Car Rental Insurance for Ireland: Do You Need One and How Does it Work?

PUBLISHED ON May, 17 2023


Renting a car in Ireland offers a fantastic opportunity to explore the stunning landscapes, historic sites, and charming towns at your own pace. However, before embarking on your Irish adventure, it’s essential to understand the ins and outs of car rental insurance. Car rental insurance provides financial protection and peace of mind in case of accidents, damage, or theft during your rental period.

In this article, we’ll delve into the intricacies of car rental insurance in Ireland, helping you navigate the various coverage options and make informed decisions. We’ll discuss the mandatory insurance requirements, the types of coverage available, and provide tips for evaluating your insurance needs. Additionally, we’ll explore ways to save money on car rental insurance while ensuring you have adequate protection.

By understanding car rental insurance in Ireland, you can embark on your journey with confidence, knowing that you are prepared for any unforeseen circumstances. So let’s dive in and uncover the essential information you need to make the right insurance choices for your Irish car rental adventure.

The Importance of Ireland Car Hire Insurance

Car hire insurance in Ireland is of utmost importance when renting a car to explore the country’s beautiful landscapes and vibrant cities. It provides essential protection and peace of mind, ensuring you are financially covered in case of accidents, damage, or theft during your rental period. Understanding the importance of car hire insurance in Ireland can help you make informed decisions and avoid potential risks.

  1. Financial Protection: Car hire insurance safeguards you from unexpected expenses that may arise due to accidents or damage to the rental vehicle. Without adequate insurance, you could be liable for costly repairs or even the full value of the vehicle in case of theft or total loss. Car hire insurance transfers this financial risk to the insurance provider, protecting your wallet from significant financial burdens.
  2. Compliance with Legal Requirements: In Ireland, car rental companies are legally required to provide a minimum level of insurance coverage. This typically includes third-party liability insurance, which covers damages caused to other vehicles or property. By ensuring you have appropriate car hire insurance, you comply with legal obligations and avoid potential legal consequences.
  3. Peace of Mind: Renting a car and exploring unfamiliar roads can be exciting, but it also comes with uncertainties. Car hire insurance offers peace of mind, allowing you to focus on enjoying your journey without worrying about potential accidents or damage. With insurance coverage in place, you can travel with confidence, knowing that you have financial protection should any unforeseen incidents occur. However, it’s worth noting that Car Rental Insurance usually has a deductible amount, which means you may still be responsible for a portion of the repair costs.
  4. Rental Company Requirements: Most car rental companies in Ireland require customers to provide proof of insurance coverage before renting a vehicle. Having car hire insurance ensures you meet the rental company’s requirements, allowing you to smoothly proceed with your rental without any delays or complications.
  5. Protection for Personal Belongings: Some car hire insurance policies may also offer coverage for personal belongings in case of theft or damage while in the rental vehicle. This can provide additional security and reimbursement for any losses you may incur during your journey.

In summary, the importance of car hire insurance in Ireland cannot be overstated. It provides financial protection, legal compliance, peace of mind, and meets rental company requirements. By obtaining comprehensive insurance coverage, you can fully enjoy your Irish adventure, knowing that you are adequately protected against potential risks and unforeseen circumstances.

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

When renting a car in Ireland, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of the different types of car rental insurance available. Having the right insurance coverage ensures that you are adequately protected and can enjoy your journey without unnecessary worries. Let’s explore the types of car hire insurance in Ireland:

  1. Collision Damage Waiver (CDW): Collision Damage Waiver, commonly known as CDW, is a type of car hire insurance that covers the cost of repairs or replacement of the rental vehicle in the event of a collision, accident, or damage. CDW typically includes an excess amount that the renter is responsible for in case of damage. It’s important to carefully review the excess amount and consider purchasing additional coverage to reduce or eliminate this excess.
  2. Theft Protection: Theft protection insurance covers the cost of replacing the rental vehicle if it is stolen or vandalized. It provides financial protection against the loss of the vehicle and its accessories. Like CDW, theft protection insurance usually includes an excess amount, which can be reduced or eliminated with additional coverage.
  3. Supplementary Liability Insurance (SLI): Supplementary Liability Insurance, or SLI, offers additional coverage for third-party bodily injury and property damage. It protects you against potential legal and financial liabilities if you are involved in an accident that causes harm to others or their property. While basic liability coverage is usually included in the rental price, opting for SLI provides higher coverage limits, giving you added peace of mind.
  4. Personal Accident Insurance (PAI): Personal Accident Insurance provides coverage for medical expenses, accidental death, and disability resulting from a car accident during the rental period. This optional insurance can provide additional financial protection for you and your passengers in the unfortunate event of an accident.
  5. Excess Waiver: Ireland car hire excess insurance is an optional coverage that reduces or eliminates the excess amount you would be responsible for in case of damage or theft. It offers extra protection and can help you avoid significant out-of-pocket expenses. It’s worth considering an excess waiver to minimize your financial liability.

