How to Insure a Rental Car
If you’re planning on hiring a car for your next getaway having the correct insurance is vital however it can be confusing.
Most hire cars come with free insurance but then you’ll be offered insurance on top of the free cover and then you’ve got to consider car hire excess insurance.
Confused? Don’t panic, our guide is here to help you understand how to insure your rental car for your next trip.
Types of cover
Usually, there are three basic types of cover for rental cars:
Damage cover (Collision Damage Waiver)
Theft Cover (Theft Protection)
Third-party Cover (Third-party Liability)
More often than not these will be included in your car rental deal but always come with an excess. You can then also buy insurance to cover your excess and/or extend what the standard cover protects.
Here are the best ways to insure your rental car:
With the rental company
When booking your rental car you can purchase additional insurance directly with the rental company whether it’s online or when you arrive at the rental counter.
Often this is referred to as a waiver, meaning the company waives its right to make you pay for any damage.
This means that the rental car company would also be your insurer so if anything happens to the car you wouldn’t have to pay and then wait to claim it back. In some cases, it also lowers your deposit and your insurance excess.
The negative to this is that it can often be more expensive than purchasing insurance through a third-party insurer.
With a third-party insurer
There’s an abundance of third-party insurers online specifically designed for car hire.
This is usually sold as ‘excess protection insurance’ and most insurers offer an instant car hire excess insurance quote.
This is generally the cheapest way of protecting yourself and your rental car, prices often come in lower than those from a comparison site or directly from the rental company.
Also, it gives you more options such as single or multi-trip cover and makes the claim process super easy with simple online claims portals.
If you get charged by the rental company and you don’t agree with it, the third-party insurer will help you to fight it.
With a comparison site
Comparison sites will compare different insurers and present you with a comparison list depending on your specific requirements.
This allows you to compare prices and means you book everything online all in one go.
However, the price can often be higher than when purchasing from a stand-alone insurer, but on the other hand, you won’t have to worry about language barriers as you will claim once you have returned from your trip.
Don’t purchase additional insurance
Extra protection isn’t compulsory and it’s your choice as to whether you purchase it or not. You can just stick with the standard cover that comes with your deal which means there won’t be any extra cost.
However, your excess won’t be protected, so if any damage is caused to the car you’ll have to pay the full excess and lose your deposit. To understand more about how excess insurance works, check our guide.
The standard cover only covers bodywork and so if anything happens to the wheels or engine you will be responsible for paying the full cost of repair.