Car Hire Excess Insurance Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve collated some frequently asked questions about our car hire excess insurance policies. If you still have questions, call us - we’re here to help.

What is Collision Damage Cover?

A ‘Collision Damage Cover’ often referred to as Collision Damage Waiver or Loss Damage Waiver is a basic insurance cover which covers the rental vehicle against damage and theft.

Not all car rental companies will include Collision Damage Waiver when you hire a car, so it’s always worth checking ‘what’s included’ before you hire. Without this, you may be left liable for the full cost of the vehicle.

Collision Damage Waiver is often subject to an excess, which can range between 500 EUR and 1,500 EUR*. Your insurance4carhire policy is designed to cover the excess you are liable for. It will also include damage to the windows, tyres, undercarriage, roof and headlights which may be excluded from the car rental company’s insurance. Just be aware, we won’t provide cover for any accidental damage you might have to the interior of the vehicle.

You can read more about this in our guide: Collision Damage Waiver and Supplementary Liability Insurance explained.

*Based on findings for quotes with Budget, Avis and Hertz in August 2015.

How much is Collision Damage Waiver insurance?

Each rental company will operate in their own way, and charges will vary. Some rental companies will include CDW as standard, and some will not.

If you are visiting North America or the Caribbean, then CDW insurance doesn’t always come as standard. For this reason it's worth checking before you get to the car rental desk to avoid any unexpected charges.

In the case that Collision Damage Waiver is not provided to you by the rental company, we can offer it to you under our USA and Canada (plus The Americas) policy.

For anywhere else in the World, it normally comes included but in some cases you may have to pay extra. So check before you buy!

TIP: Try booking your rental vehicle on a ‘.co.uk’ website rather than a ‘.com’ website where you’ll find CDW is normally included as standard.

What is SLI/ALI?

SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), also known as ALI (Additional Liability Insurance) is a form of insurance that protects you (the driver) and your passengers against large third-party claims. Should you have an accident and this results in third-party claims for damages or injuries, then the car rental policy will protect you (the driver).

Do I need a credit card when renting a car?

The answer is yes. Even if you have pre-paid your car hire in full in the UK you will need a credit card when collecting your vehicle. This is for deposit purposes and should have sufficient credit on it to cover the excess. If you don’t have a credit card you should inform your car rental company, as they could refuse to rent you a car at the car rental desk.

What do I need to hire a car?

First of all, you’ll need to have a driving licence and for most car rental firms, you need to be over the age of 25. In some cases, if you’re under the age of 25, a ‘young driver fee’ may apply which can cost more.

The lead driver will also need a credit card for the rental company to put a ‘hold’ or a ‘block’ on; equal to the amount of excess you’ll be liable for. Most car rental firms will not accept Debit Cards, and will not accept anybody else’s Credit Card.

You may want to consider covering your excess with insurance4carhire. In the event that you’re charged your excess for damage or theft, you’ll be able to claim this back – just make sure you check our terms and conditions to see whether it’s covered.

Another tip is to check the fuelling policy! It’s one of the most common hidden charges! You can read more about this in our guide: A Guide to Car Hire Costs.

What is excess?

The excess, also known as the deductible, is the amount you are liable to pay to the car rental company should you have an accident or return the car damaged. When you hire a car, even if your rental agreement includes insurance, there will almost certainly be an excess to pay. Buying excess insurance from us means that if you are asked to pay an excess by your car hire company, we'll reimburse you provided it’s covered by the policy. Full details of what is and isn’t covered can be found in the policy wording.

How does excess insurance work?

Excess insurance is designed to reimburse excess charges imposed by the car rental company, following damage or theft of the vehicle.

You may find that car rental companies do not provide cover for damage to the windows, headlights, roof, tyres and undercarriage. This means that you may be left liable for the full cost of these. But don’t worry, your insurance4carhire policy will cover you for them. Just be aware that we don't provide cover for any accidental damage you may have to the interior of the vehicle.

Say your excess for your car rental were 700 EUR; your vehicle got damaged and the cost of repair were 1,000 EUR. In this instance, you would need to pay your excess of 700 EUR to the car rental company and the car rental company’s insurance would cover the rest. You’d then need to collate documentation to support and submit your claim. 

How much is the excess?

The excess varies depending on the car rental company, the type of vehicle you are hiring and the destination you are travelling to. insurance4carhire can reimburse you up to the value of £6,500.

What is Excess Reimbursement Insurance?

Many people are often confused as to what excess reimbursement insurance actually is. Does it cover the full insurance of the vehicle for example? Or is it covering Collision Damage Waiver?

Effectively excess reimbursement insurance is a policy designed to reimburse you for excess charges imposed by the car rental company, for damage or theft of the vehicle.

Excess insurance covers the amount of excess you would have to pay in the event that your rental vehicle gets damage or is stolen, not the vehicle itself.

Let’s say you have an excess of £600 and the vehicle is damaged where the repairs will cost £1,000. You’d need to pay your excess of £600, the car rental companies insurance would then kick in and cover the remainder, then you’ll be able to claim back the £600 from your insurance4carhire policy – just make sure you check our terms and conditions to see if it’s covered.

