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RentalCover.com's policies typically cost 50% less than the policies sold by the rental companies and we seek to give our customers absolute transparency on their policies. We have none of the exclusions that other rental companies hide in their policies, such as tyre and windscreen repairs/replacement (which account for 80% of all claims outside of the US!). The following region-by-region guide may assist:
Please check if these questions are relevant or scroll down to contact us:
About Our Price Guarantees
When you hire a car you will often find your rental days will be counted in 24 hour brackets, which will start and end at the time of pickup/dropoff. For this reason customers are sometimes confused by the discrepancy between the days they are insured and the rental period.
The main difference is that your RentalCover.com policy will be calculated in full calendar days, starting the day of collection and ending the day of return. This ensures customers are insured in the event that the car is collected or dropped off at a different time to initially planned, and also provides more flexibility if unforeseen circumstances force a customer to adjust their dates of travel at the last minute.
After spending the last 50 years laying low in China, RentalCover.com customer Elvis Presley has decided to take a holiday back to his favorite place in the world, Las Vegas. While the holiday went well, on the day of Elvis's departure he is mobbed by fans while leaving his hotel, causing him to miss his rental's drop-off time by an hour.
When Elvis finally arrives at the rental desk he is shocked to discover his fans have removed the windscreen wipers from his car as mementos, and he has to file a claim for their replacement. Fortunately for Elvis, when he checks his RentalCover.com policy, he sees that his policy's coverage applies for the entire day, not just the original rental times, and he is spared a heart attack by this news.
Note: You are able to adjust your coverage dates up to and including your day of travel. This means you are able to adjust your coverage period if you are delayed or miss your flight on your original day of travel, without any additional charges.
Our prices are already about 50% lower than most major rental car companies' but if you do find a better price anywhere, we are happy to beat it. Just reply to any of our emails and include details of the alternative quote, and we will further discount your RentalCover.com one.
When comparing policies please keep in mind all the unique benefits of a RentalCover.com policy.
RentalCover.com is both an authorised representative or authorised distributor for the insurers/insurance companies nominated on this site including CBL, AON, Assetinsure, Axa Assistance, QBE and others. The issuer of each policy is nominated in the quote and policy and the respective policy terms and conditions. RentalCover.com is the trading style/trading name/"Doing Business As" name for several entities nominated which include "Cover Genius Pty Ltd" of Australia and "Cover Genius Limited" of UK.
Alternatives to RentalCover.com
Keep in mind that we want to help you!
The following is a general summary of travel insurance policies. We can help you understand your travel insurance policy and its benefits for car renters; just send us a link to your policy or the PDS and we'll decipher it for you!
When comparing RentalCover.com to the "rental car excess coverage" inclusions in a travel insurance policy it is important to keep a few things in mind:
"Extra Cover" is a low cost policy designed to provide coverage for the many "out of pocket" costs that you will face if there's an accident or damage. These commonly include towing, roadside repairs (such as tyre repair/replacement, fuel top-up, windscreen repair/replacement), call out fees, key loss and more. Our policy also provides coverage for theft, just in case it isn't included in your Collision Damage Waiver.
If you use our preferred roadside partner Urgently we pay the roadside costs on your behalf whereas services provided by the rental company's roadside provider are paid by you and then reimbursed by us via our claims process.
This FAQ outlines the process.
For US residents with a CDI plan with RentalCover.com, AON typically pays for any costs on your behalf. Find your process on this FAQ.
If you have RentalCover.com's "Zero Excess Rental Cover", "No Excess Rental Cover" or "Rental Vehicle Cover" policy and there's an accident or damage, you will need to pay the repair cost to the rental company and then claim that cost through the issuer of your RentalCover.com policy. We handle claims for "Zero Excess Rental Cover" and "No Excess Rental Cover" (which helps you get quicker reimbursement!).
To start the process, just go to our Claims page and prepare all the requested information. Simple claims are typically paid within 7 business days however we encourage our customers to provide all requested information in a timely manner to avoid delays.
For other policies please see:
How do claims work for RentalCover.com's "Extra Cover" for US and Canada?
How do claims work for RentalCover.com's CDW (for US Residents)?
7 business days is the standard refund window for RentalCover.com's "Zero Excess Rental Cover", "Rental Vehicle Cover" and "Extra Cover" & "Annual" policies. It can take longer if documents are missing so please provide them at the outset!
For US CDW policyholders, claims are handled by AON in conjunction with US Fire who is the insurer. All payments are managed by AON rather than the renter. Some rental companies require payment of a collision damage estimate before exiting the rental desk, but once again those payments are handled by AON. For more, read our FAQ on How Claims Work in the USA.
If you are a US Resident with our Collision Damage Coverage from AON, please begin the claim process directly on travelclaim.com.
All other policyholders should submit their claim at www.rentalcover.com/claim. Here's how it works:
Please prepare the following documents as the claim form requires some further information:
Upon entering the relevant information you will be informed of any remaining steps.
For straightforward claims expect a 7 day turnaround, depending on the complexity of the claim and availability of the above documentation to support your claim.
Whether or not you are insured in the case of multiple accidents largely depends on two factors:
If your rental company only charges their excess on the first accident then you will almost certainly be insured by your RentalCover.com policy, even if the car you have hired is damaged more than one time (as always you should check your level of coverage in your policy document to be aware of the maximum amount that can be claimed).
If, however, your rental company charges the cost of the excess for every claim, then you will need to weigh up the possible costs of multiple accidents, against the amount of coverage you will need to take out with RentalCover.com. We recommend customers increase the level of coverage on their quote to an amount they feel will comfortably provide coverage to any potential scenarios, before purchasing a policy.
RentalCover.com customer Greg has taken out a policy to provide coverage to his rental while visiting relatives in Poland. However when reading through the terms of his rental company, he notices that he will be liable to pay the €3500 excess charge every time he has an accident. While Greg is a safe enough driver, he is aware that Poland has the highest number of accidents out of any country in Europe, and this will dramatically increase the risk that he will have more than one accident in the month he is visiting the country. As a result Greg logs into RentalCover.com and increases his coverage to €12000, to ensure he is safe even in the unlikely event that he has three separate accidents.
