Many people will have heard about buying holiday travel insurance annually. It is not only a cheaper way of buying it, but it also means that you are free for your next trip overseas at the drop of a hat, without worrying about last-minute insurance to arrange. Annual car hire insurance brings exactly the same principle to the car you rent while you are away on that pleasure or business trip.
But it is not just the convenience of being prepared the year around for the next time you need to hire a car; there is also considerable comfort in the knowledge that it will be cheaper too. You do not need to rent a car for very many days before you are better off having bought annual car hire insurance from an independent insurance provider, compared with what you would have paid if you had bought the same cover directly from the car rental company. And the greater number of days you need to spend on hire cars away from home, the better off you will be.
That is because annual car insurance covers an unlimited number of hire periods throughout the year – how ever often you need to rent a car, you will always be covered by the insurance. Naturally, there is a maximum number of days covered for each rental period, but this is typically a generous 31 to 60 days and therefore quite long enough to cover most business or holiday trips.
Not only are such annual car hire insurance packages generally cheaper than those provided directly by the car rental company, they also tend to offer a wider range of benefits. Whilst the rental company’s Collision Damage Waiver and theft insurance is almost certain to attract a large excess, for example, prearranged annual cover from an independent insurance provider will frequently extend cover to all such excesses, giving the car hirer much greater peace of mind. Damage to areas of the vehicle that might not be covered in the rental company’s insurance package – typically the roof, underside, tyres and windows – is likely to be included in the annual package.
That extra degree of reassurance is also likely to be given to those who will be driving a rental car in the United States or Canada with an annual policy that includes Supplemental Liability Insurance, significantly extending third party liability cover to up to a typical maximum of US$1 million. Other benefits that are not commonly included in the rental company’s insurance cover could well include compensation following accidents involving under- or uninsured third parties or hit-and-run drivers; the cost of gaining access in the event of accidentally locking yourself out of the hired vehicle; and compensation for loss of use of the hired vehicle following an accident or breakdown.
All in all, therefore, a year round, go anywhere, hire anywhere, annual car hire insurance can represent extremely good value for money. It will be there whenever you need it, as often as you need to hire a car. All you will need to do is let the car rental company know that you have your own prearranged insurance and ask for the company’s confirmation that it is acceptable (which in the vast majority of cases it will be).