Renting a car abroad can be an expensive affair. Even if you were never invlolved in an accident or never damaged your own vehicle, driving an unfamiliar vhicle in unfamiliar roads can end up with damage to the hired vehicle. Thus, there are times when you can be charged a very high for your rental. However, you needn’t go through this expense as there are rental car insurance in the event of an accident.
The minimum rates for renting cars in Europe and Australia usually include liability coverage. This includes coverage for damage due to the accident both inside the car and outside. There are a few ways by which you can choose to cover your risk of theft or damage to the car. They are:
- Buy a CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) from your rental company.
- Depend on the coverage provided by your credit card
- Use the facility of collision insurance which comes with your travel insurance.
- Buy theft insurance which takes care of the stolen car but nothing that the car contained.
What is CDW?
Buying a Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) from a car rental company is the easiest solution as it is a waiver, not insurance. In case your rented car is damaged, the company will waive its right to collect a high fee from you. In this case you will be charged a lower amount known as deductible or excess . If your car is involved in a collision, the CDW will cover most of the damage, except the roof, undercarriage, tires, windows, windshield, interiors and side mirrors.
The CDW costs $15–$30 a day. At the time of purchasing the CDW, the deductibles offered will range between $1,000 and $2,500. There are car rental companies that also offer “super CDW” which reduces the deductibles to nil or almost nil.
When you’re comparing European rental company options online, you might come across “basic” rates that cover CDW/theft coverage. You’ll find that the deductible here that isn’t waived is exceedingly high, about $2,000–$3,000. This only means that you spend enough to buy the “super CDW” to reduce your deductible to an affordable level.
This figure can be reduced with Super CDW. You can get this policy at the desk of car rental companies. The cost per day and exclusions are like CDW and include windscreen and tyre repair or replacements, plus damages to the undercarriage, windows, roof and interiors.
How Can You Avoid the Steep Costs of Car Hire Insurance?
Certain online insurance companies are working to counter the steep prices of car insurance by doing away with excess waiver insurance. This is said to be one of the most expensive of extra costs where an average figure of whopping €186 is levied on the holidaymaker if he buys excess waiver insurance at the rental company’s desk.
However, if he buys car hire excess waiver cover from certain insurance companies, he will end up paying just €40 per week.This will include the excess amount that the driver may need to pay if the car is stolen or damaged.
Other benefits one can avail include:
§ The car rental company will reimburse the cost of repairs of the vehicle to the extent of the driver’s benefit limit if he meets with an accident or if his car is damaged or stolen.
§ If the driver is between 21 and 75 years, has a valid driver’s license and is nominated in the rental agreement, the policy will cover him too.
§ If your rented car meets with damage to the tyres, windscreen, roof, auto glass or undercarriage, the insurance company covers all damages that other companies don’t.
§ If the rented car’s auto glass, roof, tyres, undercarriage or windscreen are damaged, the car insurance company will also reimburse all the expenses you are billed for these repairs.
§ Such companies also cover the costs of damages incurred in single-vehicle accidents to the client’s benefit limit. This is a marked difference from rental companies that charge for such damages apart from other costs.
§ In case the car key of a rental car is stolen or lost, these insurance companies pay for its replacement.
§ Lastly, if one’s personal belongings or luggage to the value of $500/person is stolen or damaged, the client stands to get a reimbursement from the insurance company.
The rental cost can be further reduced if the driver brings his own sat nav, his smartphone for navigation and reduces the number of drivers on the contract.
With so much going for clients renting a car for a holiday, we recommend that you don’t be pressured into buying costly add-on insurance. It stands to reason to buy car rental excess waiver insurance online and go in for 3rd party car hire excess waiver insurance that takes so much into account for holidaymakers.