Note: All RentalCover.com policies also come with at least €/$/£500 additional Free Gap Coverage for any cases where your claim payment is greater than the excess on the vehicle. This means that in the unlikely event that you are in multiple accidents, this 'Gap Coverage' can be used to reduce the amount you will be left out of pocket if your policy's primary coverage is not sufficient to pay for the excess charges.
While on holidays to Australia jet-lagged RentalCover.com customer Jake manages to sideswipe two cars in a period of just two weeks. Unfortunately Jake didn't expect this when he hired his car, and he only took out $3500 worth of excess coverage, despite the fact that his rental company charges a $2000 excess per accident. Fortunately for Jake, when he files his claim with RentalCover.com he learns he has $750 Free Gap Coverage to fall back on, meaning he doesn't have to pay any excess from his own pocket.
Country: Asian Countries
Example of Third Party Damages
RentalCover.com customer Lars Ulrich is taking a holiday in Adelaide over the summer to sight see the city's historic postboxes because he has got a day to kill and the Adelaide guidebook has been out of print since 1890. Forgetting that Australians tend to drive on the wrong side of the road, Lars set off on his adventure in a slightly more dangerous fashion than he should have, and as a result he is involved in a head on collision with a Skoda.
While Lars is left unscathed, and the other driver only suffered minor shock from meeting Lars Ulrich the frontman from Metallica, Lars is still worried that he may end up having to fork out thousands of dollars for car repairs because he was "at fault" in the accident. However, when he informs RentalCover.com of the accident he is pleased to learn that his policy will provide coverage not only for the repair costs that form part of his excess charges, but also a few hundred bucks that the rental company slipped in for damages to the other driver's Skoda. He doesn't understand how that all happened but he is happy RentalCover.com is across it and happy to reimburse him. Pleased with his decision he heads off to visit one of Adelaide's leading philatelists to buy some rare stamps and further develop his other lifelong passion.
Example Process for "Not At Fault" Accidents
RentalCover.com customer Kanye West has rented a Hummer in Sydney to get to the Opera House for the first performance of his Australian tour. Despite being the world's best driver, Kanye is unable to avoid being hit by a driver who is rushing to get in the front of the line for Kanye's show, and both cars are totalled ("written off" in local parlance).
Unfortunately for Kanye, he made the first mistake in his life. The rental company he chose will slug him for the cost of his damages, even though it was his fan's fault. His fan even has a signature and an Instapic to prove it was his fault but the rental company doesn't care. Kanye sends Kim an Instagram where he describes, only in emoticons, what happened and asks her to find out if he'll get a reimbursement at some stage for the accident he didn't cause. Without averting her gaze from her phone, Kim checks the rental company's terms and conditions, notices the absence of any policy regarding "not at fault" damages, and sends a 160 character screed to the rental company asking why they won't refund her hubby sometime in the future. The rental company decides that they'll defy the 700 billion people who are flaming them with emoticons in the Insta/Facebook/Twitter-verse. So no refund for Kanye.
But Kanye doesn't mind, RentalCover.com has paid him for the repair costs by the time he slid on his gold pantsuit for the show, anyway.
Example of a Single Vehicle Accident
RentalCover.com customer Noel Gallagher has an accident while driving a motorhome in New Zealand after his GPS directs his rental car into a fjord. His GPS had been damaged by a kick it received when bad music came on the radio. The rental company deducts the full excess of $5000 from his credit card plus $200 for the damaged GPS. The excess gets reimbursed through his RentalCover.com policy, which he ensured has $5000 coverage, and the GPS replacement cost is insured by RentalCover.com's Free Gap Coverage. He later called us to say thank you, "So don't look back in anger," we heard him say.
Example of Third Party Liability in Australia and New Zealand
While driving locally, New Zealand's finest export Lorde doesn't notice a passenger in another car opening their car door until too late. Lorde's rental car snaps off the other car's door and the other guy dislocates his thumb in the process. Fortunately for Lorde, New Zealand has a universal insurance provided by the government, meaning she can't be sued.
Meanwhile in Australia, a freakishly similar thing happens to her mate, Gotye. Travelling through a supermarket car park at 5km/h in a rented van, Gotye can't miss a moment of inspiration and reach into his glovebox for a pen and music notebook. He unfortunately sideswipes a parking attendant, whose injuries are minor and is looked after through the mandatory third party liability insurance held by the rental car owner.
In summary, if an accident occurs:
CDW (Collision Damage Waiver)/LDW (Loss Damage Waiver)
In Canada most rental companies will offer Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) (also called LDW/Loss Damage Waiver if it includes theft) to reduce the deductible "excess" you must pay in the event of an accident. Many rental companies exclude certain types of damage such as windscreens and tyres, while the CDW/LDW sometimes reduce your deductible to between CAD$500 & $2000. CDW and LDW reduce the deductible to CAD$0 for a handful of rental companies. Use the above comparison tool to see who does what.
As always, check your booking confirmation and discuss with your rental company if you are unsure how much you are insured for, or ask us to help you out as we are happy to help. You may also want to read our FAQ about renting in the USA as there are some differences, mainly because US rental companies always remove the "deductible" so there's nothing to pay in the event of a collision, except some "out of pocket" costs. Those incidental/"out of pocket" costs are instead insured by our "Extra Cover" policies for USA and Canada.
Supplementary Liability Insurance (SLI) - Third Party
Each Canadian province has different rules regarding whether or not third party liability (usually called "Supplementary Liability Insurance (SLI)" by car rental companies) must be provided, and often the minimum level of coverage required by law is quite low. This means the driver of the car is potentially responsible for injuries to third parties (i.e. other drivers, their passengers, the other driver's car).
Personal Accident Insurance (Personal Injuries)
Super CDW / Super LDW
Where Canadian rental companies don't waive all collision damage costs (i.e. the deductible is not zero), some companies may offer "Super CDW"/"Super LDW" policies. These waive the deductible excess that remains after CDW is applied (usually a figure between CAD$500 and 2000 in Canada). RentalCover.com sells alternatives to these policies; RentalCover.com policies are half the price and provide coverage to the very significant damage-related fees that otherwise leave you "out of pocket" plus damage types that the rental companies commonly exclude (if you read the fine print of their policies!)
