Insurance4carhire from Towergate Insurance provides customers with a low cost alternative to expensive excess waiver charges offered by car rental companies when renting a car overseas. With an insurance4carhire.com policy you can claim back excess charges should your car be damaged, lost or stolen. You can even claim back money if you damage the roof, tyres or undercarriage of the vehicle - something you may not be covered for under a normal excess waiver.
Gareth and his wife go to Italy at least twice a year and annually take out the standard £40 I4CH policy for their peace of mind. Usually, they book all their hire cars through ‘Car Hire For Less’ who act as a brokerage firm. This means Gareth never knows who is providing the car at their holiday destination until he prints the receipts. For this trip to Pisa, he was allocated Goldcar, a firm he had not used before.
The ‘Car Hire For Less’ booking process opts users in to excess insurance with Allianz for £35. After a phone call this was easy enough to remove.
On arrival at Pisa airport though, Gareth was told by who he felt was an extremely rude Goldcar representative that he had to pay for £85 worth of “peace of mind” cover. Showing his I4CH policy, Gareth tried to argue that this additional cost was unnecessary.
He was then rebuffed with the claim that I4CH’s policy both failed to cover Gareth in the event the car suffered a mechanical breakdown and that the policy was entirely illegal and therefore invalid. As a result, Gareth was forced either to take the policy along with the car or lose his entire deposit.
To make matters worse, the car they were eventually allocated was damaged and had clearly been in an accident. Its rear passenger door was out of line with the chassis and with a three hour journey on the horizon, it was only after much debate that Gareth was finally able to get the car replaced.
Gareth was also told he would be reimbursed for any petrol he did not use. Having returned the car with a quarter tank, this has yet to happen.
Since his return to England, Gareth has complained to Goldcar and asked to be refunded the £85 for unnecessary excess insurance as well as the petrol money. So far, he has not received a response and is not optimistic that he will.
For background, a few years ago Gareth made a successful claim through I4CH. Previously, he has used hire-car companies like Hertz and Avis and they have been more than happy to take the I4CH policy as cover. More generally though, Gareth feels there is a lack of clarity about what some car-hire companies include in their various insurance policies.
Please take a look at the "Rip-off insurance & fuel can add hundreds to the cost of a break" article as published in the Daily Mirror.