Insure your rental car for less

Update: In addition to the plans below, Worldwideinsure has started offering their car rental insurance to residents of any country again!  This lets you avoid having to buy a different plan each time you travel to a different country

The price and coverage is detailed below. The single trip here refers to a 3 day trip, but the annual plan might be worth it too if you travel a lot. The Deluxe plan costs 3 GBP a day, and the annual plan just under 60 GBP so do the math and see what makes sense. I’d definitely spring for the Deluxe plan given that the excess reimbursement is high at 50,000 GBP.

The policy is underwritten by Amtrust Europe and you can name up to 3 other people on the certificate provided you live at the same address. Meaning that if you and your spouse are travelling, you can list your spouse as the additional driver on the rental agreement and if he/she gets into an accident while driving, you can claim insurance notwithstanding the fact the car was hired in your name.

If anyone wants to read the exact policy wording, you can do so here

With this plan there’s really no need to look at country specific plans, but please read below if you want to explore some other options


Driving holidays are fun, but whenever I’m behind the wheel of a rental car I always have a certain paranoia that something will happen to the car, resulting in a huge inflated repair charge (online horror stories of people getting 4 figure bills for a small scratch come to mind) The best solution, as always, is insurance. But if you were to buy the insurance offered by the car rental company (called LDW/CDW), that’s easily an extra US$10-30 dollars per day. Which over a 1-2 week rental really adds up.

So what’s the alternative then? Third party rental car insurance. Although some third party rental car insurance sellers offer worldwide plans, Singaporeans are not eligible to apply for these. Therefore you’ll need to select the appropriate plan based for what region you’re going to. When I go to the States, I use InsureMyRentalCar (underwritten by Chubb), which offers both daily and single trip coverage. insuremyrentalcar On their website, I got the following quotes

  • 2 days- $10
  • 3 days-$15
  • 4 days and up- $36

This covers you for damage to the car up to US$50,000 with no deductible. They also include US$5,000 to cover accidental death and dismemberment. The maximum coverage period is 30 consecutive days. Note that this will cover you plus anyone who is named as an authorized driver on the rental contract. That is, if you’re holidaying with your significant other and both your names are on the rental contract, the insurance will cover incidents arising from either of you driving the car. However, the insurance holder (i.e. you) must be the one making and paying for the rental.

insuremyrentalcar

If you’re going to Europe, try icarhireinsurance . If you’re a non EEA resident, the only plan you’re eligible for is the Excess Europe plan, which is £2.99 per day (3 day minimum) or £39.99 per annum. This features £6,000 excess cover and covers damage to things like windscreens, tyres, roof and undercarriage that regular CDW/LDW doesn’t

icarhire

If you’re going to Australia, the only option I have found so far is Hiccup. A 5 day plan costs you AUD$84.50 with AUD $4,000 and zero excess. I’m not sure why insurance options in Australia are so expensive- that’s a point worth researching. I’ll update this if I find a cheaper option for Australia.

(EDIT: Cle on the comments has found out that the default excess that car hire companies in Australia charge is pretty low, at least for Avis and Budget- $2,915 and $2,750 respectively. If you have travel insurance, most plans cover $1,500 worth of rental car damage (do check the wording of your specific policy though). Meaning that whatever happens you’re out of pocket maybe $1,500 at most. Not pretty, but far from disastrous too. If you want to sleep better you can always go with Hiccup, even though it’s not cheap it’s cheaper than $1,500 of damage.

hiccup

Remember that some rates you book with car rental companies already include CDW/LDW. Before you buy any 3rd party insurance for your rental car, be sure to check if this applies to you.

24 comments

  1. For those who are able to get one, US credit cards usually cover rental car insurance. Ideally you’d want one that charges no foreign transaction fees and has good rewards. From my research, the Barclaycard Arrival (non + version) with no annual fee, no foreign fees and 2 miles per $ spent on travel is probably the best value out there right now.

