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Does travel insurance cover car hire excess?

You can get travel insurance with rental car excess cover, but normally you’ll need to take out a comprehensive policy or upgrade your cover with an add-on.

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Name Product Rental car excess insurance Cancellation and amendment fees COVID-19 expenses Theft or damage to lugagge Standard excess
ahm International Comprehensive Travel Insurance
$5,000
Cover chosen
Some cover
  • $8,000
$250
Get 10% discount if you're an ahm or Medibank Private member.
Qantas International Comprehensive
$8,000
Unlimited
Some cover
  • $15,000
$100
This is a summary of cover only. Sub-limits and time limits apply. Please read the PDS for full terms, conditions, limits and exclusions.

Protect your next trip and earn up to 10,000 Qantas Points with Qantas Travel Insurance. Offer ends 28 May. T&Cs apply.
Stella Travel Insurance
Optional
$40,000
Some cover
  • $10,000
$100
Freely On-Trip Policy (The Explorer) - International Trip
Optional
$5,000
  • $10,000
$250
Use promocode: FINDER10 to get 10% off your travel insurance with Freely. T&Cs apply.
InsureandGo Silver One Trip
$4,000
$15,000
Some cover
  • $6,000
$100
Save 10%on InsureandGo policies with Finder. Use promo code: Finder10
Kogan International Plus Travel Insurance
$10,000
You choose
  • $12,000
$100
⭐Finder Exclusive: Get 12% off your travel insurance policies with Kogan. Use promo code: KOGAN12.T&Cs apply.
Wise and Silent International Travel Insurance - Discovery Ultimate
Optional
Cover chosen
Some cover
  • $2,000
$250
⭐Finder Exclusive: Get 8% off a travel insurance policy with Wise and Silent. Use the promo code FINDER8. T&Cs apply.
Travel Protect International Travel Insurance - Explorer Ultimate
Optional
Cover chosen
Some cover
  • $1,000
$250
⭐Finder Exclusive: Get 8% off a travel insurance policy with Travel Protect. Use the promo code FINDER8. T&Cs apply.
Tick Travel Insurance - Top Single Trip
$4,000
$20,000
Some Cover
  • $7,500
$200
Get 10% off on Tick travel insurance policies. Use promo code: FINDER
Fast Cover International Comprehensive Travel Insurance
Optional
Unlimited
Some cover
  • $15,000
$200
Insure4less - Excel Plus Travel Insurance
$3,000
$10,000
Some cover
  • $5,000
$200
Travel Insuranz Premier Plus Travel Insurance
$4,000
$20,000
Some cover
  • $5,000
$200
World2cover International Top Cover Travel Insurance
$5,000
Unlimited
Some cover
  • $15,000
$200
Cover-More International Comprehensive+ Travel Insurance
$5,000
Cover chosen
Some cover
  • $25,000
$250
Get 3 Virgin Velocity Points for every $1 spent on travel insurance with Cover-More.
Southern Cross International Comprehensive - Single Trip
$10,000
$2,500
Some cover
  • $25,000
$250
Travel Insurance Saver Comprehensive
$5,000
$5,000 to Unlimited
Some cover
  • $12,000
$250
Easy International Comprehensive Care Travel Insurance
$10,000
Cover chosen
  • $15,000
$250
Medibank International Comprehensive Travel Insurance
$6,000
Unlimited
Some cover
  • $15,000
$250
Get 15% off travel insurance for Medibank Private members.
Australia Post - International Comprehensive
$10,000
Cover Chosen
Some cover
  • $12,000
$250
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Travel insurance with rental car excess cover

Many comprehensive travel insurance policies come with rental car excess cover. If you're involved in an incident and your rental company charges you an excess, you can claim this back with your travel insurance.

If something happens, the rental company will typically charge you the excess amount then you can get reimbursed by your travel insurer. Just make sure you get a copy of the receipt showing the excess amount charged by the rental company.

Rental vehicle excesses range from around $2,000-$8,000. Travel insurance policies differ in how much they cover you for though the minimum for most is $2,000. Some go further than others. For example, Southern Cross Travel Insurance can cover you for up to $10,000.

What does travel insurance with rental car excess cover?

Number 1

The car rental excess

If something happens and you need to pay the car rental excess, travel insurance can cover the costs. You can get overseas and domestic travel insurance rental car excess with most comprehensive policies. Some policies cover you for up to $10,000.

Number 2

Transportation of the vehicle back to the car rental depot

If you suffer an injury or illness during your journey, you may not be in a fit condition to drive your rental car to the nearest depot. When this happens, some insurers will cover the cost of returning the car to the nearest depot, as long as you can obtain written confirmation from your medical adviser that you are unable to drive.

Number 3

Medical expenses if you get into an accident

If you crash your car and need ambulance transportation, medical treatment, hospital accommodation and even repatriation to Australia, comprehensive travel insurance can cover the costs.

You won't receive any cover if you break an exclusion on your policy – for example, failing to follow the road rules in the country you're in.

Travel insurance car rental excess vs waiving my excess

Before you sign the rental agreement, car hire companies will offer the option to reduce your excess charge for a daily fee. This is often referred to as an excess waiver or excess reduction option.

Often you'll be able to reduce the excess to zero if you're willing to pay the additional amount. While this may sound like an attractive option, paying a daily fee to reduce your excess can actually work out to be quite costly. A travel insurance policy that includes car rental excess cover is usually a much more cost-effective way to take out financial protection as shown below.

Here's a list of travel insurers that cover car hire excess

We took a look at a list of our travel insurance partners and found these brands automatically include car rental excess insurance in their policies. If you're hiring a luxury car or just need a higher excess limit in general, consider choosing an option that allows you to increase your excess for an extra premium.

