Car Hire Excess Insurance UK: What is it? How does it Work?

PUBLISHED ON Mar, 05 2023


Introduction to Car Hire Excess Insurance in the UK

Car Hire Excess Insurance is a type of insurance that covers the excess charges that can be imposed by a car rental company in case of any damage, loss or theft of the vehicle. In the UK, all car rental companies have a mandatory excess fee that the customer has to pay in the event of any damage to the rented vehicle. This fee can often be a substantial amount, sometimes reaching several hundred pounds or even more than £1,000. 


The Importance of Car Hire Insurance UK

Car hire insurance UK is an essential consideration for anyone renting a car in the UK. Although basic insurance is often included in the price of car hire, it usually comes with an excess, meaning that you could have to pay a contribution of up to £2,500 towards repair or theft costs, regardless of who is at fault. Liability insurance is the only policy that is legally mandatory to have, but it’s not enough to cover all potential damages.

Car hire excess insurance is a type of insurance that reimburses you for the excess amount you’d have to pay in case of damage or theft of the car you’re renting. This insurance is also known as UK car rental excess insurance or collision damage waiver UK. UK car hire excess insurance can cover damages to the bodywork, tyres, and roof of the car.

Car hire excess insurance can be purchased for a single trip or on an annual basis, and it covers damages to the bodywork, tires, and roof of the rental car. CarInsuRent also offer coverage for lost keys or personal accident insurance for the driver. The main purpose of car hire excess insurance UK with CarInsuRent is to provide you peace of mind and financial protection in the event of an accident or theft, saving you from having to pay large excess fees out of pocket.


UK Car Rental Insurance Explained – Types of Car Hire Insurance UK

When hiring a car in the UK, various types of insurance policies are available, including the legally mandatory liability insurance. However, it is common for basic insurance policies to include an excess, which means that you could be liable to pay a contribution towards theft or repair costs, usually ranging from £100 to £2,500.

Car hire excess insurance can waive the excess cost so that you are not left out of pocket, meaning that you pay a small fee to avoid a potentially significant financial burden. It is worth noting that the amount of excess insurance you need will depend on the type of car you are renting, the length of your rental, and the level of risk you are willing to take.

Some policies, such as collision damage waiver (CDW), personal accident insurance, and theft protection, may also be available. CDW insurance UK covers the cost of damage to the rental car, but it may not cover all types of damage, such as damage to the tires or windows. 

Theft protection, as the name suggests, covers the cost of replacing the rental car if it is stolen. 

Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) is a combination of CDW and Theft Protection that typically provides coverage for losses or damages incurred by the rental vehicle in the event of an accident or theft, as long as the renter has not violated the rental agreement’s terms and conditions. LDW is not mandatory, but it can waive your financial responsibility for any damages or losses that may occur to the rental vehicle during the rental period.

Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) covers the driver and passengers in the event of an accident. PAI may provide coverage for accidental medical costs, emergency care, and accidental death resulting from an accident. The coverage limit of PAI may vary depending on the specific policy and insurance provider. It is important to note that PAI only covers accidental injuries resulting from an accident and not sickness or natural causes.

Documenting damage to rental car

Documenting damage to rental car

Car Hire Insurance UK Cost

The cost of car hire insurance in the UK can vary depending on a number of factors. Some car hire companies may include a basic level of insurance in the rental price, while others may offer additional protection options at an extra cost.

The basic insurance that comes with a car rental usually has an excess, which is the amount you would be responsible for paying in the event of damage or theft of the vehicle. The excess amount can be several hundred pounds or even up to £2,500.

If you want to reduce the excess or avoid paying it altogether, you may be able to purchase additional protection products such as a damage waiver or car hire excess insurance. The cost of these products can vary depending on the provider and the level of coverage you choose. CarInsurent car hire excess insurance can range from a few pounds a day to £75 for an annual policy, and provide significant savings compared to paying the rental company’s excess fee.

It’s worth noting that some car hire companies may include additional fees or surcharges for drivers under a certain age, for additional drivers, or for rentals that require international travel or cross-border drop-offs. These fees may also impact the overall cost of car hire insurance in the UK.

Overall, the cost of car hire insurance in the UK can vary depending on a range of factors, but it’s important to carefully consider the level of coverage you need and the potential costs of excess fees before making a decision.

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Benefits of Having Car Rental Excess Insurance UK

Car hire excess insurance UK is an additional type of insurance that covers you for the excess charges you may be required to pay to the rental company if your hire car is stolen or damaged. The excess is the first part of a claim that you are required to pay, even if your hire car is insured. Here are some benefits of having car hire excess insurance in the UK:

  1. It can save you money: Having car hire excess insurance can save you money in the long run, as it means you won’t have to pay out of pocket for the excess charges that may arise if your hire car is stolen or damaged.
  2. Provides peace of mind: Knowing that you are covered in case of an accident or theft can give you peace of mind when hiring a car. You can enjoy your travels without worrying about unexpected expenses. 
  3. Protects you against high excess charges: Car hire companies often have high excess charges that can be costly if you are involved in an accident or theft. Having car hire excess insurance can protect you against these charges, giving you one less thing to worry about when traveling. 