    1. yup that’s right! as always those in the US get better things than us 🙁 I remember when I travelled to the states I was trying to figure out whether my singapore cards had similar CDW/LDW coverage. I called customer service and no one had even heard of those terms

  2. Hey Aaron,

    For Australia, what I did was to get AXA Travel Insurance. +0.99cents add on for rental vehicle excess up to $2k. Then I used Drivenow.com.au to compare the car rates. According to them, Avis and Budget’s excess liability is at $2915, $2750 respectively (the others, e.g. Hertz, excess is from AUD$4k). Therefore, touchwood if anything happens, you will probably be out $1K. Not sure if the thinking is right, but if I am, it might be the best option?

    1. interesting. the default excess liability does seem to be quite low (well, at least “low” in the sense that it’s not in the five digit range). It seems that most travel insurance plans would have rental car excess liability. it therefore becomes an exercise in shopping travel insurance and finding which one offers the most bang for your buck. off the top of my head, directasia has S$1,500 rental car excess coverage, as does NTUC income, MSGI is $500-$1,500. I’ve not done extensive research on travel insurance, but it looks like your basic travel insurance would be sufficient to cover most issues with aussie car rental. never realised the liability excess was that low.

  3. Has anyone made a claim with WorldwideInsure? If so, was it an easy process for Singapore residents?

    Also, does anyone have experience applying this with a SIXT rental? How does one know the maximum value a rental company would charge you for the loss/damage of a car?

      1. I just made a successful claim.

        Got a rental from Avis in Norway and had a flat tire on a rural road. There was no spare tire in the car so they had to send a tow truck to tow the car 30+km to a medium sized town, where I got a new pair of tires. The excess on the rental agreement was NOK10,000 (Approx S$1,670). Got the bill from Avis in mail a month later just for the tire replacement – apparently the towing was covered under their own insurance. The amount charged to the credit card was SGD460+.

        Online claiming with Worldwide was straightforward – they came back with a couple of requests, but the claim has now been processed. Just took 3 days. I gave them my OCBC account number, and money should be in within a week. They are paying the SGD amount shown on the credit card bill (including the obligatory 2.5% exchange markup) although the Avis invoices were all in NOK. The claims manager had SGD as one of the currency choices but not NOK.

        I bought a full year insurance last November – not sure what I will do when it expires now that they don’t offer it outside Europe.

        1. Thank you for sharing this! It’s very helpful for everyone. I’m hoping the restriction is just a temporary thing because it isn’t the first time they’ve limited the geographical coverage

      1. thanks for the tip! now that worldwideinsure’s global car rental coverage policies are back I’ve found it’s not really necessary to look at country-specific coverage anymore

  4. Anyone knows if I pay for my car rental in UK using Citibank Prestige card will entitled to CDW coverage? Saw this Mastercard website

    http://www.worldelite.mastercard.com/content/dam/mastercardoffers/APMEA/world-elite/documents/TermsandConditions/2016_2017_MC_World_Elite_Singapore_TC_Jul.pdf

    Which seems to suggest it would be covered but Citibank’s website has no specific mention of this benefit. Is Mastercard’s benefit available to all automatically regardless of card issuer or it is still subject to individual card issuer?

        1. latest word is still this

          We are currently unable to sell cover to anyone living outside of the UK or EEA.

          We hope to have an alternative policy in place soon and apologise for any inconvenience.

        2. latest word is still this

          We are currently unable to sell cover to anyone living outside of the UK or EEA.

          We hope to have an alternative policy in place soon and apologise for any inconvenience.

  5. Btw…the worldwide insurance does not appear to cover 3rd party liability. This means we will still need to buy additional insurance in us…. someone correct me if im wrong.

  6. I am retiring and own a car in Singapore, so my EP and Singapore drivers licence will be expiring. Does anyone know what company issues car insurance for non-Singapore-residents, or foreigners driving on a International drivers license?

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