This is a summary of the main products offered by the rental companies for travel across Europe. Coverage and extras can vary widely across different countries in Europe, so it is important that you understand the options and purpose of each insurance product that you will be offered by the rental companies!
For non-US Residents
When you rent a car in Europe, a Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) policy (also called "Loss Damage Waiver (LDW)" if it includes "Theft Protection") is usually included in the rate. To see if your booking includes CDW or LDW, please refer to your booking confirmation. Note that some rental companies in some countries do not include CDW/LDW so you will need to buy it either at the desk or independently.
In Europe, CDW and LDW reduces your excess from the full value of the car to somewhere between €/$/£1,000-4,000. See below for more information.
For US Residents
When US Residents rent a car in Europe the booking typically does not include CDW or LDW. From March 2016 onwards, this can be purchased from RentalCover.com for at least 50% less than the same CDW policy sold by the rental companies. To purchase a policy just enter your Country of Residence on the RentalCover.com homepage and select "CDW/LDW".
Super CDW/Super LDW
For all Countries of Residence
"Super CDW/LDW" policies are sold at the car rental rental desk and are designed to reduce the "excess" that you have to pay in the event of an accident or damage from €/$/£1,000-4,000 towards €/£/$0. This extra waiver has several names including "Damage Waiver", "Premium Waiver", "Premium Protection", "Full Cover" and others, however the purpose is the same.
US residents who have CDW need not worry about SCDW, given their CDWs are zero deductible policies.
These policies usually have multiple exclusions such as windscreen, headlights, mirrors, roof & underbody damage, and accident-related fees that the rental companies add to the final bill (such as "loss of use" and "administration/processing" fees). RentalCover.com sells alternatives to “Super CDW” and “Super LDW” for at least 50% cheaper with none of those exclusions.
Use the comparison tool at the top of this page to see the price that you would otherwise pay at the rental desk and to compare our policies with the exclusions in the Super CDW/Super LDW policies for each rental company.
Country: Latin American Countries
The insurance requirements for travel in Africa differ for each country and rental company. The following is a brief overview however we also recommend that you check the terms of your rental agreement and discuss how insurance works in your particular country of travel. Your rental confirmation will indicate if your booking includes CDW. US Residents who have our Collision Damage Coverage plan do not need CDW/LDW nor SCDW/SLDW from the rental companies.
CDW (Collision Damage Waiver)/LDW (Loss Damage Waiver)
In Africa most rental companies will offer Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) (also called LDW/Loss Damage Waiver if it includes theft) to reduce the deductible "excess" you must pay in the event of an accident. CDW and LDW reduce the deductible excess from the full value of the car towards US$2000 (ZAR31000). Many rental companies in Africa exclude common types of damage such as windscreens, tyres, roof and underbody, preferring instead to cover these via their SCDW/SLDW products.
Our Collision Damage Coverage for US Residents performs the same role as CDW, for at least half the cost. If there is damage to the rental vehicle you would pay and them file a claim with AON who would reimburse the costs. For non-US Residents, we recommend that you take out CDW from the rental company.
Super CDW / Super LDW to Reduce the Deductible Excess Payable
As with European, Australian and NZ rentals, CDW & LDW in Africa have a high excess that is reducible with SCDW/SLDW. The deductible amount is usually in the range of US$1500-$2000 (ZAR27000), which can be waived by purchasing SCDW or SLDW. RentalCover.com's Zero Excess Rental Cover is equivalent to SCDW/SLDW, for half the price and we provide coverage for all damage-related fees charged by the rental companies and all types of accidents and damages, including those things that rental companies exclude, such as windscreens, headlights, tyres, underbody, roof and damages caused by hitting animals.
Liability Insurance/Supplementary Liability Insurance (SLI) for Injuries to Third Parties
Most car rental bookings for visitors to Africa include SLI (also called Accident Liability Insurance/ALI or LIS). Feel free to email us if you're unsure about what your policy includes. At the time of writing we do not sell Liability Insurance.
Most countries in Africa require drivers to have their own third party liability insurance. This provides coverage to drivers if they are involved in an accident with another vehicle or pedestrian. Importantly, third party insurance is legislated within distinct African regions that include several countries each. A "liability" card (i.d. third party insurance certificate/policy) will insure you for a specific region (i.e. the policy works across borders). The regions are:
Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) for Injuries to Yourself or Your Passengers
Country: United States
This is a summary of the main products offered by the rental companies for travel in the USA. In the US it is not mandatory for car owners (i.e. the rental companies) to insure hired cars nor is it mandatory for them to insure the drivers against third party personal & property damage (this is called "Liability Insurance" or "Supplementary Liability Insurance"), nor personal injury to the driver (called "Personal Accident Insurance"). Those responsibilities fall to the renter. This is not the case in the EU, Australia, NZ and most other countries so it is important that you understand the options and purpose of each insurance product that you will be offered by the rental companies! The other main difference to other countries is that the rental companies do not offer "Super CDW", "Super LDW" or equivalent "premium" insurance products. When sold in Europe and most of the World, these "premium" products - which are overpriced and full of hidden exclusions - are designed to reduce your excess towards zero from an amount that is usually between €/£/$1,000-4,000. In the US all rentals are sold with either the renter being liable for the full amount of the vehicle, or there is zero deductible excess: there's nothing in between! Our "Extra Cover for USA" fills the considerable "out of pocket" costs that still remain even when there is no deductible excess.
From March 2016 onwards, RentalCover.com will be selling CDW for US residents from AON. The price is about 50% cheaper than what the rental companies charge. It also includes theft. When you purchase CDW from the rental companies it is usually called "LDW" if it includes theft protection, so our policy is equivalent to LDW. The only difference between a CDW offered independently by us versus the policy offered at the rental desk is that your insurance company (AON) will handle the payments to the rental company for any damages, whereas there is no reimbursement/recovery process if you purchase the rental company's CDW/LDW.
1. For international drivers, the vast majority of websites will automatically include CDW or LDW. If for some other reason CDW or LDW is not automatically included, it will be available at the rental desk. Please read carefully when booking and check your car confirmation!
