- On March 20, 2017
Car hire insurance
Travel today is not only a holiday once or twice a year, but for many people a lifestyle. Due to an era of low-cost air carriers with affordable air tickets to any destination is not only a dream anymore. With air travel, directly connected and a necessity is the service of a car rental. It allows any passenger freedom in exploring the selected destination, comfort when traveling and an opportunity to get to know the country and the local people better.
Car rental is also a perfect solution to avoid overpriced taxi services, loaded buses, metros or trams, with the main reason, already mentioned the freedom. No matter whether you wish to just drive around your host destination, or for example, visit distanced famous national park, car rental will give you the liberty to leave and return whenever you feel like it.
The very first thing to do before you choose which car rental company you would like to use, there is an essential question to be answered: What about a car hire insurance?
For those renting a car for the first time, it may not sound or be that important, while for well experienced travelers, sometimes it may become a night mare.
What is happening?
For the very simply reason of this service to be used so frequently, today, even the banks will offer you when car hire insurance when you purchase simple credit card! If you make a booking trough third party e.g. travel agency, and not directly through the rent a car company, insurance will also be offered to you by the agency itself, not to mention the fact that you may be offered an insurance by an agent dealing with insurance only and not car rental. For that reason it is highly recommended to purchase car hire insurance directly with the car rental company when renting your car.
A very common problem with the purchase of insurance via third part is that it may happen, even though you already have your car insurance, when picking-up your vehicle you may and in most cases will be required to still make down payment or leave a deposit, usually by blocking the certain limit, depending on the car category, directly from your credit card. In most countries this amount is around 600 EUR. This deposit serves as warranty for eventual damage despite the fact that you already have purchased insurance via third party, and in cases of any damage, you will have to ask for a refund at the same place where you booked your insurance, which all can cause unnecessary paperwork not to mention headaches.
The most problems may occur by returning the vehicle where the client may be charged for a damage and for a not expected amount since they believe they already have it all covered by insurance purchased by a third party. The main problem is that in such cases, the clause with very small letter which nobody reads usually states that the agency is not responsible for damages at parking lots, does not accept the damage claim without police report etc. Those clients not reading carefully given paperwork in such cases usually are getting out of the rental with financial loss.
Even more terrifying and more frequent phenomenon that occurs is the fact that clients are charged by the rental car company personnel for the insurance even without their knowledge. The usual story may seem like this:
“Book your vehicle at unbelievable rates of 10,00EUR/day for 7 days period! When you try to book your car, you will be asked for insurance and your answer, of course, will be that you already have purchased insurance at the same place where you made your reservation. Since most companies have such a directive to sell insurance together with the car rental, the personnel will most probably still insist on selling you one, despite your firm attitude and a proof you already have one purchased. That’s exactly what becomes the tricky moment. You will be asked for your credit card which serves to secure the deposit, which will be refunded, in cases of damage at the same place where you paid for your insurance and made a reservation. After you have signed for your paperwork, in many cases, the insurance amount will be added to your contract, which, to be honest all of us very rarely read carefully, especially the small letters. This way you may be trapped and in the end the car rental will cost you way more than you expected, not to mention that it will be nowhere close to the amount you saw in the add that appealed you.
This, of course is just an example and not practice everywhere, however, more and more people witness this trap with their own unpleasant experiences.
Why Car hire insurance became a big problem?
It is to be assumed that such scams occurred due to huge market competence and low car rental prices. Not that long ago, the minimum rental price per day for a lowest category of a vehicle was around 50 Euros, while today that amount is in some cases even five times lower. It is more than obvious that daily car rental of 8 Euros cannot bring a profit to a company, especially taking into consideration the fact that the rental of a simple bike starts at 11 Euros per day! Also, about ten year ago, car hire insurance could have been bough exclusively and only at the car Rental Company where you made your reservation, while today insurance is sold almost everywhere and is direct financial damage to a car rental company. For that reason, the accumulated deficit is in many cases, and by many car rental companies is compensated by numerous additional services and insurance payments as described above, just to stay in range of affordable prices and simple survival on the market.
Where should I buy my Car hire insurance and why?
Today, majority of car rental companies offer brand new vehicles, and it is actually very hard to find anyone offering cars older than 3 years and with more than 100.000 driven kilometers. To make your choice easier, simply pick the one offering the full insurance at the lowest price.
The upper part of this article covered the most common scam cases where clients would be unpleasantly surprised by additional charges for insurance even though it was already paid for upon reservation confirmation via third party
Our recommendation to purchase the car insurance directly via the car rental car company may seem a little paradoxal; however we will gladly explain our suggestion:
It is in the interest of third party insurance companies to pay out the least possible amount for the damages on vehicles, and that is why their contract clauses will always content the such which do not cover the damages on parking lots, damage claims are invalid without police reports, which are very hard to obtain especially in cases of minor scratches, however, they will cost you a minimum of 200 Euros.
When obtaining car hire insurance, please try to keep a wider picture and see the difference where the companies offers simple, and where full insurance. In such a way you will avoid unpleasant situations with damage claims trough third parties, as well as possibility to be double charged for the insurance by some rental car companies themselves without your knowledge.
We truly hope that this article will give you a wider and clearer picture when shooing the best and according to your budget the most suitable rental car company and insurance. If you consider this article useful, we would appreciate your feedback as well as your own scam stories if you have any which will also help us improve the services and give better and useful advices to all potential clients.