Do I need extra insurance when renting a car?

PUBLISHED ON Jan, 20 2023


Within most of Europe – and certainly within the European Union – it’s required that your car-rental fee include basic liability coverage. That’s the protection you need against all but damage to the car or any harm you cause to someone who’s outside the car.

Is Rental Car Insurance Coverage A Good Idea?

Nevertheless, if your holiday rental car is damaged or stolen, you are usually liable to pay an Excess, or Collision Damage charge.

No one likes to imagine being in an accident, and it’s tempting to assume that, as been a good driver, you won’t have one. But it’s not just your own driving you have to worry about with car hire. Finding your wing mirror is missing after parking your car outside your hotel, or sizable dent in the passenger-side front bumper are pretty common.

You should always have comprehensive insurance when renting abroad. But rental insurance is tricky as there are different rules for different countries.

To begin with, most rental rates in Europe include Collision damage waiver (CDW). This is an insurance that provides cover in the event of damage or theft of the vehicle so that you won’t have to pay the full cost of replacing a stolen or damaged vehicle. CDW in Europe carries an excess (also known as deductible) of around €1,000 – €2,000 even if the damage wasn’t your fault. CDW doesn’t cover your tires, windows, roof, undercarriage, or interior.

Should You Buy Extra Rental Car Insurance At The Counter?

Car hire companies sell Super Collision Damage Waiver (SCDW), allowing you to reduce your excess to a very small amount, often zero. This cover has many different names, including Excess Waiver, Super Cover and Excess Protection.

What are the benefits of buying insurance from the rental company? It protects you from significant out-of-pocket expenses associated with loss or damage to the vehicle, including theft. But it’s expensive. Rental car insurance costs vary by company and coverage. You may pay €15 to €25 a day. It’s not insurance, in the technical sense, that rental companies offer. Rental companies are not licensed insurance agents in every state. Instead, they offer a protection package.

If you decide to purchase insurance through the rental car company, be sure to read the fine print. Every car rental agreement can be different, and you should be aware of that when renting a car. For example, the agreement might not cover the excess related to damage to tires, windows, roof, undercarriage, or interior.

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Third-Party Car Rental Insurance

You can choose to buy Excess Reimbursement Insurance policy from a third-party insurance company. This is normally far cheaper, and often more comprehensive than the cover offered by car hire companies, as it will cover tyres, wheels, undercarriage, roof and windscreen.  to cover your rental, so it’s insured more comprehensively. You can do this online when you book the car, online separately from your booking, or a few moments before you arrive to pick up your car.

Independent rental insurance companies offer annual insurance policies much cheaper than rental agencies. With annual policies from $79.90, this can easily be more cost-wise especially if you are making multiple bookings over a year.

We recommend to take out excess waiver insurance. This means that if you have an accident you would have no excess to pay. The car rental companies offer this cover at the rental desk but it’s a lot cheaper to get it here BEFORE you travel from a specialist provider. We provide coverage for European Car Hire Excess InsuranceUSA & Canada Car Hire Excess InsuranceAustralia Car Hire Excess InsuranceUK Car Hire Excess Insurance.



4 Responses

  1. martin flanders says:

    Need a quote

    • Gil Farkash says:

      Thank you for taking the time to contact us.
      You can simply fill the form and get a quote on our homepage –
      Alternatively you can use the contact us form, send us your details – pickup date + drop-off date + country of residence + country where you plan your hire, and we will send you a quote.

      All the best,
      The CarInsuRent Team

  2. Emma says:

    I want to buy extra SLI, pick up date 22 Sep and drop off 23 Sep, country of residence: Hong Kong.
    Place i am picking up and dropping off the rental car: New york.
    age>25 and below 75

    • Gil Farkash says:

      Thank you for taking the time to contact us.
      Unfortunately, we do not offer SLI, we only offer car rental excess insurance.

      All the best,
      The CarInsuRent Team

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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.

Visit the FAQ page