2. If you book from within the US or are a US resident, CDW/LDW will not be included by default. You can buy a policy from RentalCover.com and save approximately 50% or add it at the rental desk. Sometimes you can add it on the website at the time of booking. Most US domestic travellers can rely on their credit cards or personal motor insurance, however the excess on those policies often outweighs the cost of rental vehicle repairs.
SLI (Supplementary Liability Insurance)
Rental companies also offer insurance for third party property and third party personal that is usually called SLI ("Supplementary Liability Insurance") or LIS or simply, "Liability". SLI provides coverage for claims relating to third parties, namely third party property and third party injury. These policies have coverage limits so you should be conscious of how much is reasonably needed in the event of a major accident and/or negligence. Given the potential liability we always stress to drive carefully in the US and always purchase SLI from the rental company.
At the time of writing, RentalCover.com does not sell SLI.
Please also refer to our "What is SLI?" FAQ
Theft Cover is also called Theft Protection and it may or may not provide coverage to arson and vandalism, depending on the policy. There will always be limitations surrounding negligence. We encourage you to read the relevant terms to check if your policy includes theft. Note also that RentalCover.com's "CDW" and "Extra Cover for USA" policies include theft, arson and vandalism.
PAI (Personal Accident Insurance)
PAI provides coverage to you and your passengers for personal injuries up to a certain limit. PAI is included automatically when an international driver books a car on either the rental company's website or via the website of an agent/airline/price comparison service. Please check the coverage limits on your policy if you have or intend to have personal accident insurance to determine if the cover is adequate. Check out our "What is PAI (Personal Accident Insurance)?" for examples and further detail.
Rental companies also offer Roadside Assistance at the rental desk, however RentalCover.com's "Extra Cover for USA" policy includes free Roadside Assistance and it provides coverate to related costs such as callout fees, towing, fuel topup, tyres, windscreen repair, etc., plus the considerable out of pocket costs that you might incur because they are either not insured by the rental company (such as impound storage fees, key loss/replacement, headlight/battery repair/replacement, fire and theft) or are charged by the rental company and service providers (such as "relocation fees" to get the vehicle back to its intended destination, card fees that are applied along the way, administration/processing fees for accidents, and "loss of use" fees that are charged while the vehicle is off the road being fixed).
As outlined in the USA FAQ, the insurance options for the USA are different to most of the UK/EU and Australia/NZ and Asia. Because US rentals sold to international travelers generally include zero deductible (i.e. no excess payable in the event of an accident), you will be offered optional roadside assistance at the rental desk.
The roadside assistance offered by the rental companies costs $5-10 per day at the rental desk and it provides coverage to basic costs like some fuel and sometimes a tyre or battery change.
We take it a step further and provide a better value roadside product that provides coverage to every type of cost that you would incur including towing, impound fees, key replacement, battery and windscreens/tyres/light repair or replacement and of course, the call out fee and any other repairs. You can also claim any unused portion of your travel caused by an early termination of your rental. We also provide coverage to extra costs that are applied by rental companies as a result of your incident, mainly credit card fees, "administration"/processing fees and "loss of use" fees (the rental companies recover any income lost while the vehicle is off the road being fixed).
Important: Roadside Assistance
RentalCover.com's roadside assistance partner is Urgently, the #1 rated roadside assistance network in North America. Urgently Hotline Number is in our app (available in Apple and Android) and in your confirmation emails. Please follow the instructions carefully - if you don't use Urgently then you risk overpaying. We pay Urgently bills ourselves whereas the rental company's roadside operator will charge you then you would make a claim and get reimbursed for those costs and any other "out of pocket" costs.
What To Do If You Have An Emergency Breakdown
Urgently Freecall Hotline: The phone number is in your email confirmation and via our app (Apple and Android). We pay Urgently costs on your behalf whereas we reimburse roadside costs that you would pay to the rental company.
Emergencies On The Road: What to do depends on the type of damage/accident/breakdown!
When you call Urgently:
Visit www.rentalcover.com/claim if you end up paying a bill to the rental company for roadside or other costs. We highly recommend downloading our app from the Appstore and Android so that you have the above info handy!
Extra Cover for the USA is a comprehensive policy offered by RentalCover.com for non-US residents. It provides coverage for damages that the rental companies do not insure and it also provides coverage for a multitude of "out of pocket" costs that you will incur in the event of an accident or breakdown.
Rental companies sell a similar product that is usually called "Roadside Assistance Coverage" (RAC). If you have an RAC policy from the rental companies you may still be charged accident-related fees such as administration fees, "loss of use" fees if the vehicle requires repair & relocation fees (the cost incurred to get the vehicle back to your intended dropoff). These are all very considerable. All are covered by RentalCover.com's Extra Cover for USA.
All roadside assistance costs are also covered by Extra Cover for USA. Some rental companies, especially Dollar, will aggressively sell their RAC by telling you theirs does the same thing, but it doesn't. You can be left $1,000 or more out of pocket by their accident-related fees. So you can confidently refuse their RAC!
It is also useful to understand how our roadside assistance works. If you follow the instructions in our confirmation emails you might see that some callouts are performed by our preferred roadside assistance network Urgently. Urgently have won numerous awards and are considered "Uber for Roadside Assistance". There's no phone calls needed, just click the link and a vehicle comes to see you and best of all, we pay Urgently's bill on your behalf. For some types of callout, including mechanical breakdowns and collisions, you will be redirected to the rental company's roadside assistance service. You would then pay your rental company and submit a claim for those costs to be reimbursed by RentalCover.com. It usually takes us less than a day to receive, process and pay Extra Cover for USA claims.
An Example Claim
RentalCover.com customer Bono and his friend the Edge are taking a trip to Hawaii in search of inspiration for a new sound. They decide to hire a rental car to get around, but Bono is feeling a bit wary about the car's insurance as last time he was in the US his car was towed away from his parking spot outside 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and it was impounded for a week while he regaled his guests with stories from his childhood. The Edge tells Bono not to worry as he's already purchased RentalCover.com's "Extra Cover for USA" which provides them with coverage for towing and impound fees and lots of other stuff that Bono doesn't really understand.
