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Car rental liability insurance question

New Hampshire
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28 posts
2 reviews
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Car rental liability insurance question

Our trip to Scotland begins this week! We're very excited. While there, we'll be renting (hiring) a car from Enterprise.

Whenever renting a car in the past, my insurance has covered it, but I decided to call to be sure. I'm glad I did call, because I learned it will NOT cover us outside of the U.S. and Canada.

I asked the insurance company if I could have any extra coverage added to my policy, but I'm told there is nothing available.

The credit card company does cover CDW (damage to the rental) but it does not cover liability (I called them as well, just to clarify).

So, it seems that we'll have no choice but to take Enterprise's liability coverage which will add about US$30 per day to our rental costs. I'll gladly pay this if it is our only option. But, I'm just wondering if it truly is our only option?? Does anyone have any advice? Is this just an added cost of traveling internationally that I should have planned for?

Thanks!

Ayrshire, Scotland
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1. Re: Car rental liability insurance question

michelled, I assume by liability you mean what we call third-party cover (ie: other vehicles), and if this is the case I would be surprised if it is not included in the rental price because it is illegal to drive here without it. In my experience, it is always included in the basic quote, although it may have a high excess (ie: An excess of several hundred pounds sterling is not unusual).

Normally when you collect the car, they will offer you a reduced excess for an extra fee, but be careful the fee is usually per DAY and not per Hire. Everyone has to decide for themselves whether to accept or reject this offer, but on hire of over 10 days you almost end up paying the excess whether you have an accident or not.

Another point to note is that with some hire companies Theft Protection is included in the CDW, and with some it is not and also has to be purchased extra. Hope this helps.

Manchester, UK
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2. Re: Car rental liability insurance question

Hi Michelled,

I've encountered exactly this problem recently when looking into car hire in Australia for a forthcoming trip. I think all the main car rental companies will try the same thing, i.e. 'persuade' you to take their own excess reduction insurance, in order to reduce the sum for which you would be liable in the event of incurring any damage to the vehicle. In my case, the daily amount they were looking to charge came almost to the same as the actual hire charge itself (AU$22 a day). As I was planning a total of 51 days' hire, in five separate locations, this would have added another AU$1000 to my overall costs! Fortunately, there was an article in one of our Sunday newspapers recently which made reference to an insurance company which offers a 'one-off' premium to cover precisely this - they are called insurance4carhire, so if you google that (plus the usual .com, of course), you should end up on their website. I actually visited their office in London when I was down there last month, just to make absolutely sure that what their policy covers is what I wanted it to cover - and it is. I have as a result taken out their basic policy, for a sum of £59. What it means of course is that whilst I can now decline the hire car company's 'offer' of excess reduction insurance, in the event that I did incur any damage, I would have to fork out the amount specified, which would make a big hole in my credit card limit, but knowing that I can then claim the whole amount back from insurance4carhire.

I guess it depends how likely you think you are to be pushing up towards your credit card limit whilst you're travelling. One thing I have picked up on, via the Australia TA forum pages, is that one of the major car hire companies has a particularly bad reputation out there for alleging damage which was there to start with, or which is non-existent. Once you've handed the car back you have no comeback if it isn't inspected there and then. Also ensure that someone looks over the car with you when you first collect it, so any existing scuffs, dents, etc. are verified. Just imagine the hassle involved in trying to fight a legal battle when you've returned home!

France
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3. Re: Car rental liability insurance question

On our recent trip back to Blighty we were advised by Hertz that the excess would be £550. However, for the small additional fee of £14 PER DAY, this excess would be covered. We decided against the daily fee.

There are however,companies out there who will insure against this excess for considerably less than £14/day, I just can't recall the names at the moment.

New Hampshire
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28 posts
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4. Re: Car rental liability insurance question

Thank you! The U.S. office has been terribly unhelpful and the agents don't seem to know the answers to any questions I asked.

I just called the U.K. office and used the specific term "third-party coverage" and was told that yes, it is included in the price we were quoted.

So, it does sound as though we have the coverage we were looking for. At least I hope so!

New Hampshire
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28 posts
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5. Re: Car rental liability insurance question

Excess? I am guessing that word means the same thing as "deductible" means in the states? In other words, the amount we would have to pay before the insurance pays?

United Kingdom
Destination Expert
for South Ayrshire, Glasgow
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6. Re: Car rental liability insurance question

I have in my hand a rental agreement from enterprise. It states that CDW is included in the rate and that the excess for me is 500gbp. I understand that to get rid of the excess it would have cost me 10gbps per day on top of the daily rate, which I declined.

Its a difficult call, but basic coverage is included, so your ok on that score.

United Kingdom
Destination Expert
for South Ayrshire, Glasgow
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14,768 posts
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7. Re: Car rental liability insurance question

and yes excess means the amount you would need to contribute for repairs before insurance kicks in.

Manchester, UK
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548 posts
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8. Re: Car rental liability insurance question

Hi again Michelle,

As the other posters have said, third party insurance cover is pretty much always included in the overall rental cost, and basically takes care of any liability you might otherwise incur so far as another vehicle/driver is concerned. What you will still be faced with is the option to take out the car rental company's 'excess reduction insurance', which would reduce the amount you would be liable for from (say) £2000 to £300, in the event that you incurred damage to your own vehicle (it doesn't really matter how this is caused - if you return the vehicle with damage that the rental company claim wasn't there when you first hired the car, then you would have to pay that amount). The policy that I've taken out covers that sum, and in effect replaces the US$30 a day that you've been quoted. Sorry if that wasn't clear the first time.

You will most definitely be pressurised into opting for this daily charge, and it's all too easy to just tick the box on the form when you've got a queue of people behind you and a rental company employee warning you about making sure you have 'belt and braces' cover. As I said before, it's up to you - if your credit card can stand the temporary hit, then I'd suggest going with the insurance4carhire option (or a similar company - they aren't the sole players in this field).

Cumbernauld
Destination Expert
for Glasgow
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1,259 posts
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9. Re: Car rental liability insurance question

The Times on-line article below is quite good at explaining the ins and outs of car rental insurance:-

…timesonline.co.uk/tol/…article530512.ece

United Kingdom
Destination Expert
for South Ayrshire, Glasgow
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14,768 posts
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10. Re: Car rental liability insurance question

I was pleasantly surprised that Enterprise did not pressure me into taking the extra cover. They just informed me of what it was and what it did.