Car hire excess insurance is a type of insurance policy that would pay your excess charge if you damaged a hire vehicle. It’s sometimes called excess waiver insurance.

Car rental companies usually have their own insurance for car hire vehicles. But they often charge customers incredibly high excess fees for claims. Even minor damage like scratches can cost as much as £1,000, whether or not it was your fault.

So if you’ve ever looked at a car hire agreement and wondered “How can I reduce my excess?” you might like to think about taking out car hire excess insurance. It means you’d be able to claim the money for the excess charge back from your car hire excess insurance provider if you damaged the hire car. You can read more about how excess insurance works here.

Should you get car hire excess insurance?

It’s a good idea to have a look at the excess charge on your car hire agreement first. If it’s more than you could afford (or would be happy to pay), it might be worth taking out a car hire insurance policy. Then you can relax knowing the excess would be paid for you if the worst happened. Here’s some information to help you decide whether car hire insurance is worth it.

What are the pros and cons of having hire car excess insurance?

The pros of car hire insurance are that it makes it cheaper to claim if your rental car gets damaged, and the monthly premiums are usually low.

The main downside is that car hire excess insurance could end up costing you more than you save. And, if the hire car gets damaged, you might need to do two claims. Usually the car hire company manages the primary claim but you might have to be involved in it. Then you’d have to do a second claim to get your excess charge back.

How can you get the cheapest car hire insurance?

One of the easiest ways way to get a good deal on care hire insurance is to avoid getting it from your car hire company. That’s because it’s almost always more expensive, and you can usually find a better deal by shopping around.

To be able to find the best deal on car hire excess insurance, compare deals online. Get as many quotes as you can to help you find the best car hire excess insurance at the best price. Click on ‘see deal’ at the top of this page to get quotes through our partner.

Once you’ve done your car hire excess insurance comparison, it’s a good idea to read some car hire excess insurance reviews too.

Depending on what type of cover you choose, you’ll either be charged daily or annually for your car hire insurance. If you need an annual car hire excess insurance policy, you’ll probably be able to split the cost into monthly payments. But you might pay a bit more doing it that way.

What type of car hire insurance do you need?

You’ll need to think about whether you want daily or annual hire car insurance. If you’re just getting a car for a short time – such as for a holiday – you’ll find daily is cheaper. But, if you hire cars often, having an annual car hire insurance policy could save you money.

You should also think about the maximum cover on offer from a car hire excess insurance policy. The maximum cover is how much they’d pay out if you claimed on your excess car hire insurance. So you’ll need to make sure that it’s enough to cover the excess charge. If you’re going for an annual car hire excess insurance policy because you regularly hire cars, think about choosing a higher limit. That would mean you could claim more than once if you needed to.

How do I make a claim on my car car hire excess insurance?

If you need to make a claim on your car car hire excess insurance, it’s best to do it as early as possible. Most insurers won’t pay out if you wait more than 31 days after submitting your primary claim.

First you’ll need to contact your car hire excess insurance provider, giving information about your claim. Then you’ll need to submit the claims form. Some car hire insurance providers like you to do this by email or post, while others have online systems.

Unlike most other forms of car insurance, you do not usually need to pay any excess to make a claim on a car hire excess insurance policy.

Car hire excess insurance payouts are usually paid through refunding the credit or debit card that your excess was taken from originally.

Your care hire insurance payout can also be paid directly into your bank account, so you should not have to wait long for your payout after it is approved. In that case, you would need to supply your insurer with your bank account number and sort code.

What if your car hire excess insurance claim is rejected?

If your claim is refused by your car hire excess insurance provider, they will not pay your excess. If you think your insurer has made a mistake, check your policy documents to see if the reason your claim has been rejected is covered.

If you still believe your claim has been wrongly rejected, you should speak to your car hire excess insurance provider and ask for a written explanation. If their response does not resolve the issue and you are still unhappy, you should next issue a complaint to your car hire insurance provider in writing.

If writing to your car hire excess insurance provider doesn’t bring a resolution and they have not resolved your complaint within eight weeks, you can refer it to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

The Financial Ombudsman Service is free, independent and can push businesses into action. This can include compensation for anyone who has lost out.

Are there any other types of excess insurance?

Yes. In addition to hire car hire excess insurance, you can also get excess insurance for things like travel insurance.

You can buy a single policy just for your car hire excess insurance. Or you could consider a lifestyle excess policy, which would pay for the excess on several different insurances. This could cover your pet, car and travel insurance.