BrandRental car excess limitConditionsOption to increase cover?Apply
Medibank Travel InsuranceInternational: $6,000

Domestic:$5,000

There is no Rental Car insurance excess cover on the International Medical Only Plan.
Bonus
Get quote
Freely LogoInternational: Optional up to $10,000Available only as add-on and you can select the days you need this cover for.
Bonus
Get quote
Zoom logoInternational: Optional $5,000 or $8,000
Domestic: $5,000
Automatically included on domestic policies only. Available as an optional upgrade on international policies except medical only.

(Domestic only)

Get quote
Fast Cover LogoInternational: Optional up to $8,000

Domestic: $5,000

Automatically included on domestic policies only. Available as an optional upgrade on international policies except basic.
Finder AwardBonus
Get quote
Insure4Less Travel Insurance LogoInternational: $3,000

Domestic: $3,000

You are covered for the agreed stated amount on your policy that you are liable to pay as a result of damage or theft to a hired vehicle.
Get quote
Travel Insuranz Travel Insurance LogoInternational: $4,000

Domestic: $4,000

You are covered for the agreed stated amount on your policy that you are liable to pay as a result of damage or theft to a hired vehicle.
Get quote
insureandgoInternational: $4,000

Domestic: Up to $7,500

Rental car excess waiver is available if you choose Silver or Gold cover.
Bonus
Get quote
Tick LogoInternational: $4,000

Domestic: $4,000

Available for Standard or Top Cover only.
Bonus
Get quote
World2Cover LogoInternational: $5,000

Domestic: $5,000

Automatically included on all policies except for ones with Basic cover.
Get quote
Covermore logoInternational: $5,000

Domestic: Up to $5,000

Automatically included on Comprehensive and Comprehensive + plans.
Bonus
Get quote
Southern Cross LogoSCTIIndividual: $5,000
Family: $5,000
We pay the non-refundable excess if the vehicle you're renting is stolen or damaged because of an unexpected event during your journey.
Finder Award
Get quote
Travel with Kit LogoInternational: Optional $5,000Available as an optional upgrade on international policies and not available on domestic policies.
More info
Travel with Jane LogoInternational: Optional $5,000Available as an optional upgrade on international policies and not available on domestic policies.
More info
Travel Insurance SaverInternational: $5,000

Domestic: $5,000

You can increase your excess with an additional premium.
Get quote
Easy travel insurance logoInternational: $6,000
Domestic:$4,000
Automatically included on Premium and Domestic plan. Available as an optional upgrade on inbound policies except medical only plan.
Get quote
Stella travel insurance logoInternational: Optional up to $5,000Available only as an add-on
Bonus
Get quote
Australia PostInternational: $10,000
Domestic: $10,000
There is no Rental Car insurance excess cover on the International Basic Plan.
Get quote
1cover logoInternational: $5,000

Domestic: $5,000

This policy automatically provides cover for all plans except for Medical only and Essentials. You can increase your benefit level and additional premiums may apply.
More info
RACV LogoInternational: $8,000

Domestic: $5,000

Get cover for up to $8,000 on international policies except the travel care plan. RACV also offer a Car Excess only plan.
More info
Skiinsurance.com.auInternational: $5,000

Domestic: $5,000

You will be covered for any excess you are liable to pay in the event of an accident, damaged or stolen involving the rental vehicle.

More info

Note: Information last obtained on August 2022 and is subject to change. Make sure you understand the general conditions surrounding car rental excess cover for each policy. The cover amount is for an International trip (comprehensive policy) and domestic trip per single person. For a comprehensive list of the conditions of each policy, please read the product disclosure statement of the policy.

How Nicola avoided paying a $1,400 car rental excess

Nicola Middlemiss

"My policy cost $48... and it came with heaps of extra benefits"

"I knew we were hiring a car and had heard stories of the crazy repair costs and excess fees," explained Nicola.

"So, I decided to buy a domestic travel insurance policy, mostly for the rental car excess cover."

Nicola, who was Finder's commercial content editor, paid just $48.96 for her travel insurance policy, a domestic plan with InsureandGo to cover her 10-day break.

"At less than $50 for 10 days, the entire policy was cheaper than the insurance offered by the rental company and it came with heaps of extra benefits," added Nicola.

"Lo and behold, I ended up hitting a wallaby on our drive back from Cradle Mountain. I was devastated that I'd killed it and honestly didn't even give much thought to the cost – the damage seemed pretty minimal and I figured it would be a couple of hundred dollars at most."

"It was not. When we returned the car, I told them that I'd hit an animal and there were some small scratches on the bumper. I was immediately charged the excess of around $2,750. $1,475 of that was considered damage (the rental company charged additional fees including a claims fee and a charge for time off-road), and I was eventually refunded $909.

"As soon as I got home, I filed a claim with the travel insurer and they were great – far better to deal with than the rental company. There were no further shocks or surprises. I had an excess on the travel insurance of $100 but InsureandGo paid out $1,375 within a matter of days."

FAQs about travel insurance and rental cars

Angus Kidman

Meet our travel expert Angus Kidman

Angus Kidman is the international editor-at-large at Finder. He's an award-winning journalist, avid travel enthusiast and passionate frequent flyer. Angus appears regularly on Sunrise, Today, The Project, Seven News and other TV and radio shows to share his expert tips.

Angus's top car hire excess tips

  • Care hire excess isn't worth it in most cases. Look at what's included in your main travel insurance first.
  • If you do want additional cover, a standalone policy bought separately from your car hire is generally always cheaper.
  • Make sure you're comfortable with the excess - you'll have to pay that if there is any accident or damage caused.

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