and also to provide additional levels of cover when compared to the policies offered by many van rental companies themselves.
Q. What is the voluntary excess?
A. With our Daily Van Hire Excess insurance policy you have two options. You can either buy a policy which reduces your excess to £100 or £200. There is a small difference in price between these two policies to reflect the different levels of cover provided.
Q. Your policy states that “lock out” cover is included – what does this mean?
A. Lock out protection offers protection in the event that you are unintentionally locked out of your rental van. If this happens, our policy will provide you with up to £100 towards the costs of opening the vehicle without causing any further damage. Further details on this cover can be found in section 7 of our policy wording.
Q. What does “14 days continuous cover” mean?
A. This is the maximum period of days that you can buy one of our Daily Van Hire Excess Insurance policies for. If you are hiring a van for longer than 14 days and still wish to buy excess insurance, please contact us.
Q. What countries are covered by the Van Hire Excess Insurance Policy?
A. Our Van Hire Excess Insurance Policy provides protection for any van rental which is taken out and used within the European Territory. This includes all EU and EEC states as well as other countries to the west of the Ural mountains including the British Isles, Ireland, Iceland, islands in the Mediterranean, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, Canary Islands, Madeira and the Azores, provided that none of these countries are subject to a “notice not to travel” by government bodies in the UK.
Q. Are local rentals covered and are there any distance from home restrictions applied?
A. Local rentals are covered by our Van Hire Excess Insurance. You can use it in your country of residence and there are no restrictions regarding proximity of use to your home address.