In short we offer an effective safety net that provides you with the peace of mind when hiring a car.

You can read more about this in our guide: What is Car Hire Excess Insurance?

What is a deductible?

Many of our customers ask us to clarify what exactly a deductible is? Well, a ‘deductible’ is a fixed amount that the insured is liable to pay in the event of a claim. For example, let’s say your car gets damaged which costs £2,000 for repair, and you have a deductible of £500. You would be liable for the first £500 of the claim, and the car rental companies insurance would cover the remaining £1,500.

A deductible for your rental car can vary and will be dependent on the vehicle you’re hiring. Deductibles can typically range from £500 up to £1,500*, even for a small prang.

If you decline the car rental company’s excess insurance, you may be required to leave a deposit on your Credit Card equal to the amount of excess you’ll be liable for.

In the event of damage or theft, the deductible will be charged to that card. If you hold an insurance4carhire policy, you’ll be able to claim this back. Just be sure to check our terms and conditions to see whether it’s covered.

You can read more about a deductible in our guide: What is Car Hire Excess Insurance?

*Based on findings for quotes with Budget, Avis and Hertz in August 2015

What is the difference between Super CDW, non waiver and the deductible?

The answer is none. All the above mean the same thing - excess insurance. Different car rental companies use different phrases to describe excess insurance which can often be confusing.

Must I take out excess insurance?

No, excess is a voluntary insurance. You have three choices:

  1. You can decline excess cover. If you do subsequently damage the vehicle or if it is stolen, you will be liable for the excess charge.
  2. You can purchase the car rental company’s excess cover, which is sold at the counter when you collect the car but the costs can be quite high. It can cost you between £9 and £20 a day and covers the excess on theft and damage to the vehicle. It generally excludes: damage to the undercarriage, windows, roof and tyres, the parts of the car which are most likely to get damaged should you have accident.
  3. You can purchase a policy from insurance4carhire.com. Our wide range of policies are cheaper than over the counter car hire company excess cover. Plus, in addition to the car hire excess, our policies cover damage to the roof, windows, tyres and undercarriage, something most car hire companies don’t cover.
Can I renew my insurance4carhire policy online?

Yes, we have a customer area on the website where you can renew your policy and view your documents. There are also options to upgrade your policy where applicable.

Can I purchase an insurance4carhire policy if I am not a UK resident?

To purchase insurance4carhire policies you must be resident in the UK, Republic of Ireland, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, The Netherlands or Sweden.

Where in the world will insurance4carhire cover me?

Our Europe annual policy is valid for trips in all European countries to the West of the Ural Mountains including the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Republic of Ireland, Iceland, islands in the Mediterranean, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, Canary Islands, Madeira, and the Azores.

Our Worldwide annual policy covers trips anywhere in the world excluding any trip in, to, or through Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Region of Crimea, Sudan and Syria.

Our USA & Canada policy is valid for trips in the USA, Canada, South and Central America and the Caribbean.

What is meant by a 'Family and Partners policy'?

Our Family and Partners policies (available for UK & Europe and Worldwide excess insurance policies) enables two family members* to purchase car hire excess insurance as one policy. This means that each of these two family members can hire cars separately, as lead drivers. As with a standard annual policy, each lead driver is entitled to add up to seven additional drivers (provided they are named on the rental agreement), per rental agreement. insurance4carhire does not need to be provided with the names or details of these additional drivers.  

*Family member means your spouse, civil partner or fiancé/fiancée, parents, parents-in-law, brother or sister, brother or sister-in-law, children or sons and daughters-in-law.

Do you have to have car insurance in America?

It’s not a legal requirement to have insurance for your vehicle in America however it is compulsory to have a minimum level of cover for third-party insurance.

For example, in California the minimum requirement for individual bodily injury is $15,000 whereas it’s only $5,000 for property damage. The minimum can vary from state to state.

In the UK, the minimum requirement for car insurance is third-party cover which tends to provide cover for millions of pounds.

You can top up your third-party insurance with our USA & Canada policy which will cover you for Supplemental Liability Insurance and for Collision Damage Waiver, for damage and theft of the rental vehicle.

You can read more about this in our guide: The Americas – A Guide to Collision Damage Waiver and Supplemental Liability Insurance.

Does my policy cover vehicles such as vans, campervans and motorbikes?

No, we do not cover camper vans, caravans, motor bikes, vintage cars or commercial vehicles. For commercial vehicle hire excess cover, visit our van hire excess insurance page.

What happens if I need to cancel my policy?

You have 14 days cooling off period to cancel your policy. You can either email or telephone us and our friendly customer service team will be happy to assist you. If you cancel outside of the cooling off period, you will receive a pro rata refund of any premium less the customer service charge, providing you do not intend to make a claim.

What happens if I need to amend my policy?

You can either email or telephone us and our friendly customer service team will be happy to assist you.

Contact details
Phone: 0344 892 1770
International: +44 (0)1242 538 475
Email: info@insurance4carhire.com