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Sep 15, 2020 | Car Insurance

10 Things You Need To Know About Car Hire

Car Insurance

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Car hire is NOT automatically included in your insurance policy.  

  • Most insurers offer car hire as an optional cover. You have to opt to have it included on your policy at an extra cost to your premium. 

    So what exactly are the benefits?

    • The insurer will organise a courtesy car for you to use in the event you have a claim under your insurance policy.

    But wait, here are some of the T&C’s you should take note of.

    • If you have selected car hire, this would be an entry level vehicle which in most cases are manual transmission vehicles and NOT automatic.
    • Reason: it’s all about keeping your premium as low as possible.
    • So, if you can only drive an automatic vehicle make sure you inform your insurer when selecting this cover. Alternatively let us know so we can request for the change to be made on your policy.
    • The car hire option included in your policy will be for the most economical model. Again this is to keep your premium cost low, unless you specifically opt for a more expensive model.

    How does the car hire cover work when I claim?

    • First your claim needs to be VALID. So if your claim is rejected, the cover will not be available for use.
    • Make sure you follow the full claims process as stated on your policy wording in order to get a quick decision on the validity of your claim.
    • Don’t forget we are here to help you when you have a claim. 
    • The insurer will authorise the use of the car hire cover and you will be informed as to which service provider you need to go to, to collect the hired vehicle.

    What happens when my vehicle has not been repaired yet and I have to return the hired vehicle?

    • The maximum period the insurer will allow you to keep the vehicle is the expiry of the lesser of the number of days you opted for on your policy OR the maximum of 30 days.
    • In these circumstances, contact us immediately before the period expires so we can negotiate and get approval for an extension.
    • This is not always guaranteed, but most insurers are willing to negotiate, especially where the delay is with them.
    • Any use of the hired vehicle after the expired period and where this has not been authorised by the insurer, will be for your own account.

    What do I need to take with me when I collect the vehicle?

    • Your valid driver’s license and a valid credit card issued in your name.
    • This will be used as security to pay the car hire company for costs and excesses that may be payable.
    • It is standard for you to pay a refundable deposit when collecting the hired vehicle. 
    • The deposit will be refunded back if the vehicle is returned in exactly the same condition you hired it in.  

    When does the car hire cover kick in?

    • Once authorised and where you have a valid claim and have suffered damage or loss to your vehicle in the following circumstances:-
    • If the vehicle cannot be driven, is being repaired OR stolen and not recovered. (not any time before then)

    For how long do I get to use the car hire?

    • This depends on what you opted to be included on your policy. Some insurers allow you to choose the number of days (i.e. 7, 14, and 21).
    • However, many insurers have a maximum of a 30 day car hire period.

    When do I need to return the hired vehicle?

    • On the earliest of the following dates:-
      The date the car hire cover period expires per your policy
    • the vehicle is repaired,
    • claim payment is settled or vehicle is replaced.

    Besides paying my premiums and opting to include car hire, do I need to pay anything extra?

    • All insurers have different T&C’s and limits, so it’s important that you read your policy documents to make sure you understand exactly what you will be liable for. 

     

    • Generally you may be liable for the following costs:-
    • The difference in costs between the car hire group you selected when you took out the insurance and a more expensive car hire group.
    • The running cost of the hired vehicle (E.g. Fuel, oil, tolls)
    • Traffic fines
    • The cost of the delivery or collection of the hired car, if it exceeds a certain limit (specific to your policy)
    • Breakage of windscreens or windows
    • Water and undercarriage damage
    • Cost of extra declared drivers
    • Fuel deposit
    • Any excesses payable should you have an incident with the hired vehicle

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