In summary, car hire excess insurance can save you money, provide peace of mind and protect you against high excess charges when hiring a car in the UK. It’s important to note that the specific benefits of UK car hire excess insurance may vary depending on the rental company and the type of insurance purchased. It is recommended to carefully review the terms and conditions of the insurance policy and to ask questions to the rental company to make sure you fully understand the coverage and benefits.

CarInsuRent car hire excess insurance starts from as low as $6.49 per day* to $94.90 for an annual policy. Our policies covers the excess on damage and theft up to €2,500 and provide full protection that Includes single vehicle damage, roof and undercarriage damage, auto glass and widescreen damagetowing expenses, misfuelling, loss of car key and tire damage. We cover multiple drivers between the ages of 21 and 84 years.


Car Hire Insurance UK – Your Options

Purchase Car Rental Insurance Directly With the Rental Company

  • Rental company’s insurance – Most rental car companies offer their own insurance, which typically includes damage cover (CDW), theft cover (Theft Protection), and third-party cover (Third-Party Liability). These types of insurance options usually come with an excess, which is the first part of the bill that the renter will be responsible for. The rental company’s insurance is convenient, but it can be expensive and may not provide comprehensive coverage.

Cover Your Excess Through CarInsuRent

  • Third-party car rental insurance – Third-party car rental insurance is an affordable option that can provide comprehensive coverage for rental cars. This type of insurance typically covers collision damage, theft protection, and liability, and may offer higher coverage limits than rental company insurance. It can provide a cost-effective alternative to rental car company insurance.

Don’t Buy Any Additional Insurance At All

  • You are not required by law to buy a Rental Vehicle Excess Insurance or a Collision Damage Waiver. Such products are completely optional.  In case of an accident (whether major or minor), rental companies would quickly bill your credit card the maximum damage. Excess fee can reach $3,000–$8,250 depending on the company and the type of car you rented.


Rental Company Insurance vs. CarInsuRent – Which Option is Best for You?

When renting a car, excess insurance is an optional add-on that can help reduce the excess amount that you would be liable for in the event of damage or theft of the rental car. Car rental companies charge for excess insurance by offering a Collision Damage Waiver UK, which will reduce the renter’s financial liability in the event of an accident, and/or a Loss Damage Waiver (LDW), which will cover the cost of repairing or replacing the rental car in case of damage or theft. The cost of CDW and LDW can vary significantly from one rental company to another and can depend on the type of vehicle, the location, and the duration of the rental. 

On the other hand, third-party providers like CarInsuRent offer excess cover insurance, which is usually more affordable and comprehensive than CDW or LDW offered by rental companies. The excess cover insurance from CarInsuRent will provide you with coverage for the excess amount that you are liable to pay in case of damage or theft of the rental car, and it can be purchased separately from the car rental agreement. Excess cover insurance can be purchased at any time before the rental period and it can be customized to fit your needs, which can be a more flexible option than the insurance offered by rental companies.

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How to File a Claim

  • What to Do in Case of an Accident or Damage – If you are involved in an accident while driving a rental car, there are certain steps you should follow to file a claim with the rental car insurance company. First, exchange personal information with the other driver, including name, address, license plate number, rental vehicle information, insurance company, and policy number, and document the accident with pictures and notes. If the other driver is at fault, you should get their contact and insurance information and call their insurance company directly to file a claim. If you are at fault or have non-collision damage, you can file a claim with the rental car insurance company. The process for filing a claim with the rental car insurance company may vary depending on the provider, but typically, you would need to provide details of the incident, including the date, time, and location of the accident, as well as any police report numbers, if applicable. Additionally, you may need to provide documentation of the damage, such as photographs or repair estimates.
  • Required Documentation for Filing a Claim
    • A copy of the Certificate of Insurance
    • A copy of the rental agreement
    • A copy of the police report if:
      • you got in an accident with a third party
      • It is legally mandated in the country of incident
      • your claim is about stolen personal belongings
    • A copy of the damage report given by the rental company, detailing each cost incurred. Photographs of the damage are optional but may help ensure that the charges are reasonable.
    • Detailed repair receipts, invoices or other documents showing the breakdown of the amount the rental company charged you for the accidental damage or loss
    • A copy of your credit card statement that reflects your payment for the claimed damages
    • A copy of the driver’s license of the person driving the car during the accident


  • Tips for a Smooth Claims Process: Filing an insurance claim can be a complicated and stressful process. The following tips can help ensure a smoother claims process:
    • Document everything: Documenting all the details of the accident or loss, including taking photos and notes, can help speed up the claims process and reduce the possibility of disputes.
    • Communication: Communication is key in any insurance claim process. Keep thorough records of all communication with the insurer, and discuss your expectations for the claims process with the adjuster. You can also ask about the frequency of updates and the preferred type of communication.
    • Avoid duplicate claims: Avoid submitting duplicate claims, as it slows down the claims payment process and creates confusion.
    • Understand your coverage: It’s important to understand your insurance coverage, including the limits and deductibles, before filing a claim. Understanding your policy can help ensure that you receive the maximum benefit to which you are entitled.
    • Be patient: Claims processing can take time, so it’s important to be patient. 