It’s important to note that car rental insurance policies may vary among different rental companies. Read the terms and conditions carefully, paying attention to any exclusions, limitations, and excess amounts. Additionally, consider checking if your existing personal car insurance or credit card benefits provide any coverage for car rentals in Ireland.

Damage to rental car

Car Hire Insurance Insurance Ireland Cost

The cost of car hire insurance in Ireland can vary depending on several factors, including the type of coverage, rental duration, rental company, and the level of excess chosen. It’s important to consider these factors and understand how they can impact the overall cost of insurance. Here’s an overview of the factors that influence car hire insurance costs in Ireland:

  1. Type of Coverage: The type of coverage you choose plays a significant role in determining the cost. Basic coverage, such as Ireland Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and Theft Protection, is typically included in the rental price, but it may have an excess amount that you would be responsible for in case of damage or theft. Opting for additional coverage, such as excess waivers, personal accident insurance, or supplementary liability insurance, will increase the overall cost of your insurance.
  2. Excess Amount: The excess amount is the portion of any claim that you are responsible for paying out of pocket. Higher excess amounts generally result in lower insurance premiums, as you are assuming more financial risk. However, it’s important to carefully evaluate the excess amount and consider whether it is affordable for you in case of an incident. The excess amount can be several hundred pounds or even up to £2,500. You may choose to reduce the excess by purchasing additional coverage, but this will increase the insurance cost.
  3. Rental Duration: The duration of your car rental can impact the cost of insurance. Insurance providers may offer different pricing options for short-term rentals (e.g., daily or weekly) versus long-term rentals (e.g., monthly). It’s advisable to inquire about any discounts or promotions available for longer rental periods. 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.
  4. Rental Company: Different car rental companies may offer varying insurance rates, so it’s worth comparing prices and coverage options from multiple providers. Some rental companies may include certain insurance coverage as part of their standard package, while others may offer more comprehensive coverage for an additional cost.
  5. Personal Factors: Factors such as your age, driving experience, and any previous insurance claims history can also influence the cost of car hire insurance. Younger drivers or drivers with less experience may face higher insurance premiums due to a perceived higher risk.

To determine the precise cost of car hire insurance in Ireland, it’s advisable to request quotes from rental companies or external insurance providers based on your specific rental details and insurance requirements. Compare the coverage and costs to make an informed decision that provides you with the necessary protection at a reasonable price. Remember that while cost is a significant consideration, it’s equally important to ensure that you have adequate coverage for your peace of mind during your car rental experience in Ireland.

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Benefits of Having Ireland Car Hire Excess Insurance

Having car rental excess insurance in Ireland offers several benefits that can provide peace of mind and financial protection during your rental period. Here are some key benefits of having car rental excess insurance in Ireland:

  1. Protection against Excess Charges: Car rental excess insurance Ireland covers the excess amount you would be responsible for in case of damage or theft of the rental vehicle. By having this insurance, you can avoid substantial out-of-pocket expenses that would otherwise be incurred if you needed to make a claim. It provides financial protection and helps you manage unexpected costs associated with damages or theft.
  2. Cost Savings: Opting for car rental excess insurance can potentially save you money. Instead of paying the high excess amount set by the rental company, you can choose an insurance policy that covers the excess on your behalf. This can be more cost-effective, especially if you rent cars frequently or for an extended duration. CarInsuRent offer the best car hire excess insurance for Ireland – 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.
  3. Comprehensive Coverage: Car rental excess insurance Ireland often provides more comprehensive coverage than what is included in the basic rental package. It can offer protection against a wider range of incidents, including damages to the vehicle’s bodywork, windows, tires, and undercarriage. This means you have greater peace of mind knowing that you’re covered in various situations.
  4. Flexibility and Choice: With CarInsuRent car rental excess insurance, you have the flexibility to choose a policy that suits your specific needs. You can select the level of excess coverage that you’re comfortable with, and the package comes with additional features like roadside assistance, key replacement, or personal belongings coverage. This allows you to tailor the insurance to your requirements and travel preferences.
  5. Simplified Claims Process: In the unfortunate event of an accident or damage to the rental vehicle, having car rental excess insurance can simplify the claims process. Instead of dealing directly with the rental company’s insurance procedures, you can work directly with your own insurance provider, who can handle the claims process and provide guidance throughout.
  6. Rental Company Independence: By having car rental excess insurance, you are not solely reliant on the insurance coverage offered by the rental company – which may double your rental price.

It’s important to carefully review the terms and conditions of car rental excess insurance policies to ensure they meet your specific needs. Consider factors such as the coverage limits, exclusions, and any additional features included. By having car rental excess insurance in Ireland, you can enjoy your journey with greater confidence, knowing that you have comprehensive coverage and protection against unexpected expenses.

Car Rental Insurance for Ireland – 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.

Personal auto insurance policies

  • Personal auto insurance policies may cover rental cars, but it depends on the policy and the coverage. If the policy includes collision and comprehensive coverage, it may extend to rental cars. However, liability coverage may not extend to rental cars, so it’s important to check with the insurance company before renting a car.

Travel insurance –

  • Travel insurance may offer coverage for rental cars, including collision damage and theft protection. However, it is important to check the policy to confirm the coverage and any limitations or exclusions.

Credit card rental car insurance benefits – 

  • Some credit cards offer rental car insurance benefits, which may include coverage for damage and theft. However, the coverage and limitations can vary by credit card, so it’s important to check with the credit card company to confirm the coverage. Check if your personal insurance or credit card covers rental car 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.

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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 CDW insurance Ireland, 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.

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 ProcessFiling 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 Thought and Recommendations

In conclusion, when renting a car in Ireland, having the right car rental insurance is crucial for a smooth and worry-free experience. Understanding the different types of insurance coverage available and evaluating your specific needs can help you make informed decisions. Here are some final thoughts and recommendations regarding car rental insurance in Ireland:

  1. Read and Understand the Terms and Conditions: Take the time to carefully read and understand the terms and conditions of the insurance policy before making a decision. Pay attention to coverage details, exclusions, excess amounts, and any additional features or benefits included.
  2. Assess Your Personal Insurance Coverage: Before purchasing additional car rental insurance, check if your existing personal car insurance or credit card benefits provide any coverage for car rentals in Ireland. This can help you avoid duplicating coverage and potentially save on insurance costs.
  3. Consider the Value and Condition of the Rental Vehicle: Evaluate the value and condition of the rental vehicle. If it’s a high-value or luxury vehicle, additional coverage may be worth considering. Similarly, if the vehicle has any pre-existing damage, document it thoroughly before driving off to avoid any disputes later.
  4. Compare Prices and Coverage: Shop around and compare prices and coverage options from different rental companies and external insurance providers. Take into account the level of coverage, excess amounts, and any additional features offered. This will help you find the best balance between cost and coverage that suits your needs.
  5. Prioritize Your Peace of Mind: While it’s important to consider the cost, prioritize your peace of mind. Adequate car rental insurance provides financial protection and allows you to enjoy your journey without unnecessary worries. Choosing comprehensive coverage and reducing your financial liability can greatly enhance your overall rental experience.
  6. Plan Ahead and Budget Accordingly: Factor in the cost of car rental insurance when planning your travel budget. This ensures that you allocate appropriate funds for insurance coverage and helps you avoid any unexpected financial burdens during your trip.

Understanding the types of car hire insurance available in Ireland empowers you to make informed decisions about the coverage you need. Assess your personal requirements, evaluate the risks involved, and choose the insurance options that provide adequate protection for your journey. Remember, investing in comprehensive insurance coverage ensures a smoother and worry-free car rental experience in Ireland.

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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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