Car rental excess insurance

Reduce expensive excess charges when your rental car is stolen, damaged or involved in an accident.

What is car hire excess insurance (and why do you need it)?

An excess is an out-of-pocket expense charged by an insurance company if you need to make a claim. So in this case, car hire excess insurance covers you from having to pay hefty excess amounts for the cost of repairing your rental car if something bad happens.

Let's put this into perspective. No one likes to pay more money than they have to. If you choose not to take out rental car excess insurance prior to pick up, then you have two options:

1. You take out excess reduction from the car hire company (which can actually cost almost $39 per day!)
2. You risk it and pay up to $8000 in excess if the car is damaged

Either option is significantly more expensive than just taking out rental car excess insurance in the first place, considering cover can start from $2.83 per day (instead of paying $39 per day).
Don't be put off from renting a car because of this, just make sure you get the right cover whether you're in Australia or abroad.

Compare rental car insurance excess options

Call it car hire excess insurance, rental car excess insurance, rental vehicle insurance excess, rental car insurance excess… it's all the same thing. There are different options to suit all budgets so you can save yourself from unnecessary out-of-pocket expenses.
Name International or domestic cover Eligible driver age Features Starting price (per day) Apply
Rental cover logo

Rentalcover.com

Both 19–75 years
  • Complete vehicle cover for up to $100,000 in damages
  • Can be used with any rental car company worldwide
  • 30% discount for seniors, students and those in the military
  • No further excess payable
$9.48 Get quote
Picture not described

Car hire excess

Both 21–71 years
  • Cover from $4,000 to $8,000
  • Additional cover for damage to windscreens, roof, tyres and underbody
  • Underwritten by Lloyds
  • No further excess payable
$9.30 Get quote
Picture not describedTripcover car excess insurance

Tripcover

Both 21–71 years
  • Cover from $4,000 to $8,000
  • Underwritten by Allianz
  • Excess options: Nil or $300
$5.68 (with a $300 excess payable) Get quote
Picture not describedAmerican Express logo

American Express

Both Up to 79 years
  • Cover up to $3,000
  • Underwritten by Chubb
  • Excess options: $100, $200 and $500
$2.83 (with a $100 excess payable) Get quote

*Prices are based on a 15-day hire in Australia, as of September 2019. Benefits vary from brand to brand. Always read through the product disclosure statement (PDS) to make sure the product is suitable for you.

What vehicles are covered by rental car insurance?

Surprisingly, car rental excess insurance can actually cover most vehicles that includes standard cars, luxury cars, 4WDs, campervans and even motorcycles.
Limits to this include the weight of a vehicle (for campervans, the vehicle needs to weigh less than 4.5 tonnes for most brands), the engine displacement of a motorcycle and driving conditions (e.g. icy and off-road). Always check directly with your insurer for exact specifications.
Woman photographing

Cars

Man driving convertible

Luxury cars

Man with map

4x4s

Traveling with RV

Campervans

Woman riding motorcycle

Motorcycles

5 benefits of car rental excess insurance in Australia and overseas

One It's affordable

Getting standalone cover is usually much cheaper than cover purchased through a rental car company. On average, car rental excess insurance is three times cheaper than cover from the rental car companies.

Two Windscreens, tyres, roof and underbody can be included

Brands like Rentalcover.com and Car Hire Excess cover damage to the above even if it's excluded from your rental agreement. This is a special feature of these brands.

Three Get other helpful inclusions

Some brands will also include cover for your luggage and personal effects, and returning your vehicle to the correct location if you get sick or injured and can't return it yourself.

Four Covers all sorts of vehicles

Sedans, hatchbacks, SUVs and more – most policies cover an extensive range of vehicles as long as they weigh less than 4.5 tonnes.

Five Domestic and international policies available

Regardless of whether you're travelling within Australia or overseas, there are standalone car rental excess policies available to suit your needs.

Is it worth it? Yes

For some perspective, here are the minimum excesses charged by major rental companies in Australia. These charges are based on standard 2WD vehicles, that means that the excess amount can increase if you're renting a more expensive vehicle. If you decide not to take out any type of rental car excess cover, you risk having to pay these amounts if the rental car is damaged or stolen.

  • Alamo - $3,000
  • Avis - $4,608
  • Budget - $4,608
  • Dollar - $4,000
  • Enterprise - $2,750
  • Europcar - $5,500
  • Hertz - $4,800
  • Jucy - $3,000
  • Redspot - $4,400
  • Thrifty - $4,000

In the diagram below, we've compared the price of a policy from Rentalcover.com (in blue) against the price of purchasing cover through a car hire company (in red). You can see a significant difference in price with Hertz being almost five times more expensive than Rentalcover.com. Save money by buying a standalone policy instead of getting cover from a rental company.

Another consideration is that some of these rental companies may only offer an "excess reduction" which lessens your out-of-pocket expenses but doesn't always make it zero.