While he was adjusting his sunglasses, Bono accidentally mounts a curb and pops a tyre. As the rental company's CDW doesn't insure tyres he would be liable for the full cost of repair and replacement. But thankfully his RentalCover.com policy does so The Edge checks his emails, clicks the link to Urgently and their tow truck arrives to replace the tyre. Bono submitted a claim and was reimbursed later that afternoon, but spent the money on a new set of pan-pipes and rose-tinted glasses, proving that money can't buy taste.
You can find more information on further types of coverage available in the US by reading our overview of the insurance options in the USA. You might also like to read this article.
Our Collision Damage Coverage plan is for US Residents. As it's primary coverage you do not have to make a claim against your auto insurance. Additional drivers who are on the rental agreement with you are covered free of charge and it's a zero deductible plan.
As outlined in our general overview of car rental insurance in the USA, the insurance options are different to the rest of the World. The US is a zero deductible market, so there's no repair costs to pay if you have Collision Damage Coverage. The only costs to pay are collision-related fees that are charged by the rental companies such as "loss of use", relocation and administration fees (all are included in our Extra Cover product).
All other countries have a deductible (called "excess" outside of the US). There are consequently two policies to be aware of:
1. CDW: Outside of the US, Collision Damage Waivers (also called Loss Damage Waivers if they include Theft Protection) provide coverage up to the full value of the car, but they also have a deductible/excess. Depending on the country and rental company the deductible can be between US$500 and US$5,000.
2. SCDW: Outside of the US, Super Collision Damage Waivers (which have multiple other names that are designed to confuse renters) reduce the deductible/excess towards $0. They do not exist in the US because the US is a zero deductible market. With SCDW, the more you pay, the deductible/excess gets closer to $0, and there's less exclusions such as windscreens & tires.
If you have our Collision Damage Coverage you do not need to purchase CDW or SCDW from the rental companies. Your Collision Damage Coverage has $0 deductible so it performs the function of CDW and SCDW, a saving of up to $50 per day. The full cost of damages would be reimbursed by AON.
There are some rental companies, particularly in Latin America and Europe, who require you to purchase their own Collision Damage Waivers. We think it is a highly questionable business practice but either way, rest assured that your Collision Damage Coverage still applies because it is a better alternative to the rental company's SCDW.
Please see our FAQ entitled "What to do at the rental desk in Latin American countries" and there's more details in our rental guides for US, Europe, Australia/NZ, Canada and Africa.
AON handles claims on your behalf once you file a claim or inform them of the incident (check your Policy Wording or confirmation emails for details). For travel outside of the US, you would may be required to pay the rental company and then AON will reimburse you. If you are unable to pay, AON will step in to pay on your behalf. Read on for more information about claims for "Collision Damage Coverage".
Damage Waivers (CDW, LDW, Super CDW, Super LDW)
The amount payable in the event of an accident is usually called your "excess" or "liability". Rental companies all offer multiple options to reduce your excess. In some countries such as the USA, Canada and Mexico, suppliers do not include any insurance in their basic price, so your excess is actually the full value of the car. In some countries such as Australia and NZ the rental companies are not permitted to pass on this level of risk to customers. In other countries such as UK and most of the EU it is uncommon to see cars without some level of reduced excess.
The product that reduces excess from the full value to a lower amount (usually €/£/$1000-2000) is usually called "CDW" ("Collision Damage Waiver"). Policies that reduce your liability from that level towards €/£/$0 are most commonly called Super CDW (also called "Excess Reduction" in Australia/NZ, Damage Liability Fee and many other names that serve the same purpose). CDW that includes theft coverage is called LDW ("Loss Damage Waiver") while Super CDW that includes theft is called Super LDW.
At present RentalCover.com sells policies that are an alternative to Super CDW/Super LDW only. Our policies are about 50% cheaper and they include many types of damage that the rental companies "exclude" such as theft, windscreen and tire damage, single vehicle accidents, hitting animals, driving at night, vehicle rollovers, underbody damage, roof damage and more.
The amount payable in the event of an accident is usually called your "excess" or "liability" and it can be either:
The amount payable to the rental company in the event of an accident is called your “excess" or "liability” or (in the US) "deductible". Rental companies offer Collision Damage Waivers (CDW) which reduce your excess from the full value of the vehicle in the event of an accident. CDW reduces your excess to €/£/$0 (this is typical in the USA and Canada) or to approx. to €/£/$1,000-€/£/$3,000 (this is the case in Europe, Australia/New Zealand and all markets except North America). To get that remaining excess down to €/£/$0 the rental companies sell "Super CDW", "Super LDW" (includes CDW & theft). There are lots of different names (e.g. in Australia & NZ it is called "excess reduction") but they serve the same purpose.
Super CDW/Super LDW options often have many exclusions such as windscreen, headlights, mirrors and multiple accident-related fees. RentalCover.com sells independent alternatives to “Super CDW” and “Super LDW” without the exclusions and for about 50% cheaper.
All policies can be managed from the My Account section of the RentalCover.com website and app. Policies that were booked through a travel agency can also be modified or cancelled by the travel agency's website and customer support team. Please refer to instructions in your booking confirmation.
Changes to your rental vehicle
If you have just changed cars or suppliers, your existing policy is still valid. However, it is possible your vehicle liability may have increased, particularly if you have upgraded to a more expensive car.
Please check the new "CDW/standard excess" on your booking confirmation or with the rental company, and see 'How do I add coverage to my policy?' for instructions on how to increase your coverage amount.
You can modify the dates of your RentalCover.com policy up to and including the date of travel, and extend your policy thereafter using the following steps:
Other modifications and cancellations
These can be made up up to the time of pickup.
Steps to modify a policy:
Steps to cancel a policy:
Note: If you are still taking out a rental vehicle the policy can still be utilised as it is applicable to any vehicle from any rental company, regardless of where it was booked.
To login you just need the reference number from your quote and your email address. Click "Sign In" to begin!
Axa policies are issued on the date of payment however others are issued closer to the start of your trip. Either way you will receive a final email that includes your reference number and instructions on what to do at the rental desk.
If your policy includes free airline rewards you will need to call the issuer of your policy as outlined in the Policy Document.
We always recommend that the coverage is at least equivalent to your vehicle's excess/liability. At present our policies are designed to provide coverage for the excess that is remaining after CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) has been applied to your car. That remaining excess is typically between €/£/$1000-3000.
