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Car Hire - excess insurance

St. Albans, United...
3 posts
Car Hire - excess insurance

Has anyone taken out their own insurance policy for excess insurance from a standalone provider and not taken the car hire company's excess policy? We have a car booked through Thomas Cook (who use Alamo) and they want £400 for the excess insurance policy. They are saying if we use our own policy we will liable for a range of extra charges including Airport handling fee, Airport operating fee; also LP and CDW even though these are covered by our standalone policy. Any advice would be much appreciated as we are undecided what to do. Thank you.

Berkshire, United...
Level Contributor
19,766 posts
61 reviews
1. Re: Car Hire - excess insurance

Have you thought about ditching the "free" car (as lots of people do) and booking your own with Alamo/Alamo Brits/Avis etc? It will work out less that the upgrade TC are charging you and everything you need in the way of insurance and taxes will be included.

It is not a good idea IMHO to have your own insurance for car hire in the USA. The hire company may well not accept it or take a huge "deposit" against your credit card and if (heaven forbid) you should have an accident, any damages would have to be paid for up front.

St. Albans, United...
3 posts
2. Re: Car Hire - excess insurance

Great thank you - will check separate car hire now.

United Kingdom
Level Contributor
1,869 posts
8 reviews
3. Re: Car Hire - excess insurance

The other option is insurance4carhire.

Its going to be different every time but last time it was still cheaper booking together with Virgin than it was separate so long as I took out my own cover for the extra insurance. Also came with excess cover and lasted a year in case you went elsewhere in that time.

Milton Keynes...
Level Contributor
1,650 posts
233 reviews
4. Re: Car Hire - excess insurance

Yep forget the 'Free car' Book a vehicle separately, Use one of the 'Well Known' companies.

Alamo, Dollar, Avis etc.

Berkshire, United...
Level Contributor
19,766 posts
61 reviews
5. Re: Car Hire - excess insurance

The thing is, people who do take their own cover and don't have any incidents while in the USA advocate doing this but nobody knows what the situation would be not having the rental firm insurance cover in the case of an accident. Simply not worth the risk in my opinion.

One year when we were in Key West someone ran into the back of our hire car while we were stopped at traffic lights. Luckily the car wasn't badly damaged but we still had to phone Alamo and tell them what had happened. They took all the details, asked if we wanted a new car (we didn't) and all we had to do when we returned the car was sign another bit of paper with all the accident details on. That was the last we heard of it. I don't like to think how different things might have been if we hadn't had their insurance cover.

Glenrothes, United...
Level Contributor
3,469 posts
6. Re: Car Hire - excess insurance

Couldn't agree more traveller its all great till it goes wrong then they will all be on here crying about it

UK
Destination Expert
for Florida
Level Contributor
50,155 posts
22 reviews
7. Re: Car Hire - excess insurance

When I book a car, it comes with zero excess.

I only use the excess insurance when renting in europe.

Oxford, United...
Level Contributor
13 posts
4 reviews
8. Re: Car Hire - excess insurance

We booked a car through Virgin (Alamo) and it has zero excess. Also had free second driver and was cheaper thangoing direct to Alamo.

I haven’t booked my holiday through Virgin, just the car

St. Albans, United...
3 posts
9. Re: Car Hire - excess insurance

Kim, your tip about booking through Virgin is great - I've just looked and they beat all the other sites I've looked at and include free additional driver. Plus it is a good £60 cheaper than the excess insurance TC wanted to charge me! So I will be booking with them. Thanks guys for all the advice. Much appreciated.

Oxford, United...
Level Contributor
13 posts
4 reviews
10. Re: Car Hire - excess insurance

You're welcome, glad it was helpful. Only drawback is the cancellation policy but if you're all booked and set on going like we are, shouldn't be an issue. Hopefully insurance would cover it if needed.