Road trips are exciting, unpredictable adventures that are a great way to enjoy a weekend or a summer break. Exploring your independence and having the freedom to roam anywhere and everywhere… what could be better? Well, it would certainly be a better if you were completely insured! Better still if you can do it cheaply…
By heading out on a road trip, you’re already choosing a budget-friendly option in place of a holiday abroad, but there are still ways to make it even cheaper. This may surprise you, but if you hire a car to travel in, you are not always fully protected by the insurance cover that the company offers. In fact, you may find that coverage from the rental company is significantly more expensive than taking out your own car hire excess insurance.
What the Hire Companies Offer
• Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)
This is what rental companies mean when they offer an ‘all-inclusive’ deal. Having CDW means that you will not have to pay the full charge for any repair costs. Notice the word full. Despite this ‘all-inclusive’ insurance, the policy holder is still expected to contribute towards the costs. This is called the ‘excess’, and the agreed price can be in the thousands, depending on the damage. Not only that, but CDW does not actually cover all areas of the car, so you could end up paying even more.
• Theft Protection (TP)
Again, this insurance tends to be included in the price but does not provide full protection. You will still have an excess to pay if the vehicle is stolen; however if this happens as a result of negligence (e.g. leaving the doors unlocked), then the hire company doesn’t cover this at all.
• Super Collision Damage Waiver (SCDW)
This is an extra policy that you can take out with the rental company, and it’s advertised as being able to reduce your liability to zero. However, much like CDW, sometimes there are parts of the car that remain unprotected. Not to mention that SCDW can make a huge difference to the amount you’re paying to the hire company, as it’s often notably expensive.
• Personal Accident Insurance (PAI)
This is an additional cost, but most likely already covered by your travel insurance. PAI covers any injuries to you or other passengers. You may also be offered PEP (Personal Effects Protection), but this too, is usually covered by your travel or home insurance already.
Obtaining car hire excess insurance on top of what the company include in the rental vehicle price is the best option to save money. It usually offers far better protection, and is significantly cheaper than other excess waivers.
Avoiding the unexpected costs that a car hire company can throw at you can be a confusing business, but hopefully this has somewhat spelt out the basics. In short, purchasing car hire excess insurance from a separate company usually does the trick when it comes to keeping a road trip low-cost. Sort your protection today, and save yourself the trouble later.
Ethan Bailey is an experienced adventure traveller and insurance expert with the team at Let’s Go Insure. Ethan’s passion is to inspire his clients to go just that little bit further, deeper and higher on their travels and his expertise in providing the ideal insurance cover allows them to do just that. If you’re looking for the best car hire excess insurance Let’s Go works with the most experienced underwriters, intermediaries and insurers to offer a range of competitive insurance without compromising on cover.