RentalCover.com's Free Gap Coverage allows you peace of mind when you rent a car by providing additional coverage to every policy issued, free of charge. The amount of Free Gap Coverage included with your RentalCover.com policy can be found in your coverage documentation provided with your quote or purchase.
Our 'Gap Cover' is designed to provide coverage when there is a shortfall between your excess coverage and the total amount that you have paid for your accident/damages. This can happen when:
All RentalCover.com policies come with Free Gap Coverage to ensure that you get reimbursed for these significant costs.
The Queen of England is not a good driver. She prefers to travel the streets of London in a horse and carriage. So when she rents cars, she always purchases a RentalCover.com policy just in case she has an accident. Once upon a time she did have an accident because her corgi dog was barking wildly when the Queen's hairspray stung it in the eyes. The excess on her vehicle was £4,000 but The Queen was faced with total charges of £4,450. The breakdown of her bill was as follows: £4,000: Damage liability fee (this was the 'excess". Rental companies call it many things but they are all just the "excess") £150: "Administration Fees" (the rental companies usually charge these "processing" costs) £50: Credit card fees (charged on the total damage costs) £100: Towing (the towing bill is not usually part of the "excess" because it is not "damages". It is a separate fee that is charged to the rental company and passed on to the driver). £150: "Relocation" costs (the rental company has to get the vehicle back to its intended destination. The cost is passed on to the driver).
Luckily, The Queen's RentalCover.com policy had £4,000 coverage and an extra £500 Free Gap Coverage. RentalCover.com's underwriter paid her £4,000 and RentalCover.com paid £450. The Queen made her claim, it was paid quickly by the friendly RentalCover.com claims team, and she vowed never to take her corgis on a road trip again.
Our policies are available to residents of any country. All policies shown to you will be based on the age and residency and country of travel that you entered on the homepage.
Yes, additional drivers who are on the rental agreement with you are covered free of charge. The rental company may charge a small "additional driver" fee. You do not need to inform us of the additional drivers' names, as they are insured automatically, regardless of age, country of residence, etc.
Please see 'How do I change the name of the policy holder?' for details on how to change the name/details of the policy holder.
Homer Simpson is taking a holiday with his dad Abe to see the sights of France. To save some money, Homer has taken out a policy with RentalCover.com to save paying the excess costs should either of them have a collision.
On their way to the airport Homer tells his dad about his brilliant money saving idea, but Abe begins to worry he won't be insured if he wants to drive the car. Homer explains that they'll be fine as long as both their names are listed on the rental agreement. Abe is so impressed with how Homer has organised the trip that he offers to buy Homer a donut as a reward. Now everybody is happy. Right up until they realize Homer forgot to book the flight.
Yes, you can change the policy holder and contact details on your policy any day up until and including the day of departure.
Note: Additional drivers who are on the rental agreement with you are covered free of charge.
You can change the name on your RentalCover.com policy any time before the date of travel using the following steps:
RentalCover.com customer Eddie Vedder took out a policy last week, to provide coverage a hirecar for a trip around China with his friend Dave Grohl. However, Eddie had completely forgotten that he had a world tour kicking off at the same time he had planned the holiday. Eddie has to pull out of the trip, but Dave says he's still keen to visit China on his own.
Being a good friend, Eddie decides to change the name on his RentalCover.com policy to 'Dave Grohl', so his friend can still use the coverage Eddie has paid for while traveling round China. That way Eddie's money doesn't go to waste, and Dave saves the cost of having to buy a separate policy, which means more money for Dave to spend on souvenirs for Eddie.
RentalCover.com sells policies to individuals who rent a vehicle and are required to pay an "excess" amount for damages. An excess is the amount payable to the rental company in the event of an accident, it is also known as "liability". Our policies reimburse your excess costs. Our policies include many types of damage that the rental companies typically exclude. Please see the relevant FAQ for a detailed overview of how car rental insurance works in your country of travel.
Additional drivers who are on the rental agreement with you are covered free of charge.
Not usually! Just check that your policy has sufficient coverage (including the Free Gap Coverage amount) for your new rental vehicle and if so, you can keep the policy with no changes required. If you need extra coverage, just click "Add coverage" from your account.
You can cancel up to the time of pickup for an immediate refund. If you have an issue at the rental desk, you can call us. However, cancellations cannot be undertaken over the phone. Refunds will be processed immediately. Please keep in mind that our policies are valid for any rental vehicle, so even if you change cars you don't need to cancel your rental coverage policy; if you need to change the dates, just click "modify" and a refund will be issued for shorter trips, or a payment will be required for longer durations.
For details on how to cancel a RentalCover.com policy, please refer to our cancellation FAQ.
A refundable deposit (also called a refundable "bond") is an amount that will be either deducted or "held" against your credit card as a deposit for the duration of your rental. It is charged if you refuse to purchase the rental company's excess waiver (we always advise you to refuse it and buy a RentalCover.com policy, instead). Those waivers are usually called "Super CDW (Super Collision Damage Waiver)" in Europe or "Excess Reduction" in Australia/NZ. In the US there is no Super CDW or equivalent because their rentals have zero deductible excess.
For cars the refundable deposit/bond/hold is usually less than $500, but for large motorhomes the bond may exceed $5000. Typically this amount is "frozen" (also called "imprinted" or "held") on your credit card (a small number of rental companies actually deduct the bond from your card and they may apply card fees on top). If the car is returned without damage the deposit is refunded in full. If there is damage then the bond will be deducted from your card and once the repair costs are assessed (allow 1-2 weeks) or - if it's a small amount of damage - the repairs are undertaken, the rental company will refund the difference between the bond and the repair costs. If the repair costs are equal to or greater than your bond, there is no refund due.
This is an important consideration for two reasons:
Note: Enter your rental company at the top of the page to compare their prices & policies with RentalCover.com.
A RentalCover.com customer Jimmy Page has booked a car for a trip around Milan where he wants to buy some leather jackets, the likes of which pleased his fans back in the late '60s. When he arrives at the rental desk, Jimmy is told that the rental company will deduct a bond prior to departure. He knows that last time his bond was several hundred thousand liras but that was for a rented 1975 Lamborghini. This time the bond was only 200 euros.
