What does car hire excess insurance cover?

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Car hire excess insurance covers you for charges if your car rental gets stolen or damaged. The agreement includes a motor insurance cover, such as third-party liability insurance, when renting out a car. But, this cover usually does not protect if the car gets stolen or damaged, and the renter will be liable if any of this happens. The rental cover excess insurance covers damage to headlights, roof, undercarriage, tyres, windows, and theft.

How Does Excess Insurance Work?

Let us assume that the car you hire comes with standard car insurance or Collision Damage Waiver (CDW). As it happens with most insurance companies, you may be required to pay extra if the vehicle gets stolen or damaged before the car rental company caters for other costs associated with replacement or repair. This means that you can incur hundreds, if not thousands, in case of theft or damage to the hire car, without considering if you are responsible or not.

Remember, before leaving with the rental car, always inspect it carefully and take photos if possible. This is to avoid disputes if the car develops problems rather than what is stated in their insurance cover. It also helps you in making sure that you will not pay for any damages that you are not responsible for causing.
Excess insurance exclusions
Sometimes, excess insurance policies have restrictions, which include:

• Age limit for drivers (21 years to 85 years inclusive).
• Losses occurring from accidental damage to the contents or the interior of the rental vehicle, brought about by carriage of animals or wear and tear are not covered.
• Vehicles that have more than nine seats or are more than ten years old.

When Are You Required to Pay up the Excess?

Your car insurance company will ask you to pay your compulsory or voluntary total excess for:

• Write-offs
• Accidents that are your fault
• Theft
• Fire damage

Insurers require you to pay the excess right away to initiate a claim. The investigation process follows this to review the incidence and determine who was at fault. Occasionally, your excess is subtracted from the repair bill, meaning that you will pay the excess when the claims process concludes. All this depends on the circumstances of your claim, the policy, and your insurer. If your excess is more than the total repair cost, you cannot claim on the vehicle insurance.

When Will You Not Pay an Excess

If another person claims against you or your insurance is third party only, you will not be required to pay your excess. This is because your losses are not covered, and when another person claims against you, your insurer will cover them.

What if you opt not to purchase?

You can choose not to purchase excess insurance if you think that you can take the risk. But, you should know that the excess charges can be up to €3,000 depending on your destination and your car hire company.

If you are unable to pay the excess, you can work out a payment plan with your insurer, although they can decline to process the claim. When taking the policy, check what excesses you agree to pay; your voluntary excess should be affordable and you should not spend more than you had planned.

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