Compare car rental excess

*Prices are based on a 15-day hire in Australia as of September 2019.

Start comparing

Who should get car rental excess insurance?

Who should get rental car excess insurance?

What options do I have?

Excess reduction cover straight from rental company

Teacher

  • Pros. This is the most convenient option if you haven't already got cover.
  • Cons. Usually the most expensive way to get cover for car rental excess.

Standalone car rental excess insurance policy

Car

  • Pros. Affordable and flexible option that can give you additional benefits.
  • Cons. You'll need to take out cover before picking up the rental car.

Travel insurance including car rental excess insurance

Test

  • Pros. Affordable option since it can be automatically included in some policies.
  • Cons. Sometimes not an option if you're hiring a car in your home city.


What's not covered by car rental excess insurance?

When choosing a policy, be mindful and make sure you understand your agreement. There can be big differences between policies so it's relatively safe to say that you get what you pay for.
Car rental excess insurance policies are designed to cover an excess charged by a third party. So if the damage caused to your rental car is not approved as an insurance claim, an excess isn't charged and you won't be able to use your car rental excess insurance policy.
There are some situations and events when car rental excess insurance will not provide any cover such as:
  • You use the rental vehicle in breach of your rental agreement
  • You use your rental vehicle without a valid licence
  • Your claim is for administrative fees charged by the rental company (unless this is included in your policy)
  • You were driving the rental car while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • You failed to act sensibly to protect the vehicle or your property
  • You did not do everything possible to reduce or minimise your loss
  • It arises because you break the law
  • You travel against medical advice
  • Your claim arises due to a pre-existing medical condition
  • Your claim is for consequential loss of any kind, for example loss of enjoyment
  • Your claim arises due to mental illness, depression, anxiety or stress
  • Your claim arises because you participate in any race, speed or time trial
  • Your claim arises from a government authority confiscating, detaining or destroying anything

With this in mind, make sure to check the terms and conditions of whichever cover option you choose to work out when you will and will not be covered.

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Frequently asked questions

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48 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    STUARTOctober 20, 2019

    I am looking at hiring a rental car for a trip within Australia from one of the major rental companies, All have ‘CDW’ with an excess. Do you know if the CDW insurance on the hire car also covers third party property and vehicle damage caused by an accident when the driver of the hire car was found to be technically at fault.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JessicaOctober 21, 2019Staff

      Hi Stuart,

      Thanks for reaching out to us at Finder!

      Inclusions of your Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) will depend on which rental company you hire the car from, they’re not all the same. So just make sure you read the fine print when you’re hiring. Most CDW’s will cover third party damage but be careful when it comes to damage when you’re at fault.

      If you’re trying to reduce your financial risk when hiring a car, you might also want to consider taking out rental car excess insurance to avoid more out-of-pocket expenses.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards,
      Jessica

  2. Default Gravatar
    ShanhOctober 13, 2019

    Hello, this week I hired a hitop campervan for the first time. I hired it on the Saturday intending to leave early morning Sunday. I unthinkingly drive it into an underground carpark which damaged the top. I did all the right things and took it back in the morning. They didn’t have another vehicle I could use and said the manager would contact me on Monday. We hired from another company and went on our trip. We didn’t hear from the manager until Thursday despite calls to them every day, he was always unavailable. I had the top insurance, no excess and covered overhead damage. But no where in their terms can I see anything about refunding us if they can’t supply us with another vehicle. The insurance covers for loss of use. No where did I sign anything that states I wouldn’t be entitled to a refund if amaccident iccurs and I can’t have another vehicle. . Should I be entitled to all or some of the fees paid? Cheers Shan

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JessicaOctober 14, 2019Staff

      Hi Shan,

      Thanks for getting in contact with us at Finder!

      Sorry to hear about the rough start to your trip. This page is about car rental excess insurance which typically only covers the excess amount charged by rental companies if damage is caused to the rental vehicle.

      You might be entitled to your expenses if you have any other insurance like travel insurance or maybe even the insurance offered by the rental company. It sounds like you might be able to claim under “Additional expenses”. I would still give them a call directly, explain the situation and ask if there is any benefit under your policy.

      I hope this helps and that you enjoy the rest of your trip.

      Kind regards,
      Jessica

  3. Default Gravatar
    HongOctober 11, 2019

    I am Hong Kong resident, will travel to Australia, would like to rent a car , may I know can I buy this car excess insurance?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JessicaOctober 11, 2019Staff

      Hi Hong,

      Thanks for reaching out to us at Finder!

      As an overseas visitor, you are eligible for cover with brands such as Rentalcover.com, Car Hire Excess and Tripcover provided you have the right driving permits and stick to the rental agreement of your car hire.

      I hope you found this helpful.