It only takes a few seconds to add coverage to your policy or quote:
Purchasing a single RentalCover.com policy will provide coverage for all rental cars hired for the duration of your policy. Likewise your policy will still apply in any country you travel to with your rental vehicle, provided your rental starts in the country nominated in your policy.
An Example of How Our Coverage Works Across Countries
Let's consider the case of a customer, Jon Bon Jovi. He's a big fan of RentalCover.com and he has 3 car rentals with these details:
Car 1: Italy Jan 1st to Jan 10th
Car 2: France Jan 14th to Switzerland Jan 20th
Car 3: Austria to Germany Jan 24th to Jan 31st
He remembers that the band really likes Barolo wines from Northern Italy so they might wish to stay an extra night in Italy. His band will be busy drinking and he doesn't want to have to extend his policy if he stays an extra day in Italy. He just wants to be insured for all of January with no hassles. Jon checked RentalCover.com and it is actually cheaper to just get one policy than 3 separate policies, which is a bonus.
Jon can just purchase a policy for Italy that starts on Jan 1 and ends on Jan 31. He is free to travel to any other countries and he doesn't need to modify his policy if he changes his tour dates during that period.
If you like Jon's idea and want to do the same (who wouldn't!) the only thing you need to be aware of is:
The terms of your policy will vary depending on your age, coverage selection, and country of travel. For full details about your policy's terms please refer to the relevant Product Disclosure Statement, found under "View Policy Wording" on your account page. For reference, all of our policies provide coverage to the following:
* Note: These terms may vary. Please refer to your PDS for your policy's full terms.
Personal Accident Insurance
The following information is for US customers only, for information relating to other regions please refer to the country specific FAQs
Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) insures drivers of a rental car and their passengers for accidental medical costs, emergency care and accidental death during your rental trip, up to a certain limit. Please check the amount of coverage on your policy if you have or intend to purchase personal accident insurance to determine if the coverage is adequate.
RentalCover.com customer Bob Geldof is setting off on a tour of America with his band. Bob has decided that taking the tourbus wouldn't be environmentally friendly for such a long trip, so instead he books a hire car to travel from venue to venue. Bob quickly discovers that hiring a car for so long is actually quite expensive, so he decides not to purchase any of the optional extras to save costs.
While traveling through the middle of Detroit, Bob is distracted when he hears one of his own songs on the radio, and as a result he doesn't notice the car in front of him stopping until too late. While the damage to both cars is only minor, Bob's back is hurting and he decides it would be best to call for an ambulance. Bob is carted off to hospital where it's confirmed he's suffering from whiplash, and he is confined to a hospital bed for the next week.
As bad as it is that Bob has to call off the rest of his tour, things only get worse when he tries to claim the cost of his injuries on insurance. Poor Bob finds out that by opting out of Personal Accident Insurance when he hired his car, he waived his right to claim his ambulance and medical costs, and now he has to fork out thousands of dollars for his stay in hospital.
What is the standard level of coverage?
The following table provides an overview of the standard levels of coverage provided by insurers in the US:
How does the claim process work?
If you or a passenger are injured as a result of driving your rental vehicle, you will need to contact your rental company's insurer directly to place a claim. This will normally involve filling out a claims form, and you will be required to provide the details of your insurance, a receipt of the premium you paid and invoices for your medical costs (hospital and ambulance). In the case of death, the next of kin can place the claim with the insurer and provide details of the accident.
Supplemental Liability Insurance
The following information is US customers only, for information relating to other regions please refer to the country specific FAQs
Supplementary Liability Insurance insures you for injuries to other drivers and their vehicles. In some countries this "third party" insurance is compulsorily provided by the vehicle owner, i.e. the rental companies. However most states in the US do not require the vehicle owner to have mandatory third party liability, meaning the driver is potentially liable for injuries to other people and their property
If you are driving in one of those states you will be offered SLI (also called Accident Liability Insurance/ALI or LIS) by the rental company, which will normally provide between $1,000,000 and $2,000,000 coverage. As a general rule, if SLI if offered by the rental company, we advise you to take it.
RentalCover.com customer Keith Richards is holidaying in California to get some much needed time in the sun. When Keith turns up to collect his car from the rental desk, the staff explain to him that rental companies aren't required to insure third party damage in their state, and that they instead offer an optional product called SLI to insure customers.
Given his tendency to get a bit wild while on holidays, Keith decides it would be in his best interests to be insured for any and all potential situations, and opts in for the SLI. This decision pays off just minutes later when Keith accidentally backs his new rental car into the rental desk owner's BMW.
After a lengthy process Keith is able to claim back the full cost of the damages to the BMW through his SLI, and he gets to continue on his merry way.
How much coverage is normally provided?
In the USA each state has different rules regarding whether or not third party coverage must be provided, and often the minimum level of coverage required by law will be quite low. Despite this most SLI providers will generally insure you in the range of $1-2 million, though in some cases coverage may extend up to $10 million.
Am I insured if I am not at fault?
Generally no. In most cases you will only be able to claim third party damage or injuries if you were the driver at fault. The only exception to this would be if you were deemed by a court to be responsible for a third party accident even if it is not caused by you directly, though this will vary depending on your policy terms.
An Example of When You Are Not At Fault
RentalCover.com customer Eric Clapton is visiting friends in California, and is hiring a car to get around. While Eric is turning a corner, a taxi driver in a hurry to get a fair pulls an illegal u-turn and drives into the side of Eric's vehicle. Even though the other driver's vehicle is written off, Eric's SLI does not need to insure the taxi driver's car as Eric is not a fault.
How Does the Claims Process Work?
To make a SLI claim you will need to contact the rental company's insurance provider and deal directly with them. You will be asked by the insurers to fill out a statement of claim, and to provide some form of documentation relating to your insurance and the claim being made (usually a certificate of insurance, receipts of payment, copies of invoices and police reports as well as other details from the third party showing evidence of damages or or injuries sustained).
All RentalCover.com policies provide coverage for theft, fire and vandalism. Most rental companies will offer you a product called "Theft Protection" either online or at the rental desk, which insures you up to a fixed amount for loss and damage in the case that your rental car is stolen. This will generally be offered as a standalone product in the US and parts of Europe, or as an inclusion in a "premium" coverage product in Australia, NZ and the rest of Europe.
