Car Hire Excess Insurance Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve collated frequently asked questions about our car hire excess insurance policies.

Questions in relation to insurance4carhire's 'Text Help' service

What was the ‘Text Help’ service?

The service was available in emergency situations (such as victims of crime, loss of passports etc), where customers could text the word ‘Help’ to the dedicated telephone number.

Why are you removing the ‘Text Help’ service?

We’ve recently reviewed this feature and very few customers use the ‘Text Help’ service.

Will I get a refund for this service?

No. This was a free service that was included in your policy and did not form part of the policy cost.

What does this mean to my policy?

No other changes are being made to your policy.

Is this service being replaced with anything?

Due to the low usage of this service, there is no intention to replace this.

Who do I contact in the event of a breakdown?

Best practice has always been to contact your rental company in the first instance as they can advise you on what the next steps you should take, and what your rental agreement covers in the event of a breakdown.

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.

Our Daily policy is valid worldwide - excluding any trip in, to, or through Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Region of Crimea, Sudan and Syria. Find out more about our daily policy versus annual policies in our guide, Daily Versus Annual Car Hire Excess Insurance.

Our van policy, from insuremyvanhire.com is valid only in the UK, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. 

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.

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.

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 an excess/deductible?

The excess, known as a deductible in some countries, 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.

Many of our customers ask us to clarify what exactly am excess/deductible is. It 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.

An excess/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 excess/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 excesses/deductibles in our guide: What is Car Hire Excess Insurance?

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

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.
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 and how does it work?

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?

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.

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 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.

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.

What is Collision Damage Cover or Loss Damage Waiver (LDW)?

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 and watch video guides 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.

Is there an age limit for insurance4carhire policies?

We can offer insurance4carhire car hire excess policies to people between and including the ages of 21 and 85.

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.

Can I use a regular car hire excess insurance policy for car clubs as well such as zip car?

Yes, you can use our car hire excess insurance policies for car clubs such as Zip car.

If I, an insurance4carhire customer, am a named driver on a hire car and the primary driver is not on the policy am I still covered?

It is a requirement of the insurance4carhire policy that the named driver on the hire car must be the policyholder. If the lead driver is not a policyholder then no cover will be provided by our policy.

Can I renew my insurance4carhire policy online?

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

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 insurance4carhire policy cover vehicles such as vans, campervans and motorbikes?

Our UK & Europe, Worldwide and Worldwide Plus CDW & SLI policies do not cover camper vans, caravans, motor bikes, vintage cars or commercial vehicles. For commercial vehicle hire excess cover (UK, Isle of Man and Channel Islands only), visit our van hire excess insurance page.

What is van hire excess insurance?

When you hire a van, your van rental company will include insurance cover for the duration of the rental period. However, this cover will typically include a large excess should an accident occur. For vans, this excess limit can be thousands of pounds. For this reason, you will usually be offered excess cover when you arrive at the rental desk to pick up your van. Our daily van hire excess policy can be purchased at a competitive price, all online, and up to a year in advance, so that you may be reimbursed your excess should your rental van be damaged or stolen during the rental period. For daily commercial vehicle hire excess insurance, visit our van hire excess insurance page.

Can I upgrade my insurance4carhire to include vans?

We cannot upgrade policies to include vans. We have a separate daily policy which offers the same level of cover as our Daily Policy for £9.99 a day (available for rentals in the UK, Isle of Man and Channel Islands only).

Does a car hire excess insurance policy cover 4wd cars used on the road (not for off road?

Our policies do cover 4wd on the road, provided the vehicle is being used to drive on public thoroughfares. We will not cover 4wds off road.

If I make a claim on an insurance4carhire policy, should I tell (on renewal) my normal car insurance company - and if so, is there any chance it will affect my no claims bonus?

If you make a claim under the insurance4carhire policy you do not need to tell your car insurance company as the claim is for the excess charged by the rental company only and not connected to your car insurance.

Is my courtesy or loan car covered?

Yes, when you are provided with a courtesy car because your own car is being serviced or repaired for damage, we will pay you the costs of repairs or excess relating to the courtesy car for up to £6500 for any one incident and no more than £6500 in any one period of insurance. Please note that the maximum number of days for each loan period must not exceed 60 continuous days.

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.

How can I check whether or not I have a current policy?

You can check whether you have a current policy by:

  • Logging into our customer portal using your policy number and four digit pin (both of which would have been included in your welcome email)
  • Calling us on 0344 892 1770 or +44 (0)1242 538 475 (international calls)
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