      Kind regards,
      Jessica

  4. Default Gravatar
    EricJanuary 18, 2019

    I have booked a rental car in WA and am looking for independent excess insurance,
    I can find plenty of information that covers the rental vehicle but very little about third party property, as in having and accident that I am at fault. Do any of theses insurances including over the counter ones, cover the other vehicle?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ValJanuary 23, 2019Staff

      Hi Eric,

      Thank you for leaving a question. You are correct – the page that you are checking is correct when you are ready to compare options for car rental excess insurance. You may refer to this PAGE to check out and compare property damage liability coverage. On the page you may read more about it and also compare companies that offer such coverage. Please make sure to check eligibility requirements and T&C prior to applying.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Val

  5. Default Gravatar
    RowenaDecember 11, 2018

    Looking at rental car excess. We need a rental for an indeterminate amount of time (probably 4-6 weeks) . Can we buy them top up? Can we get a refund if we buy for 10 weeks and rent the car for 6 weeks?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayDecember 16, 2018Staff

      Hi Rowena,

      Thanks for your question.

      Not really sure what you meant by buying the car rental excess top up. Do you mean you’d like to get car rental excess insurance that will cover only the period you’ll use the car? If so, the cost really varies depending on the provider you’re with and amount of time of car hire, standard excess payable and some other factors. So best to check with the insurance company directly the overall cost.

      In the meantime, from the table above, you can contact one of the insurance companies listed to check your options. Alternatively, you can also check the level of cover through the rental agency and it’s cost and see if you can also reduce the excess. As for refunds, the insurer can best advise this if they issue a refund for unused periods, so if you could also confirm this with the insurer, that would be great.

      I hope this has somehow helped.

      Cheers,
      May

  6. Default Gravatar
    AdrianNovember 13, 2018

    Hello,

    I will be doing a drive day soon with multiple luxury vehicles inc a Ferrari and Lamborghini. All insurances are covered however there is a 10K excess. My question is can I get cover to cover this excess?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaNovember 29, 2018Staff

      Hi Adrian,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      It depends on the terms and conditions of your policy. You need to check how much is covered by your car rental excess insurance. If you have a policy in place, the excess can be reduced or even cancelled altogether.

      It would be a good idea to first discuss this with your insurer before heading your way.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  7. Default Gravatar
    DavidSeptember 15, 2017

    Am I covered with these car rental access plans from storm and hail damage, also rim and tyre damage? I cannot find it listed on their policies? I will be traveling in Queensland! I do not want to be told it’s an act of God if I need to make a claim! Hate to be sceptical but everything seems like a scam today.

    • Default Gravatar
      JonathanSeptember 15, 2017

      Hello David,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Generally, car rental excess insurance don’t include acts of God.

      Your alternative is to obtain a travel insurance that covers natural disasters. Please review the Product Disclosure Statement to understand the claim requirements, exclusions and what is covered within their policy. You may click “Get Quote” green button of your chosen insurer to proceed.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

  8. Default Gravatar
    andyJuly 2, 2017

    Your google entry mentions annual policies for excess cover – but can’t find it on your website.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezJuly 2, 2017Staff

      Hi Andy,

      Thanks for your comment.

      You have contacted finder.com.au, a comparison and information service and we are not an insurer. We currently have three insurers in our panel for car rental excess insurance. For an annual car excess policy quote please click on the green ‘Get quote’ button and select the dates manually.

      You would be well advised to get in touch with your insurer and discuss your options.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  9. Default Gravatar
    DennisApril 18, 2017

    I have just arranged for a Pajero 4WD from Europcar.
    Policies refer to an age group either finishing at 71 or 75 years of age. I am 76 so does that mean I am ineligible for this car rental excess insurance.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ZubairApril 19, 2017Staff

      Hi Dennis,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      finder.com.au is a comparison and information service and not actually an insurer.

      Please note that 75 may be the age limit for that specific vehicle, best to get in touch directly with the insurer.

      All the best,
      Zubair

  10. Default Gravatar
    SnarfMarch 15, 2017

    How do I get a quote for an annual car excess reduction policy. Is there an option to increase the level of cover to $6-8,000?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ZubairMarch 16, 2017Staff

      Hi Snarf,

      Thank you for your question.

      You have contacted finder.com.au a comparison and information service and not an insurer.

      The table on the top of the page lists all insurers in our panel who offer car hire excess cover. The Car Hire Excess brand in our panel offers cover from $4,000 up to $8,000, you can select your desired excess amount on the insurer website and for a quote please click on the green ‘Get quote’ button.

      All the best,
      Zubair

    • Default Gravatar
      SnarfMarch 16, 2017

      I get that part, but I cannot see an option to get a quote for an annual car excess policy only. Can you walk me through it please.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ZubairMarch 17, 2017Staff

      Hi Snarf,

      Thank you for your question.

      Currently, we have three insurers in our panel for car rental excess insurance. I just visited their websites and did not find any option of annual car excess insurance on their home quote engine pages. You will need to select the dates manually. Also, may I know the name of the website you have gone too?

      All the best,
      Zubair

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