What does insurance excess mean?

What’s the difference between ZERO EXCESS (Super CDW) and Excess Damage Refund Cover?

Understandably, one of the most deterring and confusing parts about hiring a car is understanding insurance and insurance excess. What cover the car comes with and exactly what the excess is. It’s very easy to get caught up in lots of complicated jargon and terminology when all you want to know is how much you are covered for. Here is a quick and easy guide to car hire insurance.

What exactly does “excess” mean?

The insurance excess is basically what you are liable for if the car is damaged. When hiring a car, it will always come with a policy that cover’s you up to the insurance excess, so for example, in the UK most cars come with £1000 excess. Meaning that if the car is totalled you’d be liable for £1000. This works the same as your own car insurance, if you are involved in an accident you will have to pay an initial amount towards each claim.

You wouldn’t be charged this amount for any minor damage to the car however. This is just the maximum you could be charged, so if the car is just scratched a little you’d just be charged for that scratch.

Am I able to cover this insurance excess?

Certainly, there are multiple ways to cover this to prevent you from being out of pocket if the car is damaged. The main two options you have are Super CDW (super collision damage waiver), also known as zero excess insurance, and excess reimbursement insurance, also known as damage refund insurance.

Which option is best for me?

This really depends on what suits you, as they both have their positives and negatives:

Super CDW zero excess insurance is a lot simpler than it sounds, it basically just means that when you take this your excess is reduced to a lower amount, or even zero. Meaning you don’t pay anything if the car is damaged. It is the more expensive of the two however, as it is often £25 / 25 EUR per day and is arranged with the supplier directly when collecting the car.

Excess reimbursement insurance works by refunding you anything you are charged for damage to the vehicle. So if you crash the car for example and are charged £1000 excess, you’d pay this and then be refunded in full afterwards. Though more cumbersome this option is a lot cheaper at usually just £3.99 per day, with the option of policies covering you for any hires in a year for just £39.99.

It’s worth mentioning too that both of these are OPTIONAL, if you are fine with just having an excess you don’t have to take any extra insurance at all if you don’t want to. Some companies will do what they can to get you purchase the extra insurance but you do not have to.

Hopefully this has managed to clear everything up for you, but if you have any questions regarding excess / insurance, just give us a call on 0113 88 00 748 or email us at sales@indigocarhire.co.uk.