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What is Car Hire Excess Insurance?

Car hire excess insurance is a relatively new and innovative product to hit the market. It first came on the scene about ten years ago following an increase in the number of people hiring vehicles.

In a nutshell, it protects you from having to fork out inflated excess fees in the event of your vehicle being vandalised, stolen or being involved in an accident. You can purchase a Car hire excess insurance policy from a Car hire excess insurance provider and in return they will protect you should you need to pay the excess outlined in your rental agreement. Many Car hire excess insurance companies provide similar insurance but their premiums are often up to five times more expensive than other Car hire excess insurance providers. Customers have also reported being subjected to hard-sell tactics at the rental desk, such as being told the Car hire excess insurance policy that they bought from an independent car hire company is insufficient. In some instances, the cost of the Car hire excess insurance can be more than the cost of renting the vehicle itself.

Car hire excess insurance can be purchased as a daily trip policy, for a specific period of time for as little as €2.99 per day. Some rental companies have been known to charge up to €20.00 per day for the same type of cover.

If you frequently rent vehicles it may work out more economical for you to purchase an annual Car hire excess insurance policy instead of a daily rate policy. Some companies will offer as much as 62-day continuous cover on an annual Car hire excess insurance policy and you can rent vehicles as often as you like. Many companies purchase this type of cover for when their employees travel abroad and rent cars.

There also tends to be some variation in the territorial limits with most providers offering cover for Europe or Worldwide or USA/Canada. The European Car hire excess insurance policy may from vary from company to company, with some offering cover for EU Countries only, while others offer cover for all countries West of the Ural Mountains and those bordering the Mediterranean Sea.

The Worldwide Car hire excess insurance policy allows you to travel to a wider variety of countries and the USA/Canada policy will only cover those two countries.

There are often exclusions around travelling in or through particular countries, some of the most common excluded countries are Afghanistan, Cuba, Congo, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Liberia, North Korea, Myanmar, Sudan, Syria and Zimbabwe. They are also inclined to exclude any claim resulting from you travelling to a specific country or to an area where a Government body or Regulatory body has advised against all or all but essential travel.