What is Rental Car Excess Insurance Cover?
Rental car excess insurance reimburses you for the rental car excess that you have to pay your rental vehicle company should your rental car be damaged in an accident or stolen while in your custody.
You would still need to purchase car rental insurance for your rental car, as the hire car excess insurance cover only provides cover for the rental car excess component of your rental car insurance.
For overseas travel, rental car excess insurance cover is not a stand-alone insurance product, it needs to be purchased as an add-on to your overseas travel insurance policy.
Car rental excess insurance is automatically included with your domestic travel insurance policy.
What is Car rental insurance?
Car rental insurance is insurance cover for your rental car. In the event of an accident or damage to your rental car, you would need to make a claim on your hire car insurance and you will also be liable for the rental car excess on that insurance.
What is Rental Car Excess?
Rental Car Excess is the out-of-pocket expense that your rental vehicle insurance company will charge you when you make a claim on your rental vehicle insurance policy. For example, if your rental car is damaged in an accident while you’re travelling, instead of paying the cost to repair the vehicle, which can be in the hundreds or thousands of dollars, you would pay the rental vehicle excess, and the hire car insurance company covers the rest.
The amount of rental vehicle excess will vary between companies and can be up to a few thousand dollars. This can prove to be expensive should the rental car be damaged, and especially if you’re only renting the vehicle for a few days.
Rental vehicle companies do provide you with an option to reduce the amount of this excess, however the cost of this can also be expensive. The alternative to reducing the amount of your rental car excess with your car rental company is to add Rental Vehicle Insurance Excess cover to your travel insurance policy.
5 reasons why taking out Rental Car Excess Insurance is important
- You can choose your preferred level of rental vehicle excess cover to suit your needs.
- The cost to add rental vehicle insurance excess cover on your overseas travel insurance policy may be significantly less than the cost of purchasing excess reduction from the vehicle rental desk.
- Authorized drivers listed on your travel insurance and your car rental insurance policy can claim for rental vehicle insurance excess.
- You can claim as many times as you need to, up to the Rental Vehicle Insurance Excess limit that you have purchased.
- Whether you’re renting an SUV or motorhome on your travels, rental car excess insurance cover can give you peace of mind if the rental car is damaged in an accident.
How does Rental Car Excess Insurance cover work?
- When you buy your overseas travel insurance policy, you can add Rental Vehicle Insurance Excess cover to your policy and pay the additional premium. For domestic travel insurance policies, the rental car excess insurance cover is automatically included as a benefit.
- Whether you are overseas or travelling around Australia, when you hire your rental car, you will need to take out car rental insurance with the car hire company that you are hiring your car from.
- The car rental insurance policy will usually specify a rental car excess, which you will be liable for should the hire car be damaged.
- The car rental company may also ask you if you would like to pay an additional premium to reduce that rental car excess. The additional premium may be calculated based on the number of days that you will hire the car for.
- As you have chosen to add rental car excess insurance cover to your travel insurance policy, you could claim the cost of the rental car excess back from your travel insurance company. So you have the option to choose to not pay that additional premium to the rental car company.
- If your rental car is damaged, you would put a claim in with your car rental insurance company, pay the rental car excess and then submit a claim for that rental car excess to us.
The benefits and features of car rental excess insurance
- Car rental excess cover on your travel insurance policy can give you peace of mind and potentially save you money when you hire a rental car. If your rental car is damaged in an accident or stolen, you can claim the car rental excess that you’ve paid on your rental car insurance, up to the limit specified on your travel insurance policy certificate.
- If you will be hiring a rental car overseas, car rental excess insurance can be added to your travel insurance policy. This flexibility means you’re paying for car rental excess insurance cover only if you need it. You can choose rental car insurance cover up to $8000.
- Rental vehicles covered under car rental excess insurance include: hatchback, sedan, station wagon, SUV, four wheel drive, mini bus/people mover or a campervan/motorhome that does not exceed 4.5 tonnes.
- If you will be simply driving around Australia, rental car excess insurance of $5000 is automatically included with your domestic policy.
