Car Hire Excess Insurance: Know the Basics

Renting a vehicle is a great way to gain some freedom if you’re going on holiday abroad, but it’s not always as simple as it may first appear. There’s a lot of paperwork to read and sign, not to mention licence and identity checks – and that’s even before any money has been exchanged!
One thing to keep in mind is that a lot of rental companies try to get away with sneaky contracts, and if you haven’t read the documents thoroughly you could end up facing hefty fines if you have an accident on the road. This is where car hire excess insurance comes in – invest in this, and you’ll be completely secure.

What is It?

While hire companies are in the business of making money and are definitely in it for themselves, car hire excess insurance providers have their customers in mind. They are keen to make sure that money isn’t going down the drain (or into the pockets of the rental providers) for no reason.

Rental agreements will usually cover the basics when it comes to insurance, often including Collision and Loss Damage Waivers (CDWs and LDWs), but this protection isn’t completely comprehensive. Taking out car hire excess insurance will mean that you’re totally secure, no matter what – because the policy will cover you for any charges you’re faced with after a road accident in the rental vehicle.

Extra Protection

Yes, CDWs and LDWs cover some parts of the car, but you’ll find that many easily damaged areas are not included in the agreement. But with a separate policy, you’ll be covered for more than just the car parts. Here are some of the things for which you won’t have to pay an excess fee:

• Lost or stolen personal items • Damaged or stolen keys • Tyre replacements and repairs • Damage to windscreen, windows, sunroof or undercarriage


A lot of these companies offer both single and annual multi-trip policies, so whether you’re a frequent user of rental cars or you’re just planning on a one-off trip, it’s easy to save on or avoid unexpected fines. They really do have your best interests at heart!

Making a Claim

If, even after investing in a comprehensive policy, you’ve still been charged by your rental company, you needn’t worry – making a claim is simple, and all you’ll need to do is have a few important documents at the ready and be prepared to supply evidence to support your claim. Most reputable companies guarantee your money back within a matter of days, so you don’t need to worry about being out of pocket for too long.

If you’re thinking about renting a vehicle, you should definitely be considering getting in touch with a car hire excess insurance specialist before you sign any documents. Spend a little on your policy and you could save a whole lot in the long run.

Author Plate

Sam Walker is a specialist insurance expert at LowerHire, a company that offers low-cost single trip and annual multi-trip car hire excess insurance policies. Travellers can rest easy knowing they will be fully protected against any hidden hire car costs and look forward to a stress-free rental experience.