Some rental companies also include Theft Protection with your CDW purchase, in which case the policy is known as a Loss Damage Waiver (LDW). You will need to check your policy wording or contact your policy supplier to find out exactly what is included in your coverage.
Regular RentalCover.com customer Paul McCartney has hired a yellow Subaru to go driving around the Isle of Man.
He trots off for a pint singing "we all live in a yellow Subaru, a yellow Subaru, a yellow Subaru". But he leaves his car unattended in a carpark for an hour, an opportunistic thief hotwires the vehicle and makes off with Sir Paul's yellow Subaru rental, along with some vinyl records of some unreleased songs from Abbey Road Studios.
Fortunately Paul was prepared for this scenario because he purchased a RentalCover.com policy (they always provide coverage for theft, as Sir Paul knows). While his policy unfortunately didn't provide coverage for the lost vinyls, he got to make a claim for the cost of the stolen car and returned a week later in a much less identifiable Rolls Royce Silver Shadow.
Third Party Cover
In some countries (including UK, EU, Australia, NZ & most of Asia) it is compulsory for the car owner (i.e. the rental car company) to obtain third party insurance. In the US the responsibility falls on the car driver. There are also some differences between third party property (damages to another vehicle) and third party personal (injuries to another driver or their passengers) from region to region. Lastly, there is often confusion in Australia and New Zealand because rental companies decut third party damage costs from the excess that is payable in the event of a multi-vehicle accident.
In Europe third party insurance (usually called "civil liability") is compulsorily held by the car owner and it provides coverage to damages to other vehicles and injury to other drivers. Without it, a rental company cannot place a vehicle on the road. It is consequently not sold by the rental companies, nor is it offered independently by RentalCover.com.
Read this FAQ for more information on the European insurance options.
In the US and parts of South America, third party responsibility lies with the driver of a rental vehicle. In those countries you will be offered Supplementary Liability Insurance (called SLI or LIS) at the car rental desk and sometimes you will be offered SLI online from the rental company's website. SLI provides coverage to car drivers who cause injuries to drivers or passengers of another vehicle (called "third party injury" or "third party personal"), and other vehicles that are damaged by the accident ("third party property"). Some US states mandate that all cars including rental car companies include SLI however the state minimums are usually quite low for third party injuries so you may consider purchasing an SLI policy. At present RentalCover.com does not sell SLI policies.
Read this FAQ for more information on the US insurance options.
In Australia and New Zealand it is compulsory for vehicle owners (i.e. the rental company) to have insurance for third party injuries so a rental vehicle cannot be registered or rented without it. In NZ third party personal injuries are settled through a government program called ACC which does not ascribe "fault" to either driver.
Regarding third party property (damage to other vehicles), some motorhome rental companies charge their customers for "third party" damages but they are just discretionary excess charges, i.e. it is a way for them to increase your damage costs. RentalCover.com policies do not discriminate between one type of excess charge and another, all are insured. So yes, third party damage costs are insured. But we suggest you read our detailed explanation of "third party" charges by motorhome rental companies in Australia and New Zealand.
WARNING! This is really long and boring!
There's a lot to insure here so please bear with us. This FAQ talks about several inter-related and quite technical concepts. It shouldn't be so technical, but remember the rental companies like to make it technical so they can rip you off. You can be "all over" the detail by reading on, or if its TL:DR (Too Long Don't Read) just call us!
Types of Vehicles & Types of Rental (Peer To Peer etc)
Some but not all RentalCover.com policies are providing coverage for 4x4s and offroad driving. Please refer to your policy wording to see if 4x4s are included.
Are unsealed roads insured?
Some of our policies allow driving on unsealed roads as long as those roads are permitted for travel by the rental company. If you have a 4x4 the rental company will usually nominate which roads are/are not permitted.
Driving on Unsealed Roads That Are Not Permitted
If you have an accident or if the vehicle is damaged on a non-permitted road your potential liability will exceed your excess because it is deemed a "violation" of the rental agreement. Your rental company may apply significant legal fees to your bill so your excess may even exceed the total cost of the vehicle if it is a serious accident. We strongly advise drivers to comply with the terms of the rental agreement! All RentalCover.com claims are invalidated if there is a violation of the rental company's terms.
Driving on Unsealed Roads That Are Permitted
If the rental company permits it, and your policy provides coverage for 4x4s, RentalCover.com policies provide coverage on unsealed roads. If a rental company allows driving on unsealed roads they will specify which ones can be driven on or they will specify the limits, for instance, driveways, campsite roads etc are usually permitted.
What about water damage?
Similar to above, if you have not breached the vehicle rental agreement you will be able to make a claim. Most companies consider water damage a breach of the agreement conditions. Therefore they reserve the right to charge you for repairs that might exceed the vehicle excess (i.e. they can charge you the full cost of vehicle replacement).
Example: When a 4x4 Isn't Insured
RentalCover.com customer Mick Jagger is taking some time out of his busy 9 to 5 job to explore the wilderness of Brazil. While exploring Mick takes his hired 4x4 vehicle across a river trail to avoid driving an extra mile to the next bridge. Unfortunately for Mick the water level is much higher than he'd thought, and his car gets stuck halfway.
Most rental companies will deem Mick's accident a breach of their terms, and therefore for once in his life something isn't going to go Mick Jaggers way. Unfortunately, he will have to pay the full cost of recovering the vehicle plus the cost of any damages to the car. Similarly Mick won't be able to claim any of his costs from RentalCover.com because he breached the rental agreement terms.
Car shares and accident replacement vehicles are all insured. If your car is at the mechanic or has had an accident, many nationwide mechanic chains and most crash inspection rental desks will offer you a vehicle that works exactly the same as rental cars: They have a high excess (i.e. an amount payable to the rental company in the event of an accident) that can be reduced by purchasing a policy that reduces your excess in the event of an accident (it may be called Super CDW (Collision Damage Waiver), Super LDW (Loss Damage Waiver), or similar). There are many exclusions and the price of those policies is expensive. Expect to pay 50% less with our RentalCover.com policy.
If your question isn't answered by the above please fill in the below form or give us a call: