When you rent a car, it is essential to carefully consider the cost conditions related to a possible accident. In the event of a claim, part of the costs may be charged to you by the lessor. It is then advisable to take out additional cover to strengthen your protection against these costs, in addition to the basic insurance contract offered by the lessor. Explanations.
Renting a vehicle: a basic insurance contract
A basic insurance contract is usually offered when renting a car from a rental company. It is a “third party” package that includes liability coverage, legal protection against recourse and assistance in the event of a breakdown.
Liability covers property damage and bodily injury to third parties in the event of an at-fault claim. When such an event occurs, the insurer indemnifies these persons up to a certain amount, the rest being borne by the insured – in this case, you. You must therefore pay the amount of the excess either to the professional in charge of the repairs or directly to your insurer.
The Excess corresponds to this maximum residual time at your expense. This is a common term in Insurance: each guarantee has a deductible amount, which is indicated in the contract. For example, if the rental contract stipulates that in the event of an at-fault accident during the rental period, an excess of €5,000 is applicable, then you will have to pay this €5,000 to the lessor.
Excess buy-back: how does it work?
Deductibles can be significant, and additional cover is necessary to cover you. Buying back an excess is therefore a cover operation: take out cover to cover all or part of the excess. This is known as a total or partial buy-back of the deductible.
You can buy back the deductible in two ways. Either by paying an additional monthly instalment to the lessor. Either by using, at the time of the claim, guarantees present on certain bank cards.
The first option is common among rental companies. These are commercial offers with similar names: protection pack, full protection… They are quite expensive and limited. For example, common risks such as glass breakage or tire punctures are not covered.
The second option refers to independent excess buy-back insurance.
Deductible buy-back: what are the guarantees?
Deductible buy-back cover is codified internationally. These codes are common to rental companies around the world.
CDW – Collision Damage Waiver: a reduction in the deductible payable by you following a collision. Can be total within the framework of commercial offers specific to each lessor,
TP – Theft Protection: a reduction in the deductible following theft or vandalism of the vehicle,
PAI – Personal Accident Insurance: complements social security and your mutual insurance companies for the payment of medical expenses and for compensation in the event of incapacity/disability, following bodily injury to the driver and passengers.