- Buying car rental excess insurance is cheaper if you’re on a DUO or Family policy, compared to taking out two separate Single trip policies. The premium to add rental car insurance excess to a DUO or Family policy is the same amount as on a Single policy. So both authorised drivers on the DUO or Family policy will be covered for car rental excess insurance cover, provided they are also listed on the rental car agreement.
What does Rental Car Excess Cover include?
Rental Car Excess Insurance cover provides cover for the excess that you are liable to pay on your hire car insurance, up to the amount you have chosen and as specified on your travel insurance policy certificate. If your hire car is damaged, and the damage is something that you are able to claim for on your car rental insurance, you would be able to claim for the rental car excess.
If you’re in an accident, you can also claim up to $500 for the cost of returning your hire car to the nearest rental car depot if a medical practitioner deems that you are unfit to return the rental car yourself.
What is excluded with Rental Car Excess benefit?
It’s also important to understand what is excluded from the rental car excess benefit. You may be excluded from cover if:
- The rental vehicle was being driven by someone who is not listed as an authorised driver in the rental car contract and on your Certificate of Insurance.
- The rental vehicle was being operated while under the effect of alcohol, drugs or in a way that is against the law of the country that you were driving it in.
- You were operating the rental vehicle without a licence for the purpose that you were using it.
- The vehicle does not meet our definition of a rental vehicle in accordance with the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). Vehicles NOT covered (but is not limited to) are motorcycles, scooters, mopeds, trailers, trucks, golf buggies, leased cars and peer to peer car rentals.
- You do not take out rental car insurance with your car hire company. The rental car excess benefit does not replace the rental car insurance that you are required to take out with your rental vehicle company. This only covers the excess component of that insurance up to the amount specified on your travel insurance policy.
- The claim is for something that is not covered under your rental car insurance.
For more information, please refer to our Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) which also includes policy wording to help you gain a better understanding of our terms and conditions.
How much cover for rental car excess insurance can I purchase?
You can add up to $8000 cover for the rental car excess insurance component on your hire car insurance when you purchase the following policies:
If you are hiring a car to travel within Australia, car rental excess insurance of $5000 is automatically included with all our Domestic Plus policies.
Rental car insurance Australia
Whether you’re hiring a car to drive to the other side of Australia or simply taking a road trip to the next major city, rental car insurance is an important consideration to ensure that you’re protected financially should you experience an accident.
And the great thing is that our domestic travel insurance policies automatically provide you with rental vehicle excess insurance cover of $5000.
What types of vehicles are covered by rental car insurance excess?
The rental vehicle must be rented from a licensed motor vehicle rental company and can be a:
- Sedan, hatchback or station wagon
- Four-wheel drive
- Mini bus/people mover
- Campervan or motorhome that does not exceed 4.5 tonnes
The following are NOT considered a rental car and you cannot be covered for rental car excess insurance for these vehicles:
- Peer to peer car rentals
- Golf buggies
Does Rental Car Excess benefit apply to cars hired in Australia?
Yes. Rental car excess benefits apply to cars hired around the world. Whether it’s a year-long adventure in Canada or a short weekend road trip in Australia, our rental car excess benefits will apply to all vehicles, provided they meet the conditions as set out in our Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).
Does travel insurance cover car hire excess?
Overseas Travel insurance does not automatically include car hire excess cover. You can choose to cover your car hire excess up to $8000 and pay the additional premium.
If you’re travelling around Australia, our Domestic Plus Policies automatically include rental vehicle excess of $5000.
Why should I consider Rental Vehicle Excess Cover?
If you’re travelling overseas or doing a road trip in Australia and planning on hiring a rental car, rental vehicle excess cover can save you money if your rental car is damaged in an accident or is stolen while in your custody.
Rental Car Excess cover can offer you peace of mind and at a cost that may be lower than the cost of the rental vehicle excess reduction offered by your car rental company.
What documents do I need to make a rental vehicle excess claim?
