Press Release

Car hire excess waivers and excess-reimbursement insurance: understanding the options

Release Date: 

The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) is urging consumers to consider the full implications of taking out third-party excess-reimbursement insurance policies when hiring a car.

“Recent comparisons have highlighted the difference in cost between the waivers sold by car rental operators and the insurance products sold by third-party excess-reimbursement companies, but consumers need to know that these products are not the same,” said BVRLA Chief Executive Gerry Keaney.

“In the event of damage to the vehicle, a consumer with a third-party reimbursement policy will have to pay the rental company, then make a claim to their insurer – which could involve filling in paperwork, making numerous phone calls and providing supporting evidence, such as police statements. It can take weeks to settle a claim, and there is no guarantee that it will be upheld.”

“In contrast, most car rental companies offer an excess reduction waiver. This gives customers a no-hassle, no-quibble way of reducing or even removing their potential liability in the event of an accident, theft or act of vandalism.

“By taking out an excess waiver product consumers are protected from having to pay for damage that may have occurred during their rental.  It is not an insurance product, and enables the customer to walk away with no worries or additional costs on their credit card - provided they’ve met the terms and conditions of their rental.”

The BVRLA is keen to ensure that consumers are aware of these facts, in order to make informed decisions and have hassle-free holiday hires. Consumers can find further car rental guidance on the BVRLA website.

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