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 car hire excess charge back from your 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 rental 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 insurance for car hire 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, compare car hire excess insurance options. 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 rental car 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 hire car 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 excess waiver 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 rental excess insurance?

If you need to make a claim on your car rental 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 excess insurance providers like you to do this by email or post, while others have online systems.

Are there any other types of excess insurance?

Yes. In addition to hire car 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.