If you need to make a claim for the car rental excess that you have incurred, it’s important to save as much documentation related to the incident as possible. These documents include (but is not limited to):
- A full copy of your rental vehicle agreement. It must show the excess you were liable to pay under the agreement.
- A copy of the itemised invoice for the repairs to the rental vehicle.
- A copy of your Australian Drivers licence or Motorcycle licence and any international or foreign country’s drivers or motorcycle licence.
- A copy of the police report or report to the relevant authority e.g. bus line, airline or shipping authority.
- A copy of your credit card statement showing the amount paid for the rental vehicle excess.
If we require more information to help us assess your car rental excess claim, we will let you know.
Rental Car Insurance FAQs
Rental Vehicle Excess cover only covers the EXCESS component of your car rental insurance. However, our overseas Comprehensive, Standard Saver, Snow Sports Plus and Frequent Traveller Saver policies which offer the car rental excess insurance option up to $8000, also includes cover for your luggage and personal effects up to $15 000.
Our Domestic Plus policies have rental vehicle excess cover of $5000 and provide luggage cover up to $7500.
If your belongings are stolen during daylight hours from your locked rental car and you have complied with the conditions of cover as specified in our Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), the Luggage and Personal Effects benefit provides cover up to $200 for each item and a maximum of $2000 in total for all stolen items. This limit applies even if you have purchased Specified High Value Item cover for some of your belongings and regardless of the type of policy that you have purchased for your holiday.
If your rental vehicle is stolen, you should report the theft as per the rental car insurance policy that you have with the hire car company. If you have purchased the rental vehicle insurance excess cover add-on, you can then submit a claim with us for the rental vehicle insurance excess that you have paid to the hire car company.
Rental car insurance can limit your liability if your rental car was involved in an accident or stolen.
Car rental excess insurance provides cover for the EXCESS component of your car rental insurance policy only. If you don’t have hire car insurance and you damage the rental car, you would be liable to pay for the damage yourself, and you would not be able to claim rental vehicle insurance excess with your travel insurance policy.
If your rental vehicle is damaged, you should report the damage as per the rental car insurance policy that you have with the rental car company. If you have purchased the rental vehicle insurance excess cover add-on, you can then submit a claim with us for the rental vehicle insurance excess that you have paid to the hire car company.
If I Have Car Hire Excess Cover, do I still need to take the insurance offered by the rental company?
The insurance offered by your car rental company is not replaced by rental car excess cover, as rental car excess insurance only covers the EXCESS component of that rental car insurance. You will still need to take out regular rental car insurance with the rental car company.
If you do not have rental vehicle insurance for your rental car and it is damaged or stolen, you will be liable for the repair or replacement costs. In order for you to claim for car hire excess cover, you must have rental car insurance and also purchased the car hire excess cover on your travel insurance policy.
You should check to see if driving on an unsealed road is covered under the car rental agreement or car rental insurance policy that you have with your hire car company.
Car rental excess insurance provides cover for the EXCESS component of your rental car insurance policy only. If there is cover for driving on an unsealed road under your car rental agreement or your rental car insurance policy, and you have added the car rental excess insurance add-on to your travel insurance policy, you can claim the car rental excess insurance from that travel insurance policy.
You should check with your car insurance company to see if it provides insurance cover for rental cars.
Rental car insurance depends on the company that you are purchasing it from.
The cost of car rental excess insurance depends on the type of overseas holiday (including but not limited to, your age, destination and duration) you are taking and the level of cover (up to $8000) that you choose to add on to your travel insurance policy.
Rental car excess insurance of $5000 is automatically included with our Domestic Plus travel insurance policies
Scooter and motorcycles are NOT covered by the car rental excess insurance cover. You should check with the company that you are hiring your scooter or motorcycle from, to see the type of scooter or motorcycle insurance they are able to offer.
If you are riding a scooter, moped or motorcycle overseas, you will need to take out the Motorcycle Pack to have medical cover if you are injured while riding a scooter, moped or motorcycle. There is no cover for the scooter, moped or motorcycle itself.