When hiring a car through a price comparison website, you will often be given the option to purchase “Full Insurance”. Below is an explanation of the difference between the insurances offered by third parties, and insurances that are offered directly by the car rental company, so that you can make a knowledgeable decision regarding which option is best for you.
Third Party - Excess Reimbursement Policy:
The insurances offered by third party companies are known as “Excess Reimbursement Policies”. If there is any damage to your rental vehicle, you will have to pay the car rental company, and then claim the money back through the excess reimbursement policy. Below are some key points to keep in mind regarding third party excess reimbursement policies:
- A deposit amount (which can be anything between £500 - £2500 or even more in some cases depending on the location and vehicle booked) will be blocked on your credit card by the car rental company for the duration of hire and the money will be unavailable to use over that period.
- Depending on the country of hire, the release of the deposit can range from 3-5 working days in most cases, but can sometimes take as long as 30 days, during which time you will not have access to the funds. This is something to consider if you are counting on the money on your card to use for your holiday, or if having such a sizeable block on your card for a period of time after the return of the rental car will cause you any issues.
- If the rental car is damaged during your rental, you will have to pay the car rental company for the damage, and then claim the money back from the third party that you purchased the excess reimbursement policy from. This process can take some time, and therefore it’s important to be aware that there may be a period of time where these funds will not be available to you, until you make the claim, the claim is processed and refund is made.
Car Rental Company’s Excess Reduction Package / Waiver: Typically, most car rental companies will offer a range of insurance options that will reduce your liability to a very small amount, or to zero. While these insurances are often more expensive than the excess reimbursement policies offered by third parties, there are added benefits to purchasing the car rental company’s own insurance packages, some of which are highlighted below:
- Depending on the insurance packages chosen, your deposit amount will be reduced or removed, allowing you to have access to the money on your card throughout the car hire.
- If you purchase an insurance package that reduces your excess to 0, in the unfortunate event that there is damage to your rental vehicle, as long as it is not caused by negligence*, you will be able to return the car to the rental desk and walk away without paying anything extra or having to fill out a lot of paperwork.
- When a fully comprehensive insurance is purchased, it will help to speed up the pick up and drop off process, as a quick check of the vehicle at the start and end is all that's needed on both occasions.
* Other exclusions may also apply, please see full Terms & Conditions for full details.