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FYI - Car Rental / Insurance coverage caution (Europe / North America)


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FYI - Car rentals 


Cruise passengers, who are considering car rentals in Europe / North America .  Just a tidbit of information not all travellers are aware of.


I pass this info on if your unaware - then you can be advised.


If you book a car rental through a Search engine - such as Expedia - first the rate they offer is for rental ONLY!!


The offer of reduce deductible / collison is via a THIRD party insurer.  Therefore, you are not covered by the Rental agencies additional insurance.  You will have to pay direct to the Rental service the fee's they have for a "NO" coverage rental.  This could mean you will have to pay direct to the Rental service potentially the cost of car if it is totalled.  You then must submit a claim to the THIRD party insurance provider to recoup, your out of pocket expenses.


If you book direct with a Rental service: example Europcar; AutoEurope, they offer a true "NO" deductible insurance, that is honoured in the instance of accident, damage, totalled automobile.  This also holds true for North American car rentals as well.  I cannot truly advise, if you use a rider on you personal car insurance coverage, for rentals in North America, what the outcome would be for you with Car Rental agency.  I would recommend that confirm this both with your Personal Insurance company, as well as with the Car Rental Agency.


  • PLEASE - be most cautious when exploring and looking at rental rates - My advice deal direct with the Rental Service.  3rd Party Search engine providers of rentals offer enticing rental rates - but the insurance being offered is not from the Rental Service.  

Joanne (aka - friedaliene)



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A very worthwhile post, Joanne.


Problem is that the included "street-legal" insurance comes with an excess for damage to the vehicle of typically $1200 to $1800 (or equiv.) and the rental agency's premium to reduce that excess to zero - or even a manageable sum - is as much again as the base rental charge. So a $150 rental ends up costing $300 with renter's zero excess.


I have annual excess cover from a "third party" - a recognised, reputable internet insurer and a well-reviewed product.

Or a typical one-off excess policy with them is around $25-$30 per day.

Yes, if the vehicle is damaged (presumably assuming it wasn't the undisputed fault of another driver) you are liable to pay for damage up to the rental agency's  excess, and you then claim a refund from that "third party" insurer.

So you need to have those funds available, and you need to have a degree of trust in that third party insurer.

I've never had to call upon that insurance, so I don't know whether it would be a problem.


I'm happy to save a lot of money by using a third party to insure against the excess but yes, you're right, some consolidators are coy about revealing that their "zero excess" is via a third party - so you are debited by the agent and have to reclaim from that insurer.


JB :classic_smile:

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JB - thank you responding to my FYI.  After, a TransAtlantic cruise this past spring, we flew to UK and had arranged

a rental car at Gatwick.  I arranged 7 day (weekly rate kicks in), automatic, Volvo V90 (car was spectacular).  Of course I payed premium for automatic vs stick shift (we are Canadian and stick shift in UK - well can be dicey). 

Anyway - the rental in Cdn dollars = $480 NO - deductible (this was the bells & whistles insurance).  Anyway, we were pleased with car, if something happened the claim wouldn't go against our personal insurance.  Now, I can't verify that if we had an accident if this would ultimately impacted our annual coverage at home.  

Safe travels JB.  We, lived in Andover, Hampshire for 2 years late '70's, Margaret Thatcher era.  My husband hasn't been back since '70's.  Whirlwind tour UK - Canterbury, the Catherdral, Dover, Windsor Castle, Bath, was our base (Cotswolds, Gloustcher, Avebury), Andover, Highclere, Newbury (Downton Abbey), Charlwood (Gatwick home) stayed at wonderful converted estate to hotel Stanhill Court.  In Andover, we knocked on the door that was our old neighbours and after 40 years they still live there. We bought a row house on housing estate, 3 bedrooms, backyard was next to green space, in 1977 we paid £13,500 - to say the least we should have retained ownership.


Stanhill Court, Charlwood (15 minutes to Gatwick)



Joanne (aka - friedaliene)


  • 23 minutes ago, John Bull said:

    A very worthwhile post, Joanne.


    JB :classic_smile:



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