You can get insurance to cover the high excess on your van hire agreement in two ways:
Buy cover from the van hire company: They may offer you a policy when you hire a vehicle, although this is usually the most expensive option.
Shop around: This will help you find a policy at the best price. However, you should check that this does not break the terms of your hire agreement first.
Pick your cover limit
You will need to pick a cover limit before you take out a policy. This is the maximum amount an insurer will pay for your van hire excess.
Rental companies usually apply an excess of up to £1,000 when you hire a van, but this may be higher if you insure more than one driver.
This means you have to pay for the first £1,000 of damage to the van while it is in your care, even if it is not your fault. For example, if you park at a supermarket and a trolley scratches the paintwork.
Excess insurance will cover this cost, as long as you choose a policy that matches the excess on your hire agreement. If the excess is higher than your cover limit, you cannot claim.
What does van hire excess cover?
Excess insurance covers the cost of paying the excess on an insurance policy. Excess insurance can cover compulsory and voluntary excesses on a range of insurance policies, including van hire.
You could also cover the Insurance policy excesses on other policies, like your car or home cover.
You will need to agree to an excess limit with your insurer before you take out any cover. The higher your limit, the more you pay for cover.
Does an excess policy automatically cover any insurance?
No, you need to list the insurance you want to cover on your excess policy documents. So if you want to cover the excess on your van hire insurance, you would need to notify your provider.
You can give details to your excess insurance provider over the phone, or by completing a quote form online. They may also ask for copies of your policy documents, as proof of your excess.
Is van hire excess worth the cost?
It depends on how high your voluntary and compulsory excess amounts are, as well as the cost of an excess insurance policy. For example, some policies can cost as little as £2 a month, but others are more expensive.
Tale the time to weigh up the price of an excess policy against the cost of paying your excess. If it is cheaper to just pay your excess, don't pay out for cover.
What other types of cover can you get?
Other than vehicle hire, the two other types of excess insurance you can choose from are:
Single policy: This covers the excess on one insurance policy, like your home or travel insurance. This is a good option to save on your premium if you have an insurance policy with a high excess.
Lifestyle policy: This covers the excess on a range of insurance policies, like your car, home and travel insurance. This is usually the cheapest way to cover multiple policies, but there will usually be a total cap on how much you can claim for.
How to find the right cover
Shop around by using our comparison tool to find the right cover at the cheapest price. You should check:
The claim limits, which need to be high enough to cover paying your excess
The price, which needs to be less than your excess to be value for money
Whether the policy is annual, or runs daily (the best option for van hire cover)
If worldwide cover applies
It is also crucial to note any exclusions, so that you know what you cannot claim for.
How much does excess insurance cost?
It varies between insurance providers, but some excess cover can cost as little as £2 a month.
You should consider the cost of the excess on the policy or policies you want to cover before taking out an excess insurance policy. If it costs you more to buy excess cover than to pay the excess, then it is not worth the cost to you.
Use our comparison to get as many different quotes as possible and find the best deal.
Do you need excess insurance?
It is almost always worth considering excess insurance if you are hiring a van or car. Most hire companies will demand an excess of £500-£1,000 excess if their vehicle is damaged while you are using it. The right excess insurance would cover this cost.
For all other types of insurance, weigh up whether the price of your excess warrants the cost of a policy. If your excess is less than the price of excess insurance, it is not worth it.
Making your claim
You should always make your claim as soon as possible. Many UK insurance companies will not pay out if you wait more than 31 days to recover your excess costs after your primary claim.
To contact your insurer, call the claims number listed on your policy documents. You should also be able to email to your insurer with details of your claim or fill out an online form.
You will also need to submit your claims form, usually done by email or post. Some insurers may also have an online system where you can submit your details via a web form.
Calling is likely to be the most direct and efficient way of making a claim, but check with your insurer if you are unsure.
You should also ask your insurer how long you can expect to wait until your claim is settled. Most aim to have your claim paid within 15 working days of you sending the necessary documents.