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A third say damage to hire vehicle not their fault

24th April 2013 Print

Over a third of people (34%) who have claimed on their insurance for damage to a hire car or van said the damage was not their fault.

A car park was the biggest hot spot for claims, with over a fifth (21%) of all claims made for damage to the vehicle whilst in a car park. And of these, over half (54%) occurred when the driver was not present or were caused by a third party., a provider of stand-alone excess car hire insurance, analysed its claims for a year period, from January 2012 to January 2013, and found that of those who said the damage wasn’t their fault:

5% had their vehicle stolen; 
7% had their vehicle vandalised; 
33% has suffered damage in a car park by a third party or when the driver wasn’t present; 
and 55% of the damage was accidental or collision/impact.

“Even the best drivers can have their car scratched by a supermarket trolley while parked in a car park,” said Ernesto Suarez, CEO and founder of “The decision to buy excess insurance is not just about how good a driver you are, it’s also about how bad everyone else may be! Shelling out up to £1,200* at the end of your holiday for a small prang that isn’t even your fault could be a bitter pill to swallow, particularly when you can protect yourself against these sorts of charges so easily.”

Buying excess car hire insurance from the rental desk can significantly add to a traveller’s costs. Hiring a car in Nice, over the Easter period, from 29 March to 5 April 2013, the excess insurance offered by the car rental company could be as much as £128 for the week and this excludes vulnerable parts of the vehicle getting damaged, i.e. the tyres and windscreen.

To save money, travellers are advised to purchase car hire excess insurance in advance from a specialist provider. Policies from can be bought online for only £2.99 a day or £39.99 for an annual policy. It also includes cover for vulnerable parts of the vehicle, which are frequently excluded by the rental companies’ policies.