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Liability insurance and car rental

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Hi Toytown,

 

I have encountered this troubling issue in Germany. I need to rent a car a few times a month for a day or two and there is one thing that bothers me every time is that most and in my case the car rent company I often use have a very weird (to me) rental policy.

 

Now they advertise their prices with an insurance coverage included but with a 2000 EUR deductible! There is an option to pay extra per day to make the deductible 750. I am normally naive and I always take the insurance upgrade but just today something super weird happened to me and it was clearly not my fault and pre-existing and being super minor (to me it was a maintenance issue, not a damage) they wanted me to pay 150 EUR. I had to elevate it to the manager and after a high-voiced talk he agreed that it couldn't possibly be right to claim it as a damage on my part. This whole ordeal got me thinking that I feel super un-protected pretty much every time I rent a car in Germany. They don't offer full protection (no deductible) and if I ever end up having to pay their deductibles it would be very nasty.

 

I have a personal liability insurance and I was wondering if this one would cover any such situations. Do you guys have any tips and ideas how to mitigate such issues when dealing with rental companies as it seems that they are always in the position to force you and annoy you with paying for their maintenance oversights.

 

Also are there insurance policies that would cover such deductibles?

 

Any info would be highly appreciated as I am sure many people encounter these problems.

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Hi SStepano,

 

If you pay by credit card, depending on the card you have, there is free car rental insurance included.

 

It takes care of the excess/deductible as well.

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Hi SStefano

 

AFAIK German personal liability policies (Haftpflichtversicherungen) usually include a clause specifically ruling out claims in relation to damage to vehicles (of any type) which are/were under the policyholder's control.

 

 

Also are there insurance policies that would cover such deductibles?

(ETA: As topcat1 said) If you hold a credit card check out it's Ts&Cs to see whether it includes some form of insurance cover when using rental cars booked with that card. Read the details of the cover very carefully though so as to be sure where it begins and ends risk-wise.

 

If you're an ADAC Plus member check out their similar inclusive deal. It's probably searchable on their website using key-words like Mietwagen SB-schutz.

 

If neither options apply then I believe insurance4carhire do offer a suitable annual policy.

I've read on TT that they're apparently recommended by several travel and motoring journalists in leading UK newspapers.

 

HTH

 

2B

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I have a personal liability insurance and I was wondering if this one would cover any such situations.

 

 

AFAIK German personal liability policies (Haftpflichtversicherungen) usually include a clause specifically ruling out claims in relation to damage to vehicles (of any type) which are/were under the policyholder's control.

It depends on your insurance. My personal liability insurance for example specifically covers such incidents up to the argreed deductible. You should check the terms and conditions or ask your insurer.

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2B, if I understand the op correctly, that car hire company you linked to doesn't appear that they would actually cover the op, I cannot see anywhere in their FAQ or in their T&C, what is called 'Near home rental'. Basically this forms part of a policy that allows rentals locally within a certain radius and it sounds to me that the op is renting locally.

 

There are companies that include 'Near home rental', I would suggest the op looks at moneymaxim which compares a number of companies in the UK offering excess insurance policies and to most importantly, check/compare the T&C's they really do differ.

 

As for personal liability insurance my only advice is again, check the T&C.

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Car hire excess insurance - that's exactly what I need. How is it called in Germany?

 

As for my liability insurance I'll call tomorrow (English speaker was not avail today) but I doubt the car rental coverage is in as I didn't request it specifically. Regardless I am looking to buy an insurance package that this time would definitely include car hire excess coverage. I just want peace of mind.

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Selbstbehalt-Ausschluss CDW, Just google, you will find thousands of options online.

 

I have used once for an attempted robbery on my rental car.

 

http://www.allianz-reiseversicherung.de/business/produkte-leistungen/versicherung/reiseschutz/sonder-reiseschutz/

 

Also, I hope, My new HVB Gold Reiseoldcar will cover such things in future.

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They don't offer full protection (no deductible) and if I ever end up having to pay their deductibles it would be very nasty.I have a personal liability insurance and I was wondering if this one would cover any such situations. Do you guys have any tips and ideas how to mitigate such issues when dealing with rental companies as it seems that they are always in the position to force you and annoy you with paying for their maintenance oversights.Also are there insurance policies that would cover such deductibles?Any info would be highly appreciated as I am sure many people encounter these problems.

 

So, let's say that you are frequently renting cars, that rental companies are forcing you to pay for their maintenance oversights, and that because of this, you pay an amount X in deductibles.

 

Now let's say that you get some kind of insurance that covers these deductibles (i.e., pays X), and that you pay an amount Y for the insurance.

 

What I would like to know is what makes you think that Y is less than X, that is, why the insurance would be making a loss.

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@lapsus_alumni

 

About your X<Y question. I am in no way saying that the insurance company should pay for my mistakes. Insurance companies, unlike me can spot a frivolous and easily beatable claim and can negotiate with said companies from a much different level.

 

You must agree that rental companies must carry the burden of maintaining their cars in a condition safe for the passenger. Can you imagine a single rental customer litigating every time the rental company wants to make a quick buck on his back. Otherwise why do we have insurance companies at all. If you are insured for 1 million dollars and you die and they pay out are they making a profit on your particular case?

 

And in my particular case I've only had a single car related event since I got my DL in 2000. Allstate even lowered my insurance as a "safe driver". The only time I've ever had a case with a rental company is when in 2007 I blew a tire and I paid for a new tire service cause the deductible was 300£ and the tire change cost less.

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Some car hire companies offer Vollkaskoschutz in the rental price, Europcar for example

 

A number of rental companies do offer Vollkasko in the rental price but in comparison the rental price is normally quite inflated.

 

Although a rental might include Vollkasko most rental companies do not insure against certain types of damage, ie; underbody, windshield, roof, tyres and another might be refuelling with wrong type of fuel and loss of keys.

 

As a renter you are under no obligation to take their cover and if you do, I suggest you make sure you read the terms and conditions as these vary from company to company. You may still be liable to an excess charge of around €500-€750 in the event of damage to the hire vehicle.

 

Although Excess insurance cover/Selbstbehalt-Ausschluss CDW is available in Germany (be it limited) it is still far more expensive than taking an annual policy from the UK. I looked at the Allianz for example and to obtain cover for a 2 week rental period would cost €75.00. An annual policy form the UK would cost around €56.00. I also had a brief look at HanseMerkur and from what little I read, the policy still didn't offer the types of cover available from the UK.

 

 

If you are insured for 1 million dollars and you die and they pay out are they making a profit on your particular case?

No, but I bet their insured against it.

 

 

And in my particular case I've only had a single car related event since I got my DL in 2000.

Are you familiar with sods law? I'd suggest you follow my link above and get yourself covered.

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The only time I've ever had a case with a rental company is when in 2007 I blew a tire and I paid for a new tire service cause the deductible was 300£ and the tire change cost less.

 

Deductible does not mean that every time something happens, they charge you the deductible. It's just a cap on what you'll be asked to pay in the worst case scenario.

 

The higher the deductible, the cheaper the insurance will be in general since it doesn't need to kick in for every little incident. The higher premiums you will pay for having a low or zero deductible will not make up for your losses through the deductibles, at least on average. If they did, the insurance would be losing money. As with all insurances, on average YOU LOSE, THEY GAIN. Otherwise they'd go out of business. It's a bit like the lottery or the casino.

 

That doesn't mean you shouldn't buy any insurance at all, though. It makes sense to put up with paying relatively small, regular insurance premiums in order to protect yourself from rare, big, unaffordable financial losses that can derail your life. However, it makes very little sense to buy insurance to protect yourself from potentially having to pay £300. By doing so, you're just losing money because (on average) you're paying more in premiums than what you'll save in damages, without protecting yourself from any real risk.

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