By following these tips, you can help ensure a smoother claims process, and increase the chances of receiving the maximum benefit that you are entitled to under your insurance policy.

Final Thoughts and Recommendations

In summary, car hire insurance UK is crucial to protect yourself against the financial impact of potential damages or theft of the rental car in the UK. It’s important to note that basic insurance included in the price of car hire often comes with an excess, which can be costly in the event of an incident. Therefore, it’s advisable to consider purchasing additional car hire excess insurance to ensure that you are fully protected.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I cancel my policy before my trip?

You can cancel your policy within 14 days of receiving your PDS and Certificate of Insurance. The premium you have paid will be refunded to you in full, as long as you have not started your trip and do not want to file a claim of any sort related to the policy. Once this 14-day period has passed, you can still cancel your policy but you will not receive any refund.

Does CarInsuRent cover Sand and Ash Protection and Gravel Protection?

Our Iceland policy include Sand and Ash Protection (SAAP) and Gravel Protection (GP).

What is Sand and Ash Protection (SAAP)?

Sand and Ash Protection (SAAP) is a type of insurance coverage that is designed to protect rental cars from the potential damage caused by volcanic ash and sand in Iceland. Certain areas of Iceland still have loose ash and fine sand from the Eyjafjallajökull eruption, which can blow around and damage vehicles. SAAP is a specific waiver that was created to cover this type of damage, as Icelandic insurance companies do not include it in their Collision Damage Waiver. This coverage is optional, but highly recommended if you plan to drive in Iceland. Camping Iceland, a local car rental company, claims that SAAP will serve you well and recommends it for all rentals.

When is it Common for the Wind to Toss Sand Onto the Roads?

Sand can be hurled onto roads in Iceland during the Sand & Ash period, which typically occurs in February, March, and April. During this time, the snow has only just thawed out and the grass hasn't grown sufficiently to keep the sand in its place. This can lead to damage to vehicles driving on the roads. It's important to note that sand and dust storms, which can also cause visibility issues for drivers, typically occur when strong winds lift large amounts of sand and dust from bare, dry soils into the atmosphere.

What does CarInsurent Sand and Ash Protection in Iceland cover?

Due to the recent volcanic eruptions in Iceland the risk of damage to the paint and windows of the cars has increased. Our Sand and Ash Protection (SAAP) insurance can cover damage to the paint, windows, lights, plastics, chromes, and wheels of the rental car caused by sand, gravel, ash, pumice, or other earth materials being blown onto the vehicle. The deductible for SAAP insurance is typically 50,000 IKR for all rental cars in the fleet. No other insurance covers these damages and insurance companies refuse to cover them. Even though all safety rules are followed damage can happen when, for example, wind starts blowing more than was forecasted thus moving the sand/ash and damaging the car.   [carInsurent_sc_get_quote_cta cta_text="See How Much You Can Save on Your Car Rental Insurence" cta_btn_text="Get Started"]  

Does the Insurance Cover Lost Keys and Remote Locking Devices?

Yes. CarInsuRent insurance covers lost keys and remote locking devices. Losing the keys to a rental car can be a stressful and frustrating experience. Many people wonder if their rental car insurance will provide coverage for lost keys. Rental car insurance policies may vary in their coverage for lost keys. Lost keys are not typically covered by car insurance for loss or theft, as keys are considered personal property.

Steps to Take If You Lose Rental Car Keys

Losing rental car keys can be a frustrating and stressful experience, but there are steps you can take to get back on the road quickly. Here are some tips based on the provided web search results:
  1. Contact roadside assistance: Most rental cars come with a roadside assistance phone number that you can call in the event of a lockout or lost keys. You should be able to call and have someone sent out to help with your situation. Note that our car hire excess waiver insurance may reimburse you for roadside assistance.
  2. Check for a spare key: Some rental cars come with a spare key that is located in a magnetic box under the car or in the trunk. If you have rented a car that has a spare key, this could be an option to get back on the road quickly.
  3. Contact the rental car company: Contact the rental car company as soon as possible to let them know what has happened. They may be able to provide you with a replacement key or arrange for a locksmith to come and assist you.
  4. Check your insurance policy: If you take out our car hire excess insurance you may have coverage for lost or stolen rental car keys.
  5. Take preventative measures: One of the best ways to avoid losing rental car keys is to make them harder to lose. Attach a big, noticeable lanyard or keychain to the keys, something that will make a noise when moved, to help you locate them quickly. Additionally, always double-check that you have the keys with you before leaving the car.
  We encourage you to read our full guide to learn everything you need to know about travel car hire excess insurance.   [carInsurent_sc_get_quote_cta cta_text="See How Much You Can Save on Your Car Rental Insurence" cta_btn_text="Get Started"]   Please see the Policy Wording for the complete terms and conditions.

Find the answers you’re looking for to the most frequently asked car hire insurance questions as well as other questions relating to our products and services.

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