What is Car Rental Insurance Excess?

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  • Written By: A. Leverkuhn
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 25 August 2019
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Car rental insurance excess is an extra car insurance policy for those who are renting cars for any business or personal purpose. This kind of insurance fits into the bigger picture of how to handle risk for a rental by insuring it properly. Knowing more about car rental insurance excess, and other more conventional car insurance policies, will help those who need a temporary ride to stay covered on the road.

For most regular rental car insurance policies, a driver takes out a temporary standard insurance from either the rental agency or his or her own insurer. In many countries, common rental car insurance does not equate to the kinds of policies that drivers use for their own cars. For example, in the U.S., common rental car coverage often takes the form of a Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), or some other waiver rather than a comprehensive coverage.

One of the problems with the standard rental car insurance that individuals are offered at the rental desk is that these insurance products can include a lot of exclusions. Some of these may be related to collisions, while others might reference theft, vandalism or other incidents. One way that car renters cut down their risks is with car rental insurance excess. These kinds of rental insurance go “on top of” a normal rental coverage, and take care of additional costs that the driver would otherwise have had to pay out of pocket.


Drivers can consider various issues when looking at available car rental insurance excess coverage. One is any challenges of renting a vehicle in a foreign country. Another would be that some kinds of car rental insurance excess are offered on a reimbursement basis, so that if the driver has coverage, he or she may still have to pay out before being reimbursed later by the insurance company.

Some drivers who do use car rental excess insurance also look for “excess reduction” to keep the excess premium lower. One way to do this is to check any existing traveler’s insurance to see if it contains any coverage for a rental car. Drivers can also check the policies of their own insurers to see if they can get more coverage cheaply, rather than paying out a lot more at the rental desk. All of this is key to staying well covered for the least money, and car rental excess insurance often helps with this overall strategy.


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